Million Dollar Finish: Stalking Liam for the Win

By Peter Rotondo, Jr., @retro411

The Summer at Saratoga Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series presented by Lane’s End Farm comes to an end on Saturday with LIVE coverage of the Spinaway Stakes and Woodward.

The Spinaway is a #WinandYoureIn for the Juvenile Fillies while the Woodward is yet another major race on the Road to the Breeders’ Cup Classic.

Let’s take a look at the Million Dollar Finish race of the week: The Woodward Stakes.

If Liam’s Map runs back to his Whitney performance, he’ll win — however, that’s a big IF. That race was run off a layoff and it was a career best performance. I just don’t see him running back to that race especially with Bay of Plenty, another confirmed front-runner, in the field. Plus, Liam’s Map will be the favorite so there is little value.

My pick in here is Coach Inge. Todd Pletcher has four horses in the Woodward including Liam’s Map. Todd is not going to sacrifice his other horses' chances by trying to run with Liam, so I see Coach sitting a perfect trip sitting in third or fourth about four or five lengths off the pace. He has won a race sitting off the pace. This distance is perfect for him and he is as game as they come.

Next, I see Effinex making a run and holding off the stone-cold closers, Mylute and Commanding Curve. Effinex is training great and should make a winning closing move as well.

I’m still going to use Liam’s Map in the exotics as I think he may hold on for a piece.

As for the others, Wicked Strong doesn’t seem like he’s the same horse he was last year and Protonico will have to work out a trip from the outside. He doesn’t have enough speed to go to the lead and likely doesn't have enough to stalk and still have a closing punch after chasing a wickedly fast pace.

$100 Betting Strategy
$2 Trifecta part wheel: 6/2,3,5,7/2,3,5,7 = $24
$1 Trifecta partial: 2,3,5,7/6/2,3,5,7 = $12
.50 Trifecta partial: 2,3,5,7/2,3,5.7/6 = $6
$4 Superfecta partial: 6/7/2,3,5/2,3,5 = $24
$2 Superfecta partial: 6/2,3,5/7/2,3,5 = $12
$1 Superfecta partial: 6/2,3,5/2,3,5/7 = $6
$1 Superfecta partial: 7/6/2,3,5/2,3,5 = $6
$5 exacta box: 6,7 = $10 (play for free and you can win a trip to Breeders’ Cup at Keeneland!)
1. Coach Inge
2. Effinex
3. Mylute
4. Liam’s Map
5. Commanding Curve
6. Protonico
7. Wicked Strong
8. Bay of Plenty