Catskill Steve offers his picks for the $20,000 Pick-4 at Balmoral Park on Dec. 14, part of the U.S. Trotting Association Strategic Wagering Program.
Balmoral Park Pick-4, Races 10-13, Saturday, Dec. 14, 2013
$1 play: 36/259/157/13 = $36
Race 10: In a race where the entrants seem to take turns beating each other, making it a tough race to handicap, I'll try (3) Bet On Him who never fired last time on 12 degree night, following a powerful closing rally, pacing :55.2 final half to nab place at this level. The 7-year-old has been slow to find last season's form which saw him race in Invitational company and post a 1:49.4 mark, but has shown signs he's moving in the right direction and may handle these tonight. (6) Tink And Tiger don't know how much he has left in the tank following a most game uncovered score on arctic-like night last time and a parked the mile trip from post seven two back. We will include him on the ticket with a likely live cover trip here.
Race 11: (9) Ice Scraper is a fast pacer that blasted to the top against Invitational company and carved out the fractions on 12 degree night, but bottomed out chasing a wicked :54.2 middle half and faded. Drops to the level of a strong wire-to-wire score in 1:50.3 mile, defeating some of these and Al's Hammered who came back to win that Invitational Pace last time and is 5-2 in this week's invite. (2) He Rocks The Moon is a sophomore that was over matched in both local tries and will have a tough assignment ahead of him despite dropping down tonight, but has finished with sub :28 final quarters in all recent starts and may be sitting close enough to the front turning for home to make some noise and the price certainly figures to be right. (5) Extravagant Art missed a week but has certainly been the most consistent of these without winning in recent weeks and must be considered.
Race 12: (7) Lucky Jet was far back from 10 hole, passed five horses in the stretch, pacing :26.3 final quarter, his second sub-:27 final quarter in his last three starts. Adds lasix, gets better post and may roll by late. (5) Touch The Rock was parked past slow opening quarter in local debut, sat the pocket as pace picked up, then charged home to easily beat lesser, pacing a sparkling 1:23.2 final three-quarters. Fast 6-year-old should be able to go with tougher and is Widger's choice over three others in here. (1) Major Monet gets the rail and is usually well placed when he does.
Race 13: (3) Upfront Miss Major drops to more competitive level and can wear down the speed late. (1) Western Boudoir chased a good field overland in last. Returns to the level of some solid tries in early autumn, gets the rail and Warren back in the bike who seems to steer her best.