by Al Cimaglia
February 24, 2018
The Saturday feature at Woodbine rolls in race 5, a Preferred Handicap Pace with a $34,000 purse. The night begins with a 0.20 Pick 5 sequence which has a $50,000 guaranteed pool. The 0.20 Early Pick 4 which also has a $50,000 guaranteed pool starts in Race 4 and will be my focus.
Last night at Woodbine drivers Louis Roy, Bob McClure, Trevor Henry and Sylvain Filion each had two trips to the winner's circle. On a track rated "good" conditioner Richard Moreau led all trainers with two pictures. In general, it was a very chalky night as seven of ten winners paid $5.00 or less.
On Friday at Cal Expo my posted Pick 4 ticket failed in the opening and closing legs. The #9-Lumberjack Willie, who I mentioned in comments but did not select because of his outside post won and paid $8.00. Willie drifted out down the stretch and raced wide, but still was able to hang on. In the last leg #2-Lilbitofmama, who was not chosen by his regular pilot, set a lifetime mark and paid a handsome $20.80. The (9-6-2-3) combination returned $433.40 for a 0.20 wager.
Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.
3 - Rubis Prescott - Gets a good post draw at a level for success, should be in the hunt at a square price.
4 - Artistic Madison - Even efforts recently but like #3 drops out of Opens and should like the company.
5 - Exhilarated - Steps up but winner of two straight is sharp and best to respect once again.
9 - Teachers Vet - Could battle #5 for the lead, has gate speed and was McNair's choice, connections are hot.
7 - Nirvana Seelster - Placed behind #8 in last but missed a start. Usually in the hunt and could be better tonight.
8 - The Rev - Looking for 4th in a row and 2nd straight at this class. Post could be an issue but is sharp as a tack.
9 - American Virgin - 2nd start back off a 20-day break. Fits with this bunch if McNair can work a trip.
3 - Audreys Dream - Not loving the 7/2 ML but at this level and with an inside starting slot should be in the mix.
4 - Cool Rock - Takes a significant drop in third start off the bench. Could be sitting on a big try.
7 - Bugatti - 2nd start since claim, tuned up at Flmd after 20 days off and could be dialed on high tonight.
2 - Fan Court - Has missed a start but fits well and from this post, it's wise to respect chances.
3 - Traceur Hanover - Roy's choice drops out of Preferred ranks and appears to be a major player.
6 - Classy Dragon - Winner of 3 of last 5 and 1 loss due to a break. Looks like a great post draw for his stalking style.
0.20 Early Pick 4
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