by Al Cimaglia
January 6, 2018
The feature at Cal Expo will roll in Race 10 when ten pacers battle for a share of a $10,200 purse in the Robert Gordon Final.
The Pick 4 sequence with a $30,000 guaranteed pool begins in Race 8 and will be my focus.
Although California was one of only a few places to race on Friday night the track was rated sloppy. My selections were based on a fast track, but the winning Pick 4 combo of (3-6-10-5) paid $105.62 on a 0.20 bet. Nick Roland and Luke Plano led all drivers with three trips to the winner's circle. Trainer Liberio Pacheco was tops among conditioners with three victories.
Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.
1-Ulysses Blue Chip-Drops to find an elusive win, not sure 10-yr.-old is 9/5 good but will respect.
2-Dickies Motel-Fits into this condition and comes off a nice win, looks like a major player.
7-Vow To Win-Doesn't win much but versus this group best effort could be enough for a picture.
2-A Bay Bay-From this post can stay in striking position and will respect connections.
5-Cowboys Dirtyboots-Raced the last half in 55.3 but pace was slow, this race should set up better.
8-Mint To Cruise-Roland steers for Plano barn and taking a swing a more aggressive drive makes a difference.
9-Fly Away-Winner of 2 straight will be challenged with this post, but knows how to win.
1-Machabyebaby-Last was fair but was off 2 weeks and tries Lasix for the 2nd time tonight.
4-Mystery Dragon-Took the short way around and came on for the win, will respect chances for repeat.
5-He Grins Again-Wiseman's choice comes off a tough trip but is in form and best to not leave out.
6-Happy Heath-Tried the engine in last for a change and just missed. Could be sitting on a big try.
1-Kiss On The Lips-Steps up but in form and figures to be in the mix, not sure warrants 2-1 in the ML.
2-La Madawna De Rosa-With this post can stay close enough to use one big brush to sweep by at a square price.
6-Coastal Treasure-Comes off a nice win at this class and will respect chances for an encore.
0.20 Pick 4
Check me out on Twitter, @AlCimaglia.