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Sep 19, 2008

AMERICAN TURF CLUB LEAD

By: JOE GIRARDI


            I know we have gone over this many times in this section but the Pick Four is by far the best play at the racetrack. At NYRA tracks more than any time the Pick Four is definitely the play to make because of the changes in the betting format. The rolling doubles and rolling pick threes that NYRA instituted at the Saratoga and Belmont spring/summer meeting respectively, have watered down those pools and may have made the Pick Four stronger. On Sunday September 14th as I watch the beloved Jets lose yet another one to the New England Patriots I still had the opportunity to hit the Pick Fours at Belmont. NYRA has two Pick Fours one starts in the second race and the other constitutes the last four races.

            In the second race on this day we had a field of eight two year olds with seven first time starters. We used a few off workouts and a few off connections and got the winner, an $8.70 winner from Darley Stable trained by Thomas Albertrani. We got by that leg using four horses. The second leg offered another interesting race, the entry would be the favorite but there were a few others that could have been used. We used three and nailed the $19.80 winner, first off the claim for the suddenly hot Contessa barn. The third leg was a two horse race on paper, SIXTHIRTEEN was the now horse with LIEUTENANT RON, having the most potential but was coming off an April layoff. SIXTHIRTEEN wired the field in 1:08:3 while the latter checked in third in need of that race but we got the 3-1 home instead of the 3-5. With only one leg left we only had one horse in that event, GEMSWICK PARK was a chasing second in her career debut behind a horse that went on to win a stakes in her next start, she was in an off the turf field and would be very tough to beat. She broke well and never looked back scoring by more than six lengths to score at $3.60. Let’s take a look at the four prices in the sequence: $8.70, $19.80, $8.50 and finally $3.60. The parlay on these four races was $658.90 but the actual payoff for $2 was $1,146. There were two heavy favorites that were beaten in two of these races which obviously helped the payoffs. Our play came to a total of $24 for $1, 4x3x2x1=24, so not a bad return on investment. We weren’t done yet as there was still a late Pick Four starting in the seventh race.

            The first leg of this Pick Four was another two year old maiden race this time for claimers. With nine horses in the line-up we felt that this race was an all race as anyone of them could win. Well of course the favorite won paying $6.80. The second leg was the Ashley T. Cole Stakes on the turf and we felt this race only warranted using two horses, the favorite in BANROCK and 9-1 STEPASIDE. BANROCK held on by the slimmest of noses at 4-5 so we were not off to a great start. However, the next race there were six horses and we used three of them, but left out the two favorites in the sequence. When FAMOUS PATRIOT stormed down the stretch to score by a neck at $19.20 we knew we had a shot to make some money now. We only had two horses in the final leg but felt very confident with our selections. Just like the first one we never really had to sweat as our best result MOSAIC held the lead in deep stretch but was no match for VENETIAN CAUSEWAY who exploded when she found room to score going away. She was sent off as the favorite and paid $6.90 to win. Three out of the four races were won by the favorite with one 8-1 thrown in. The prices of these four races were $6.80, $3.60, $19.20, and $6.90. The parlay for these four races was $405.40 and you didn’t have any big favorites going down like in the first one. However, the Pick Four for $2 paid $848, more than double the parlay even with three favorites getting home first. Our play was 9x2x3x2=$108. Obviously we went for more in the second Pick Four than the first but we still made good money in both and if we get lucky in the first leg and beat the favorite we really get paid.

            Believe me the Pick Four is the best play and the evidence is there in writing. Good Luck!



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