by Al Cimaglia
February 3, 2023
Cal Expo begins the weekend with a 10-race card. The 0.20 Pick 4 starts in Race 7. The contentious sequence has a $25,000 guaranteed pool with a 16% takeout, and it will be my focus.
Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.
2-Flying Officer (5/2)-Made the most of a nice trip and did pace the back half in 57.3 to win the Horowitz Final. Svendsen picks up the drive as Thayer goes with #6 the other Ellis entry. Should be in the mix and has hit the board in 3 of 5 at CalX with 1 picture.
6-Lisplaced (8/5)-Program chalk steps-up after beating $4k claimers. This is another who has done good work at CalX
(8-3-1-1). Tough to leave off the ticket but not seeing any value at the morning line, so will use and hope for others.
7-Alway's Close (6-1)-Beat 4 from this field last time and could offer a solid price. Irvine picked over #4, and it's best to respect.
8-Rockinscience (9/2)-Team Plano entry should be in the hunt and could be overlooked. The issue is whether the 6-year-old can win without leading coming into the stretch. This is a beatable field, so it's possible with the right trip.
2-Native's Best Bet (5-1)-Drops to the basement and draws inside. That doesn't mean a picture will be following after the race but shouldn't be dismissed. Needs an efficient trip to post a win and this could be a spot to shine.
4-Captains Velocity (7/5)-Using, but not sure why this 9-year-old is 7/5 in its 2nd race at CalX after finishing a distant 4th. This will be the 2nd start off the bench and was Irvine's choice over #7. Probably needs to be on the point at the top of the stretch to win. Will look for an aggressive steer, and to others for some value.
8-Bobleeswagger (6-1)-Makes its 1st start for the Tremblay barn that has won 5 of 25 races over the last 30 days. Gets a ++ driver change in Svendsen and he could make a winning difference.
4-Paddy Murphy (4-1)-Steps up after rallying for a nice win. It probably won't be as easy this time, but Paddy has cashed checks at CalX (60-7-9-7). Could repeat with a favorable journey.
5-Ynotthishos (2-1)-Woke up last time, and drew off by 10 lengths to record the 1st win at CalX in 9 tries. Faces better here after setting a lifetime mark, using and hopefully won't be over bet.
2-Ridonkuloso (4-1)-Has had some issues and this will be the 3rd start after an injured scratch and broke stride in the previous race. Was used early last week, drops and could be tight enough to bring a solid effort.
4-Trey Rockette (9/5)-Drops to the lowest level this meet and does have a 1.55 mark here but is only 1-20 at CalX. Will respect chances but would prefer one of the other 2 to take top honors.
7-Bettor's Promise (8-1)-Steps up coming off its best start of the meet. Fits with this crew, and is Svendsen's choice over the 3/6. Could be sitting on a big try and best to not overlook, especially on a fast track.
0.20 Pick 4
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