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:
TOTAL COST= $30
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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