by Al Cimaglia
March 18, 2022
Cal Expo has a 10-race card ready to roll tonight. The headliners are 3-year-old fillies battling in California Sires Stakes action. The popular 0.20 Pick 4 begins in Race 7. The sequence has a $30,000 guaranteed pool with a 16% takeout, and it will be my focus.
Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.
2-Heza Big Dealer (6-1)-Lagged a bit off the gate and then was used hard to get the top. Raced gamely to the wire and draws inside again. Looking for some value in this leg. So, will play against the morning line chalk #6 (0-31) and the 2nd chalk #7 who should be bet hard after getting a beautiful pocket ride in last but now moves outside.
5-Paddy Murphy (7/2)-Kennedy's choice over the 3/6 could be driven more aggressively to get a close-up seat. Raced from the back in last into a tepid pace on a night when no winner was further behind than 2.5 lengths at the head of the stretch. Could be sitting on a big try and should offer a fair price.
5-Night Delight (5-1)-Has been tossing hints lately and Lackey is back for another steer. That pilot seems to get along with this 5-year-old. Needs a trip but draws well and could go off at a nice price.
6-Sherwood (2-1)-Comes off a big win wiring the field from the 8-hole in the 2nd start off the bench. Looks like this could be the return to the sharp from of last spring and can stay good for a while.
7-Urkillinmesmalls (5-1)-Art Major 4-year-old needs a wake-up call and Plano taking the lines might help. Looking for an aggressive steer, may leave and drop in behind #6. Should offer a solid price and could benefit from an efficient trip.
3-Cenalta Firedragon (2-1)-Finished ahead of #4 in last but had no answer for a well-meant winner. Camera shy 4-year-old should be in the hunt at the wire.
4-Promising Flight (3-1)-Raced the back half in a swift 56.3 and barley hit the board due to the soft fractions. Stewart could look to get the top and usually races better on the point.
6-Crackerjackoutlaw (5/2)-Looking for a decent pace and Roland could have this 1-move type in position for a suck-around-trip. Short field shouldn't hurt chances and might be overlooked at the windows.
3-A And C Artist (3-1)-The trip from the 9-hole couldn't have been much worse in last. Gets a positive driver change in Svendsen and shouldn't take the long way around tonight.
4-Crusin For You (5/2)-Comes off a decent effort chasing an odds-on winner without much luck but did cash a 2nd place check. This 10-year-old comes right back and draws well, so best to respect chances for a picture here.
0.20 Pick 4
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