Catskill Steve offers his picks for the $25,000 Pick-4 at Balmoral Park on June 22 part of the U.S. Trotting Association Strategic Wagering Program.
Balmoral Park Pick-4, Races 7-10, Sunday, June 22, 2014
$1 play: 278/35/69/345= $36
Race 7: (7) Cuzimalegend had a wide trip against faster last time. Drops to the level of a lifetime best mile two back and reunites with Hiteman who seems to handle her best. (2) Parklane Sparkle was used hard on the front end last time and held place following a strong wire to wire mile from 7-hole to break maiden two back. Improving sort finds a better spot to use her speed. I'm not giving up on (8) Fox Valley Flora who draws another outside post but this one has flashed some ability at times and is capable of upset with the right kind of trip.
Race 8: Hard race to figure. (5) Fall Creek Bandit left well from 9-hole and was looped wide on first turn before getting tuck, elected to sit in and was shuffled, slipped out fourth over past three quarters before tipping wide and finishing boldly on the far outside. Gets better spot in second try at reduced level and gets the nod. The mystery horse possibly on the entire card tonight is (3) Rock Hollywood who has raced only eight times in close to three years. Illinois bred is owned by Norway connections who raced him in Europe with little success at the tail end of 2013 and the beginning of this year. Seven-year-old has won close to a quarter million in his career and now returns off an eye-opening Springfield qualifier racing on lasix for the first time for barn that does well with trotters. Will likely be ready although trainer sits in the bike for return and if he is it could be lights out for these.
Race 9: (6) Fox Valley Absolut was used hard twice from 8-hole past a 1:23.2 three quarters and weakened. Mare has had trouble finding best stride this season following a solid year in 2013 but, takes a key drop tonight which may be all she needs. (9) Miss Pat Weisar was out a long way uncovered last time, pushed hard but couldn't clear, held her ground well late in much improved effort. Draws tough slot but has the look of a major player if Kyle can get her into the race.
Race 10: Another tough race to handicap. The likely favorite and a must to put on the ticket is the razor sharp (5) Galactic Star who blew out a similar field last time and was claimed by barn that started getting him sharp back in May. (3) Fox Valley Ivan failed to fire last time following a series of solid tries including one at the beginning of this month in which he went down the road to beat top one. Picks up Hall Of Fame pilot and will probably be handled aggressively. For a price I'll throw in (4) Rightonray who had no shot from 10-hole in latest, but still managed to pass six rivals in the last quarter of the mile, after chasing tougher prior.