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Mar 04, 2005

AMERICAN TURF CLUB LEAD

By: JOE GIRARDI


            Since the pick four has become a mainstay at almost every track

you have seen articles written about the value in the play as opposed to the other

 exotic wagers. There are usually large pools and the fact that you can play it

 for $1 makes it possible for a lot more combinations than let’s say a pick six.

 Well a prime example of this was evident at Aqueduct on Sunday February 27th,

 in the late pick four at Aqueduct (NYRA also has an early pick four races 2-5).

            The first leg of the pick four, race 6, was a $40-30k claiming race at six

 furlongs. If you wanted to lock up the race you would have to go five deep, using

 the 1,2,3,4 and 6. The favorite in the race was the #1, HUMMEL, who was

coming off a huge win in the slop but was off some time and was moving up in

class. The #2 was ALLENS BLESSING, she was 10-1 and was coming off an

even fourth place finish. However, she was claimed that day by a low-profile barn

 that has done well with their claims in the past. ALLENS BLESSING had gone

 off the favorite last out and was basically facing the same horses today. The #3

and #4 were both in sharp form and the #6 had some backclass and was taking

 a needed drop. After battling throughout, HUMMEL and ALLENS BLESSING

stayed that way until deep stretch with ALLENS BLESSING edging away late for

 the score returning $23.80 for the win. The #3 FLY WITH KARAKORUM was

considered a non-starter for a gate mishap, however all her pick-4 money went

 to the post time favorite, HUMMEL who finished second. Incidentally that was

 the second time in two days that NYRA had returned money for a questionable

 gate problem. That will be left to talk about another day. Back to the pick four.

            Moving to race 7. There were three late scratches that left the race in the

 #1 hands. JET PROSPECTOR, trained by leading trainer Richard Dutrow Jr.

and ridden by leading rider Rafael Bejarano, was not only left as the lone speed

 from the rail but he was also the best horse in the race on paper. The only two

 horses that could have a shot if JET PROSPECTOR fails to fire for some

reason were the #2 GIVE FAITH and the #6 KARAKORUM PATRIOT. When

 the gate opened JET PROSPECTOR was sent right to the lead, took pressure

 from an outside horse, put that horse away and never looked back showing his

dominance scoring by four lengths in 1:09:2. The #2 ran second and the #6

ran third. The #1 paid $3.60 to win.

            In the 8th race the Busher Stakes it looked as though the favorite #3

AMAZING BUY would be tough to beat off two stakes wins in a row. The

only horse if any that you could use to beat AMAZING BUY was #2 WINNING

 SEASON. This horse was coming off a two month layoff and would have to

 come from off the pace to win on a day when speed was tough to beat.

AMAZING BUY, with blinkers added made it four straight wins and three

straight stakes wins scoring by a geared down length. Surprisingly enough she

 was sent off at 9-5 and returned $5.60 to her backers.

            In the 9th race there were 10 horses after two late scratches and if you

 wanted to lock up the race you could use six horses. There were however three

 horses that you could press with and one of those horses was 12-1. The numbers

 to use on the first pick-4 play were #3, #6, #8, #9, #10 and #11. The numbers

 to press with were #6, #8, and #10. The morning line favorite in the race

(which influences a lot of players) was the #2 PEER. This horse had burned

plenty of money and was not a good fit in this spot. The winner of the race was

 #8 EVERY TRICK, this horse had been getting some tough trips of late but

today was able to clear on the lead and the race was over after the quarter mile.

 She returned $26.40 to her backers. However in the pick-4 the sequence of

prices was $23.80, $3.60, $5.60 and $26.40. The parlay on those four prices

was $1,583. The pick four payout was $2,308 which was $725 more than the

 parlay. This play was very hittable for more than just a $1 if you put in multiple

tickets for example:

RACE6= 1,2,3,4,6

RACE7= 1

RACE8= 3

RACE9= 3,6,8,9,10,11

TOTAL COST= $30

 

RACE6= 1,2,3,4,6

RACE7= 1,2,6

RACE8=  1,2

RACE9= 6,8,10

TOTAL COST= $90

 

The total cost of both tickets is $120 and your payout would have been

$2,308. This is the advantage of playing a $1 pick four which allows more

 combinations. Also using more than one ticket with staggered plays is the

 best way to attack the pick four. Good Luck!

 



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