Catskill Steve offers his picks for the $20,000 Pick-4 at Balmoral Park on December 4, part of the U.S. Trotting Association Strategic Wagering Program.
Balmoral Park Pick-4, Races 9-12, Wednesday, December 4, 2013
$1 play: 4,5,8/3,4/4,8,10/6,9 = $36
Race 7: (4) She's A Delight made a strong brush to the top into slight headwinds, held gamely to the wire nailed by sharp winner late. (8) Beer And Pretzel has done little but burn money since shipping in from Hoosier. Did have wide trip on windy night in latest and wouldn't be surprised to see an improved mile in third Balmoral try for barn that was hot last weekend. (5) Romantic Legacy paced a wind-aided :56.3 middle half racing third over, tipped wide but lacked a rally racing through tough headwinds late against a better field. Eight-time winner in 2013 gets a better spot and is capable of finding the winner's circle again.
Race 8: In a race which will likely be won by one of the droppers (7 out of 10 facing lesser) I'll try (3) Hereiam Coolwater who had been doing little against tougher before a much improved try last time. The mare left from 10-hole but was looped a bit on the turn, got an early tuck and was tipped out approaching the half to go first up into stiff headwinds on blustery 19-degree night. Worked her way up to second but wasn't getting close to 1-5 winner and understandably tired. Six-year-old returns to level of last win, gets better spot and is capable of surprising these for good long shot pilot. (4) Holiday Shopper has disappointed after showing powerful rally to score in first Balmoral try back in September. Mare hasn't been this low since arriving in Chicago and would seem to be a major player at this level.
Race 9: Weak third leg in which I have to take three. (10) Fall Creek Bandit continues to draw tough posts (9,9,10,9 in last four starts) but has made decent moves in all of them. Couldn't find a more mediocre group than these and could take it with an alert drive and some racing luck. (8) Lock And Go has finished with strong trot in recent, last time after being shuffled to 9th at three quarters. Six-year-old isn't much (2 for his last 35 and 5 for 53 career wise) but anything can happen in a race like this if he gets the right trip. (4) Kiss Me I'm Loaded is by far the sharpest of these right now and will be the one to catch down the lane.
Race 10: (6) Lookabout continues to race in sharp form and beat many of these last time when he was able to work out a perfect pocket trip. May be looking at similar trip tonight. (9) Tickle My Fantasy finished in :28.1 last time after being parked to a :28.3 opening panel on sub-freezing Chicago night. Draws 9-hole but Leonard will likely blast to the top and join top one around the track.