Catskill Steve offers his picks for the $20,000 Pick-4 at Balmoral Park on Dec. 11, part of the U.S. Trotting Association Strategic Wagering Program.
Balmoral Park Pick-4, Races 7-10, Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013
$1 play: 368/16/135/8 = $18
Race 7: (6) Four Hour Nap was used hard on the lead from 10 hole, dug in bravely late to hold place behind sharp and powerful finisher. Gets slightly better spot and may turn the tables on that sharp pacer that beat her in last. (8) Carnoustie is in career best form and finds a good spot to set up her strong late kick. (3) Beer And Pretzel changed tactics last time, leaving from eight hole for the pocket, pulling after pacing :56.1 middle half and just able to hold sway and beat lesser. Lightly raced 4-year-old steps up and could be a threat at this level near the pace for barn that's been hot the last couple of weeks.
Race 8: (1) Big Chocolate is a classy 4-year-old who trotted a fast middle half in useful tightener after brief 6-1/2 week rest. Takes key drop and gets the rail. (6) Here's Johnny steps up off two sharp wins and looks capable of giving top one a battle on best.
Race 9: (1) Window Wiper had strong late place to nail second behind drop down winner in last. (5) Pardon has one win since 2011 but the 5-year-old has back class with more than $320,000 in the bank careerwise and just missed after showing improved speed when dropped to this level last time. (3) Dee Dee Sage is another with some back class who had no shot trying to close off slow fractions in last. Gets a better spot in second try at this level and figures to be sitting closer to the pace.
Race 10: (8) Kiss Me After had steady rally from 10 hole. Finds slightly better spot and a switch to Casey and has raced consistently well at this level. Filly isn't a win machine but may be able to roll by late.