by Al Cimaglia
February 3, 2018
There will be 13 races on the card at the Meadowlands with the feature rolling in Race 7, a Preferred Handicap Pace with a $20,000 purse. The 0.50 Late Pick 4 begins in Race 8 and has a $50,000 guaranteed pool with a 15% takeout. This pool last Saturday more than doubled the guarantee, and I will focus on tonight's sequence.
On Friday evening the driver with the hottest hands at the Big M was Yannick Gingras with five winners. Trainer Ron Burke led all conditioners with four trips to the winner's circle.
Last night at Cal Expo my Pick 4 party ended early as #4-Crash And Burn with James Lackey stormed home and paid $44.80 to win and trashed my posted ticket. The (4-6-4-4) combination paid $547.94 on a 0.20 bet. Despite going only 3 out of 4 there was money to be made with my selections.
For those following along at home, contained in the three highlighted horses in leg 2 and leg 3 was a $22 and $18 winner. Also, in both races the exacta could be found in my selections, and they paid $104.40 and $53.20 respectively. The winner of leg 4 was part of the highlighted horses as well. Although the winner was the favorite, the 4-6 exacta paid $34.80 and both horses were on my ticket.
Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.
2-Major War-Has had trouble at this level, but moves in, form is good and worth a swing versus this crew.
6-Alta Leroy N-Should get a good early seat without much strain, can compete at a square price.
7-Urban Renewal-A. Naps should provide a good journey and keep in striking range.
9-Art History-Luke warm favorite likes the track and makes 2nd start for Burke after a private purchase.
3-Brickman-7-time winner in '17 seems to have been handled gently in last few, looking for a big try with A. Miller.
5-Ideal Shadow-Made it look easy vs. $12,500 claimers and will respect chances for an encore.
6-Yankee Heaven-4th start for new trainer and last was a good effort. Dobson takes a seat, should be a big price.
8-Spinarama-Interesting Yonkers invader can race on a big track and should like the company.
3-Hope For Badlands-Finally appears to be in good form, program chalk is a major threat.
4-Rock To Glory-2nd ML favorite is in from Yonkers and drops, should be in striking range throughout.
6-Live On-1st local start was very good, should be tighter tonight at a square price and does like the track.
3-Flem N Em N-Honest horse who battles and now gets post relief, will use at 8-1 in the ML.
4-Eveil Dun Champion-Looking for 1st Big M win, should be competitive here and can win at a square price.
10-Rocket J-Stormed home in last and can repeat if pace is brisk. ML chalk deserves respect, post is a challenge.
0.50 Late Pick 4
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