Catskill Steve offers his picks for the $20,000 Pick-4 at Balmoral Park on Dec. 21, part of the U.S. Trotting Association Strategic Wagering Program.
Balmoral Park Pick-4, Races 10-13, Saturday, Dec. 21, 2013
$1 play: 14/45/48/349 = $24
Race 10: (1/1A) In the entry of Don't Worry B Happy/Park Lane Deputy I lean to Park Lane Deputy of the two from the Willis barn. The 7-year-old is long overdue and has finished with sub-:28 quarters in five of his last six. Had a tough third over trip in latest and paced a sparkling 1:22.3 final three-quarters but had too far to come. Gets better spot and can roll by these. (4) Lucky Jet beat the top one last time as our pick, showing sharp speed late after leaving for the pocket in first try on lasix. The 4-year-old has found his best stride for Harmer and is capable of a repeat.
Race 11: (4) Ritascape is a lightly raced filly that is 6 for 12 career wise and has been racing in scary form of late, her latest a parked the mile trip from nine hole on 28 degree night, pacing a :27.1 final quarter to gamely hold on to show. (5) State Street Liz is rounding into form for Phillips, pacing sub-:27 quarters in last two, her latest uncorking a powerful final half to nail place, just ahead of top one; must be considered.
Race 12: I don't know how many more chances I'll give to (8) Dp Angel but I have to stick with her making second start at this reduced level. She dropped too far back to menace as the public choice last time and charged home with :55.4 final half to nail fourth. Draws slightly better spot against a field she's supposed to beat and hopefully will be put into the race earlier by Widger. (4) Chloe Hall took a ton of money and was sharp off the bench, power brushing to the top with :57.1 middle half on blustery Chicago night and was able to hold show. Figures to be tighter in second start since May and looms the danger.
Race 13: (3) Lookabout appears the sharpest and gets position edge on main rivals but will need best effort to take this. (4) Lovedancinwithyou and (9) Igotyourcrazy have both raced well against better fields of late. The former gets a better spot after showing a steady rally from nine hole in last, while the nine is the morning line favorite and is likely to be following a live cover flow as he has in last two, powering home for place in both starts.