FourStarDave, Saturday August 9th

Welcome back to the Pick 6 Challenge! The Summer Spectacular segment started two weeks ago, but that certainly does not mean it is too late to join. This racing segment starts on July 19th, with the opening weekend at Saratoga (featuring the Diana). The segment will finish September 27th at Belmont with the Jockey Club Gold Cup. If you are new to the game, the rules are simple. You get 15 picks to spread across 6 races. The objective is to pick the most race winners using the fewest picks. The scoring is most correct picks, followed by number of picks used, followed by winnings. The Summer Spectacular will feature many races from Saratoga and Del Mar.

Well, after the 3 year olds raced 2 weeks ago at the Jim Dandy and the Haskell, and then the 3yo+ raced last weekend at the Whitney, it was tough to find some good stakes races for the week, but Cornelio and I got the job done.  This week we feature races from 6 different tracks, including Cornelio’s “home track” the Finger Lakes.

Race 1: The Niagara.
Our first race is from the Finger Lakes in Western NY.  Linda Rice has been sending out horses here, and she has 2 entries in the Niagara.  Miss Narcissist and Champagne Ruby will both be contenders, but I think Alwaysinstilettos will be the favorite in this race.  While it might be tempting to take the coupled entry, Cornelio says they just don’t appeal to him.

Race 2: The Gardenia Stakes.
Our next race is at Elis Park, and the Gardenia Stakes.  Molly Morgan is looking good, with Dale Romans winning at 71%, Frivilous might have the speed to compete, but I like Quiet Success more.  Ocean Bertie will have to overcome a tough outside post.

Race 3: The FourStarDave.
The FourStarDave is the feature race at Saratoga on Saturday and there are only 6 entries this year. Despite the small field there is a lot to like in this race. Silver Max has been very consistent with 5 wins in his last 7 starts, has success at the track (won the 2013 Bernard Baruch), and looks to be the morning line favorite.  You can’t leave out jack Milton, a Pletcher horse, with Castellano on top, they usually do well at Saratoga.  Seek Again is the Mott entry, with Rosario on top, who was leading the meet last year until his injury.  Seek Again had some good speed last time out, but settled for third place.  Sayaad is another to look out for, winner of his last 4, but moving up in class.

Race 4: The Monmouth Oaks.
To Monmouth for the Oaks we go, and we see Ria Antonia again, she came in second as the favorite last time out, and I’ll say again that you should throw out the Preakness race, she had no business being knocked around by those guys.  Cassatt is coming off 2 wins, and moving up in class.  Size was the winner over Ria Antonia, and is one to watch for, and finally Joint Return, a triple crown nominee is worth looking at as well.

Race 5: The La Jolla Handicap.
We head out west for the La Jolla Handicap at Del Mar, a field that features 6 horses, but multiple triple crown nominees.  Enterprising seems to be doing the best lately, and gets Mike Smith on top for the race.  Schoolofhardrocks has been working out well, and might be able to contend.  Argyle cut is moving up in class, Tonito M. is racing turf for the first time.

Race 6: The Prairie Meadows Juvenile Mile Stakes.
The late night feature is from Prairie Meadows where we are throwing 7 2 year olds at you to choose from. man of Stature has some speed, but hasn’t gone this distance.  Goo Bird has gone the distance, and is coming off a win. Lucky Player has a win, Private Prospect is undefeated in 2 starts, and Recount looked great in his only race, a winner.  Never underestimate having gone the distance, right Mark? Cornelio likes Goo Brid.

There you have it, good luck to all, and have fun.

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