Catskill Steve offers his picks for the $20,000 Pick-4 at Balmoral Park on Oct. 5, part of the U.S. Trotting Association Strategic Wagering Program.
Balmoral Park Pick-4, Races 10-13, Saturday, Oct. 5, 2013
$1 play: 2346/126/34/1 = $24
Race 10: (2) Holiday Shopper was overmatched last time after uncorking a powerful :54.2 final half, rallying from eighth past the three- quarters to score an easy win against lesser two back; drops to an easier level than that last mile and may brush by these. (3) Lima Calliope lacked a rally from tough spot in latest after a good show finish at this level two back from similar spot to tonight's. (4) Party Hangover broke over Maywood's half-miler after making a strong uncovered bid past three-quarters, returns to the big track and has a shot. (6) Aliyah Maria left from 10 hole, made prolonged middle half brush to the top, couldn't hold off wakeup winner in the late stages. Switches to Magee and cannot be overlooked.
Race 11: (1) In Over My Head left well from four hole and yielded, was shuffled a bit and locked in, searched for racing room late but never got clear, pacing :26.3 final quarter overloaded with pace. (6) Middle Aged Crazy is a sharp sophomore that is eight for 17 on the year and finds a good spot to set up his late kick. (2) Whirlwindiplomacy is a stablemate of top one that has been banging heads against stakes company in recent, returns to the level of solid mile back in August and figures to be well placed.
Race 12: (4) Richess Emperor made a wicked :53.4 middle half brush to the top, understandably weakened late but did well to miss by less than two lengths. The 5-year-old doesn't win often but remains at level he's handled in the past and may be the value here. (3) Bell Valley Bill is hard to gauge in current form but takes a needed drop and is likely to improve at this level.
Race 13: (1) Tiza Mojo made an explosive move going from seventh past the three-quarters to first turning for home, paced a :27.3 final panel to hold sway, taking a new lifetime mark in Balmoral debut. Edge to repeat for trainer/driver combo that have been successful since arriving in Chicago a few weeks ago.