Catskill Steve offers his picks for the $25,000 Pick-4 at Balmoral Park on Dec. 22, part of the U.S. Trotting Association Strategic Wagering Program.
Balmoral Park Pick-4, Races 7-10, Sunday, Dec. 22, 2013
$1 play: 269/36710/2/68 = $24
Race 7: (2) Tea Party Patriot had strong pace, rallying off slow fractions last time, finishing with a bold :55.2 final half. Two back uncorked a jet-like final quarter, rallying from 13 lengths behind to get up and earn a tie. (6) Lil Al Bundy is just 2 for 50 career wise but has been racing better in recent weeks and fits well with these. (9) Sea Art draws tough outside spot but lightly raced 4-year-old is at career peak and should be into the flow early.
Race 8: (10) She's A Delight was used hard from similar spot to get the top, set a pressured pace and gave way grudgingly late on nine degree night. (3) Mcnice, (6) Hoosier Hilda and (7) Kiss Me After are all strong closers who are racing in sharp form and either can take it with the right trip.
Race 9: (2) Itz Alive drops to best level and figures to be well placed from this spot.
Race 10: (6) Le Sirenuse blew out similar field from 10 hole in sparkling 1:53.1 mile on 12 degree night. Ten time winner on the year has displayed wicked speed throughout the year and may go down the road again. (8) Nash Gram chased top one from the pocket when dropped to this level last time and although no match late managed to hold place in improved effort. Will likely gun for the pocket again and is a threat if top one comes up short.
This will be my last column for a while.
Wishing you good luck, a happy holiday and a happy, healthy and prosperous year in 2014!