By Ciaran Thornton (follow me on twitter @californiapick4)
Well it was just meant to be that on the last day of the winter meet we go three out of four yet again after nailing a 14-1 shot in the second leg. I can honestly say that was one tough meet for us coming in with 3/4 it seems every day! Friday brings us the Spring Meet so let see if this meet can be one of 4 of 4 Pick 4’s daily! As I said last weekend I am adding a new feature to my write up, my BEST BET of the day. This race will likely be in the earlier sequence. My strategy will be to do $5 win/place on my best bets and see if we can build a nice bankroll.
We start the Spring Meet Pick 4 sequence with the Downhill course! Yeehaa! 6 of the 8 runners in this field are 4-1 or less! On one ticket I am going to hit ALL for two reasons. One – I like several horses in here. Two – the favorite will win if I do ALL for the other ticket! The total outsider here is #6 Warrensdollarsigns at 15-1 but she was fifth last on this course losing by only 1 1/4 lengths. 15-1 on the hillside for a horse who missed by 1 length – yes please. My top choice in the race is #4 Sidepocket Run. She won her last on the downhill and her trainer is on fire on turf. #3 Gouyen is another I really like here. Second in her last on the hill after winning previously gets blinkers today. She will try to go gate-to-wire. #1 Chaulk O Lattey won nicely on the hill last out BUT is moving up in class. Class risers have be so-so on the hill. I am not using #5 Desert Steel who in my opinion has done nothing that jumps out. Baze continues to ride though. Knowing my luck though she will go off as favorite and win but I still wont use her.
The second leg in race 6 has been run 5 times only with the favorite never winning and 2 of 5 times a 10-1 horse has won. Not a large sample to go from but something we need to consider! There are only 6 horses entered and the betting says its a three horse race with #1 Seek Safe Harbor, #3 Champion Risk and #4 Global Hart. I will use #1 for sure. The last time she raced at this 5 half furlong distance she won in November 2014. She is dropping multiple levels today after racing for $25k last out and trainer O’Neill has a 32% win rate doing this. She is a front runner and 13-25 front runners at this distance have won so far. For some this is a single and I would not argue! For my price horse in here I am going to use the #2 Lady Dash at 12-1! She’s moving up in class after coming in fifth at Golden Gate when the jockey lost his whip. What caught my eye was the fast work on April 11 for this trainer/owner. Her sole lifetime win was at this distance.
In race #7 Nakatani gets the rain of the 7/5 morning line favorite, #2 Cervaro. A sharp workout and the drop in class may lead to an easy win here. He really should win this race. If he gets in off the AE #9 Warrens Wesley looks very interesting at a price as he is always in the mix.
In the last leg #1 Divine Tale has a hot jockey, a fast workout last week, ran second in her last, is making her second start off a layoff and has a 26% maiden claiming win record for her trainer. She is also a late closer who will be running after the morning line favorite. Said favorite is #4 PrettyPresciousheir who moved down in her last and ran 4th and now moves down again. She is a front runner who could try a gate-to-wire move. #2 Cuddle Alert had a bad start in her debt and still managed a 3rd place finish.
Today’s Pick 4 bet will cost $36
To get out of the 1st leg costs $12
On Sunday my Best Bet won easily as Head South romped to victory at 6/5. For today’s BEST BET I am looking at #4 Bentley’s Gone with red-hot Baze riding. A two-month freshening after a second place finish at this level should be enough. The morning line favorite is #3 My Ole Bud who races a route for the first time. I give the edge to Bentley due to experience and Baze. $5 win/place #4 plus an exacta box with #3.