Saturday is the biggest winter/spring meet day at Golden Gate Fields. It’s anchored by the Grade 3 San Francisco Mile, just one of six stakes races on the program.
The late Pick Four starts with the main event, the ninth of 12 races on the slate. I’ll attack it with a $37.50 ticket, and here’s how I’ve put it together.
Three deep in the Mile
The San Francisco Mile has attracted a full field of 14 runners. So I’ll go three deep, and I sincerely hope that’s deep enough.
No. 4 Vanzzy exits a nice win over optional claiming foes at Santa Anita, and his record looks far better if you toss races run over softer turf courses. He’s faced some very classy horses over the years, and it seems like trainer Richard Baltas has him going the right way. His flexible running style is a plus, as is the presence of jockey Joe Bravo.
I’ll also use No. 8 Delaware and No. 11 Restrainedvengeance. The former is 20-1 on the morning line, and that price hits me as an overlay. He’s spent the past few years chasing some of the country’s best turf horses and stretches back out to his preferred two-turn route here. If a reasonable pace is set ahead of him, I think he’ll have every chance to run a big one.
The best bet in the Lost in the Fog
The Lost in the Fog Stakes is named for a freakish, Northern California-based sprinter who emerged as one of the fastest horses in America.
Fittingly, this race has attracted a lot of class, but I’m focused on one horse in particular.
No. 4 Bettor Trip Nick is 2-for-2 since going to the Jonathan Wong barn. Both of those wins have come at this route in wire-to-wire fashion. He’s got seven wins in 10 starts over this synthetic track, and he sure looks like the speed of the speed. If he gets comfortable early on, I think he’ll prove tricky to catch, and he’s the lone single on my ticket.
A wide-open turf sprint
I have no such strong opinions about the 11th race of the day. However, this is the Camilla Urso for older fillies going five furlongs on the lawn, and I see fit to go five deep.
My tepid top pick is No. 4 Never for Money. Since August, she hasn’t raced, but she’s a closer in a race full of early speed, and she boasts a win at this route. Her recent workouts are solid, and trainer Andy Mathis knows how to get horses ready off the bench.
No. 1 Grinningeartoear, No. 2 Lotsa Pepper, No. 9 Rakassah, and No. 10 Carolina Mia are on my ticket as well. Tossing two Jonathan Wong trainees that will take money may be my undoing, but I don’t think No. 6 Dynasty of Her Own or No. 7 Sadie Bluegrass do their best running on turf. I’m a fan of both runners, and I think Sadie Bluegrass may go favored, but I’ll try to beat them.
Five deep again to finish it off at Golden Gate Fields
The last race is the only nonstakes event in the sequence, and it may be the hardest one to handicap. I’m using half of the 10-horse field, and my top pick is the biggest price of the quintet on the morning line.
No. 9 Draw the Foul broke his maiden at the second asking and stretched out to two turns for the first time. He’s by Giant’s Causeway and out of an Unbridled’s Song mare, which screams two turns. He topped two next-out winners in his score earlier this month, and I think there’s plenty to like.
I’ll also use No. 1 Wine and Whisky, No. 2 Bottle of Smoke, No. 4 Friday’s At Shady, and No. 6 Rocktillyoudrop. I can’t fault anyone for going deeper, either. This is a fantastic betting race and a challenging way to end a tremendous Saturday card.
The $37.50 ticket at Golden Gate Fields
R9: 4, 8, 11
R11: 1, 2, 4, 9, 10
R12: 1, 2, 4, 6, 9