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Sep 28, 2012

AMERICAN TURF CLUB-PICK FOUR PLAY LEAD

By: JOE GIRARDI


               You will often hear, pass a race if you like the favorite as there is no value in playing a 6-5 shot. Well those words have some truth but you can find value anywhere at the racetrack if you just look hard enough. In this day and age with mutil-race exotics you can take a 6-5 shot and get plenty of value. On September 26th at Belmont the late pick four presented one of those cases exactly. The pick four comprises the last four races of the day which are races 6-9.

               In the 6th race, a New York bred maiden special weight race run over six furlongs over the turf turf. There were 11 betting entrants in this race with six horses with experience and four first time starters. The favorite in the race was WHITE SANGRIA, a three year old filly by Giant’s Causeway who had two career starts, one on the dirt back in June at Belmont where she finished a well beaten third and another over the turf at Saratoga, coming in a 5 ½ furlong race. She broke well that day and was sent right to the lead, she set very solid fractions into the lane but tired some to finish third to the favorite in the race in a sharp final time. She may have needed that race, her first off a two month layoff and just her second career start. Out of the 10 other horses only one had turf experience  where she failed against statebred maiden special weights and then ran on for a dead heat for second against a very weak maiden $25k claimer. After breaking well from the start, WHITE SANGRIA was sent to the lead and took some token pressure from a 23-1 longshot, she was still there into the lane before drawing away to score by almost six lengths coming the last quarter in 23:4. As I played the late pick 4 she was a single on all of my tickets.

               Moving to the seventh race, a maiden special weight race run over one mile with a field of six horses. There were two horses right off the bat that couldn’t win the race, the #2 and the #6. The favorite in the race was CAPE GLORY who had run three straight second place finishes and was turning back in distance. The third choice in the race was INVOCATION, another coming out of the same race as CAPE GLORY and was also turning back in distance. I didn’t like either horse, now obviously they could win the race but CAPE GLORY showed he had some hang in him and INVOCATION was making his 10th start and didn’t look he would improve enough to beat this field despite removing the blinkers. That left two horses, TUCKERS POINT who was making his first start for the very sharp barn of Michael Mareina and had run some solid races late last year and early this year before going on the shelf in January. The other horse was GUILT TRIP, a three year old by Pulpit who had only one start, an even race at Saratoga when it looked like he needed the race. His trainer Chad Brown excels with second time starters with over 27% wins in that scenario and the worktab said he was ready for a big effort and his outside draw (post 5) would also help. As the race unfolded, TUCKERS POINT and GUILT TRIP both went to the lead battling right from the start into the lane and GUILT TRIP edging TUCKERS POINT for the win. GUILT TRIP paid $11.80 to win and was one of our daily selections at www.americanturf.com.

               In the 8th race, a $20k NW2L claimer with a field of 12 horses over the turf going 1 and 1/16th miles. This race was wide open but we were able to cut the field in half using six horses, 2-3-4-8-9-12. Luckily we never really had to sweat as they finished 8-9-3 and the #8 (FOREVER VOW) paid $14.60 to win. After sitting back in 8th early on, she made a good move up the inside, angled out and ran down the two leaders for the score. Her most recent form was good and she fit nicely versus that competition. Through three legs we had a play of 1 x 2 x 6 heading into the final leg.

               The final leg was a $25k maiden claimer on the turf with a field of 12 going postward. We cut this field down to six horses as well. The 1-8-9-10-11-12 were the horses we used in the final leg. The cost of the first play was 1 x 2 x 6 x 6= $72 for a $1 play. We put that play in twice which cost $144, we came back with another play of 1 x 2 x 6 x 1, singling the favorite in the last race for another $5, which cost $60. The total investment was $204. We got a good result as the #8 FLY RIDE, a first time gelding came with a big wide run and rolled on by the leaders to score by more than three lengths in his first start since March. He showed some ability last year versus better, the fact that he was a first time gelding and it looked like he should get a good pace to run at early was why we used this horse. The $2 pick four paid $4,163 on our investment of $204. We keyed the 6-5 shot in the first race and with that $204 we turned that key into a $40 horse instead of a 6-5 shot. It shows you that we some imagination and beating the favorites with medium priced horses you can definitely make a score even if you are starting off with a 6-5 shot. Now this isn’t always the case, but if you have a key and three other races where the favorites are vulnerable, take a shot, it is definitely worth it. Good luck!



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