Catskill Steve offers his picks for the $20,000 Pick-4 at Balmoral Park on Aug. 16, part of the U.S. Trotting Association Strategic Wagering Program.
Checking up on “Catskill” Steve: Back in action tonight after a two-week break. On Wednesday (July 30), I had two winners and a second place finish and a loss of $24. Saturday of that week, I two winners, including a $15.20 winner in final leg. A scratch cut the loss to $12. To wrap up the week, on Sunday, I hit for the fifth time this year. It was a most predictable Pick-4 and paid $51.10 for a $24 investment. Interestingly, I tabbed all four exactas in the sequence, paying $26.80, $6.40, $32.60 and $12.00. For the year the Strategic Wagering Program is showing a $301.80 profit at Balmoral.
Balmoral Park Pick-4, Races 10-13, Saturday, Aug. 16, 2014
$1 play: 358/310/210/27 = $24
Race 10: (8) Prairie Thunder paced a :54.2 final half, rallying wide but had too far to come. Improving 4-year-old draws a similar spot to last and may roll by late with better racing luck. (5) Rockin Rumble never fired last time after a huge win from seven hole against weaker two back. The 6-year-old continues on the comeback trail after missing the entire 2013 season and showed plenty of ability taking a mark of 1:49.4 as a 4-year-old. Can leave the gate in field lacking much of any early speed and cannot be overlooked. (3) Washington Hanover has been racing better in recent weeks and is another likely to show speed.
Race 11: (3) Schmatie has had tough posts/trips in both starts at this reduced level. Moves inside and can brush past these. (10) Gentle Janet comes off a game uncovered try last time and now gets key driver change. Dangerous if Dave can get her into the race.
Race 12: (2) Alequash Hotspur has been a bit disappointing in his 4-year-old campaign for Willis after showing some potential last year. Drops to winning level and finds a good spot. (10) Whirlwindiplomacy returns from Maywood where he tipped four-wide off the final turn and finished alertly in latest. Draws post 10 in return to the mile track where he races best and will likely be charging late.
Race 13: (2) Become Legendary took a lifetime mark here in early July and continued his sudden form spree on the Illinois Fair Circuit in recent. Finds a good spot in finale. (7) Put To The Test finished strongly once clear last time and just fell short to strong winner. Moves into new barn off claim and fits well in race with no real standouts.