08/10/2006 11:00PM

Saratoga Stakes Play for Friday August 11


Let's try for a similar strategy but a different result from yesterday in today's late pick three and pick four.

For the pick-four part of the play, we'll single in the first leg, a maiden 2-year-old statebred race at six furlongs, for two reasons. First, if it's not the logical favorite, Your Hour's Up, it could be anyone, and a pick-four play spreading here would quickly become unwieldy with more than a single here because the other races are all spreads. Also, Your Hour's Up makes a lot of sense and may actually be decent value in the 8-to-5 range. He ran greenly from the rail in his debut but still earned a strong figure. He's been freshened up and I like that he was reserved for this six-furlong spot rather than coming back in the shorter dashes for this group. If we can get him home, he'll roughly triple the payoff the 8-9-10 pick-three; if not, we'll start over in the eighth race.

The eighth is a very strong N3x for older grass males where I'm obliged to go four-deep. Favorites Chattahoochie War and Classic Campaign have obvious merits but pricewise I'll be rooting for Minister's Joy, coming off an impossible trip against better, and Islero Noir, who comes off a long layoff but faced serious graded-stakes competition in Europe. In fact, I'll press a bit with the latter two only because so many pick-four players will be standing alone with the two favorites.

The featured Waya Stakes has a perfectly good favorite in Sweet Science. If I worked for TVG and was limited to a $50 pick-four investment, I'd single her, but what fun is that, especially when I think two other oddball horses have a chance? So I'll also use Milwaukee, a Euro who faced much better in her American debut nine months ago, and Pyrana, who looks slow on paper but maybe, maybe has been running at the wrong distances and will love a mile and a half.

The finale is a mess, a maiden-claiming sprint filled with expensive disappointments. I'll take half of them on the tickets that go four-deep in the eighth and all of them on the ones pressing the two pricier horses in that event.

$1 pick-four partwheel: 4/1,3/5,7,10/all = $ 72
$1 pick-four partwheel: 4/1,3,5,6/5,7,10/2,4,7,9,11,12= $ 72

If dead, reload and refire:

$1 pick-three partwheel: 1,3/5,7,10/all = $ 72
$1 pick-three partwheel: 1,3,5,6/5,7,10/2,4,7,9,11,12= $ 72

If dead, reload and refire:

$1 late-double partwheel: 5,7,10/2,4,7,9,11,12 = $ 18

If dead, call it a day, reload and refire tomorrow.