Catskill Steve offers his picks for the $20,000 Pick-4 at Balmoral Park on October 30, part of the U.S. Trotting Association Strategic Wagering Program.
Balmoral Park Pick-4, Races 7-10, Wednesday, October 30, 2013
$1 play: 379/58,10/24/56= $36
Race 7: (4) Dominant King made a sharp third quarter move following live cover, tipped wide at the top of the stretch and was gaining only to make unfortunate break. 4-year-old has shown improvement since arriving at Balmoral and strong late kick seems to fit the big oval to a tee. (9) A C H S had pace on both ends from similar spot in solid placing. (3) Mattparazi bounced last time after breaking maiden with a sparkling wire to wire score two back; dangerous with anything close to that effort.
Race 8: (5) New Zion trotted a :57.1 final half uncovered chasing wakeup winner home for place; makes second start at reduced level and figures to be tough. (10) Here's Johnny chased Grand Circuit sophomores at The Meadowlands earlier in the year then banged heads against Kentucky Sires Stakes foes in late summer where he broke in two out of three events but finished with a strong :56 final half rallying for place in the other. Ships in off a no shot try from 9-hole in latest and a good speed try two back and moves into strong Midwest barn that does well with trotters, post may be only knock. (8) Lookin' Ahead showed speed against tougher at Hoosier in latest after never getting involved from 10-hole here two back. Veteran 8-year-old put in some game efforts against slightly better here in August and seems capable of taking it on best.
Race 9: (2) Zumba followed then lost cover through :57.1 middle-half battled to take the lead turning for home but couldn't hold off sharp repeat winner despite pacing :28 final quarter; appears set to handle this level now. (4) Lovers Holiday doesn't win often but can flat out fly down the lane and finds a better spot after two tough miles from 8-hole.
Race 10: (6) Catmando has returned sharp from Hoosier taking three straight at this level and has become a popular item in the claim box. Goes out for third new barn in less than a month and could take another. I'm throwing in (5) Game Belief at what should be a huge price. This one never got close from 10-hole against top one in last but did pace a hidden 1:24 final three quarters rallying steadily to miss by 4-1/2 lengths. Two back, also against top one, paced a :56 middle half but had little late, still managing a :28.4 final panel. Has been racing in dull form but picks up Leonard after showing some life since returning from Maywood and may be the one to light up the board.