By Andrew Champagne
The final Saturday of the Pleasanton meet is upon us. It’s been an absolute blast previewing Pick Four sequences and helping out with on-site handicapping seminars. Pleasanton’s fast become one of my favorite places, and I’m hoping I can help you cash a ticket before the meet ends. Let’s take a look at Saturday’s late Pick Four!
RACE #4: My ticket features two singles, and the first of them comes in this $4,000 claiming event. Many of these horses come out of cheaper races, so perceived jumps in class are relative, and I find myself drawn to a last-out winner.
That’s #5 COASTAL STARLITE, who found the winner’s circle last month when entered for a $2,500 tag. She’s changed barns since then, and while her new trainer is a lower-percentage one than the one she left, she’s simply shown too much talent to ignore. If she’s anywhere close to the horse she was a few weeks ago, I think she’s absolutely the horse to beat. Plus, singling here is a good idea…
RACE #5: …because I have no clue what to make of the second leg.
This is a maiden race for 2-year-old fillies, and I usually love these handicapping puzzles. However, there just isn’t much to go on. #2 JOHNEEDWNTHESTREET is the 2-1 morning line favorite after running second in her debut two weeks ago, but we have no idea if that field was worth anything, and the lack of a workout since then is a big concern.
With that in mind, I’m relying on the horseplayer’s best friend, the “ALL” button. If Coastal Starlite gets home in the fourth, I intend to sit back, relax, and root for the biggest price possible to knock out tickets and drive up payoff potential
RACE #6: This optional claiming event doubles as the Saturday feature, and it houses the second single on my ticket. It drew a field of five runners, and I think the likely favorite will be very tough to beat.
#3 NARDINI does have to answer the question of if she can get two turns. However, she has something many runners in here lack, which is proven form over the dirt. She was fifth in a very strong Cal-bred stakes race at Del Mar in November, and while she hasn’t tried to route yet, there’s nothing in her pedigree that says she can’t go long. If she runs anything close to the figures she’s posted sprinting, the race should be for second.
RACE #7: I’ll be spreading in the Saturday finale, an optional claiming race for 3-year-old fillies. We’ll have a field of eight set to go, and I’m using five of them to finish out a $17.50 ticket.
#3 DAY PLAN is my tepid top selection. She won on debut at Golden Gate back in May and wasn’t disgraced much when fourth in her first try against winners. She didn’t have a great start that day, and based on the recent bullet workout, she’s bounced out of it well. With a cleaner break, she should have every chance.
I’m also using #1 DO YOU HEAR THAT, #4 EMPIRE HOUSE, #5 JASMINE CHIEFTAIN, and #8 JEANNE B. I’m not sure which of these runners will go favored, and I don’t think we’ll see a short price on whichever runner does garner the most public support. It’s a tricky way to end the Saturday program, and I hope I’ve gone deep enough to find the winner!