Catskill Steve offers his picks for the $25,000 Pick-4 at Balmoral Park on Oct. 27, part of the U.S. Trotting Association Strategic Wagering Program.
Balmoral Park Pick-4, Races 7-10, Sunday, Oct. 27, 2013
$1 play: 358/45/14/78 = $24
Race 7: (8) Just By Design had a tough spot in last, paced a 1:23.3 final three-quarters and never really threatened; two back was a solid placing behing the tough Mystical Victress in the slop and three back a lifetime best the last time she raced at this level. Retains sharpness and can blast for a trip. (5) Cole Blue has had trouble finishing in recent but speedy miss is always dangerous and wired this level in a lifetime best on Sept. 21. (3) Windsun Montecarlo has been finishing well in recent, a factor from off the pace but will likely need ground saving trip as well as best effort to take it.
Race 8: (5) Victorize never got involved last time after finishing with :56.3 final half from 10 hole two back. Gelding isn't exactly a win machine but goes a big mile every so often and usually trots faster than these. (4) Justice And Fifth has made breaks in last two but showed improved speed in powerful qualifier with Oosting steering and looks like the one to beat in second start for new barn and Oosting again in the bike.
Race 9: (1) Pardon was a once formidable mare who has fallen upon hard times, missing the entire 2012 season and racing only 12 times in 2013 but showed a nice :26.4 final quarter rally after being shuffled and now takes a key drop; may be heading in the right direction once again. (4) Rev Me Up made a sharp brush to the top past a 1:24.1 three-quarters, held well for place. Mare is another with a ton of back class that has had trouble finding the winner's circle despite racing well in a couple of recent starts.
Race 10: (8) Upbyfive left well for the top, yielded, was used again to retake and quickly forced to yield again, this time to favorite, chased from the pocket but lacked a serious late rally on the pylons despite pacing :28.1 final panel. Draws another tough spot and could surprise these with easier trip at or near the front. (7) Rita Mae Brush was short after two months on the bench, tiring from the pocket but may have bled. Adds lasix and well bred sophomore had been facing tougher than these on the Illinois Fair Circuit much of the year. Could go well at a price.