Catskill Steve offers his picks for the $20,000 Pick-4 at Balmoral Park on Dec. 7, part of the U.S. Trotting Association Strategic Wagering Program.
Balmoral Park Pick-4, Races 10-13, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013
$1 play: 256/689/27/610= $36
Race 10: Tough race to start tonight's Pick-4. (5) Fashion Delight is a classy 5-year-old that put in a solid first over try against Invitational company in last. Drops and figures to be well positioned. (2) Justa Cowboy battled the top one at Hoosier in a number of starts. Comes off two uncovered tries, one in the slop and the latest into a stiff wind, finishing with a :27.1 wind-aided final quarter. With some eastern tracks now closed you will be seeing more and more eastern shippers and although eastern shippers usually don't fare well here, take a long look at (6) JJ Shark who has been banging heads with fast pacers in Pennsylvania recently and paced a :54.2 final half in latest, one of a number of quick panels on his recent pps. Gets Widger for local debut and will likely offer some value.
Race 11: (9) Old Man River drops off a monster parked out mile in last, somehow holding place on windy night. (8) Fox Valley Norman has been chasing the likes of Silver Devil and Fort Silky in recent. Couldn't handle the smaller oval at Maywood but now returns to the big track where he races best and Smith sophomore is capable of upsetting these on best. (6) Touch The Rock is another eastern shipper who took a mark of 1:49.1 at Pocono this past summer; should fit well at this level.
Race 12: (2) Drive 'em Cowboy had been on the bench since July (his last start on 75 degree night) and came back with a solid tightener, chasing from the pocket on 19 degree night and finishing with :26.4 wind-aided kicker. Finds a good spot at a level he can handle and Wilfongs are usually tough in second start off layoff. (7) Alequash Hotspur had little in chasing monster wire-to- wire winner in latest but did finish with good pace. Youngster draws tough slot but goes big mile every so often and will likely be in the mix late.
Race 13: Most interesting finale. (6) Brief's Boy came from out of the clouds, finishing like a rocket to just miss. Remains in for a tag and rates the edge. Ten seems to be the number for (10) Western Deal. The now 10-year-old draws post 10 for the sixth time in his last seven starts and has amazingly won four of his last five from that post. I can't recall any pacer or trotter doing that in recent years, if at all, but this one doesn't have a problem with it and it doesn't seem to hold him back. Shoots for seasonal win 18 tonight and maybe he can overcome it again.