08/26/2006 12:00AM

Spa Stakes Play for Saturday


Well, it's Travers Day and there's a $1 million guaranteed pick four on the graded stakes so I guess we have to play it. I'm not salivating because I think it has the potential to be very chalky, but maybe we can get one or two mildly interesting things to happen.

The sequence starts with the G2 Balston Spa for older grass fillies. Sweet Talker(2) can obviously win and must be used but I think she'll be overbet off her second in the Diana. My Typhoon(7) ran just as well that day and will be a bigger price. Asi Siempre (1) and Karen's Caper (2) are not far off on their best. I'll use all four and root against Sweet Talker.

The G2 Baruch for turf males is a weak race with several has-beens and never-weres. Ashkal Way(1) is the up-and-comer in solid form and the likeliest winner, but with the late scratch of Badge of Silver he may not be much better than even money. I'll also use T.D. Vance(9), who might be able to steal it as the lone speed. On tiny backups, I'll use the old veterans Dreadnaught(2) and Quest Star(5).

The G1 King's Bishop is the race to make something happen if Henny Hughes (2) loses. He can win but he doesn't have to and I'll also use Court Folly(4), Songster(6) and the upsetter who interests me most, Mach Ride (10).

Finally, I'm sorry but I think Bernardini(5) is a very likely winner of the Travers at 3-5. I'll use both Bluegrass Cat(7) and Minister's Bid(2) on very small savers.

So the pick-fours would go something like this for each $208 invested:

$4 pick-four partwheel: 2,7/1,10/4,6,10/5= $48

$2 pick-four partwheel: 1,2,3,7/1,10/2,4,6,10/5= $64

$1 pick-four partwheel: 1,2,3,7/2,5/2,4,6,10/5= $32

$1 pick-four partwheel: 1,2,3,7/1,10/2,4,6,10/2,7= $64