Catskill Steve offers his picks for the $20,000 Pick-4 at Balmoral Park on Aug. 24, part of the U.S. Trotting Association Strategic Wagering Program.
Balmoral Park Pick-4, Races 10-13, Saturday, Aug. 24, 2013
$1 play: 46/3468/245/3 = $24
Race 10: (4) Miss Pat Weisar is a strong finisher that has been recording some snappy final quarters against tougher in recent. Takes key drop and should be close enough in small field to roll by late. (6) Financial Effort was shuffled back off slow pace last time after lacking a rally from tough spot two back. Mare was a pocket rocket winner in fast time at this level three back and should be able to leave for a trip in small field.
Race 11: (3) Old Man River set a slow pace and gave way in disappointing effort. Makes second start at reduced level and is capable of better. (4) Special Joe left in :26.4, chased quick pace and didn't fade badly in 1:51.2 mile. Should be well placed again and is one of a few in here that can take it. Obviously something went wrong with (6) Iam Bonasera who hasn't been seen since January when he was chasing the likes of St Elmo Hero and Fort Silky in Invitational company. Returns tonight at greatly reduced level and off a pair of ordinary qualifiers and holds the key to the race if ready. (8) Fox Valley Action takes on older foes for the first time in a long while after chasing some of Chicago's top sophomores. Returns from the Springfield State Fair where he raced overland through mediocre fractions and appeared to be kicking in when unfortunately knocked off stride just before three-quarters. Has ability and should offer some value but will need best effort.
Race 12: (2) Revolutionary was too far back to menace in last. Finds a better spot while sharp, and can grind one out. (4) Elkhorn Damien is another sharp pacer who races consistently well at this level. (5) Casino Captor has found best stride for Husted and comes off a strong try from nine hole last time and a perfect pocket score two back in which he defeated our top choice among others.
Race 13: Although this one is wide open I am going to single (3) Phobic Princess who had no shot from nine hole two back, then made a sharp :56 brush to the top before weakening in the lane last time. Mare has been banging heads against tougher most of the year and now gets needed class relief and a good spot to set up her brush. Upset call in finale.