by Jerry Shottenkirk
April 20, 2018
Half of the races in Charles Town’s $100,000-guaranteed Pick 4 on Saturday are for West Virginia-breds, and the other are for established and clearly talented open company. Those two state-bred races are some standouts, but the big-money races seem much more wide open.
The state-bred races will save you some money on your ticket, while the open races are more challenging and could require a spread approach, including the featured Grade 2 $1.2 million Charles Town Classic. The Classic is the 11th race and final one of the sequence. More power to you if you can get through the Classic over even the Dance to Bristol Stakes (10th race) with just one or two horses on your ticket.
Either Anna’s Bandit or Moonlit Song have the best chance to succeed in the Down Town Allen Stakes, a sprint for older West Virginia-bred distaffers. Anna’s Bandit has won three straight at Laurel and makes her 1st Charles Town start, and Moonlit Song is the local powerhouse, with wins in 10 of 13 starts over the strip.
It would be a major surprise if William and Mary loses the ninth race, the Coin Collector Stakes, also for state-breds. He was most recently fourth in the Frank Whiteley at Laurel but prior to that was four of five at Charles Town, with three stakes win. His local odds have been 4-5, 5-2, 1-5, 1-5 and 1-9. A popular runner, indeed, and he’s given good reasons for that popularity. He’s the lone single in the sequence for this one.
It gets considerably more difficult in the ninth and 10th races – the Dance To Bristol for fillies and mares and of course, the headliner Classic for veteran stakes horses. This ticket has five horses from the ninth race and six from the Classic.
Ascertain is the 8-to-5 favorite in the Dance To Bristol but should get plenty of pressure throughout. Also in the hunt are Frosty Margarita, Lake Ponchatrain, In the Navy Now and Angel at War.
Diversify is the 8-to-5 choice on the morning line for the Classic, but the race looks quite competitive. Also used on this ticket are Fear the Cowboy, You’re to Blame, Discreet Lover, War Story and Afleet Willy.
Here’s the suggested ticket for the $100,000 Guaranteed Pick 4:
Race 8: #4 Anna’s Bandit, #10 Moonlit Song.
Race 9: #10 William and Mary.
Race 10: #1 Frosty Margarita, #2 Lake Ponchatrain, #5 In the Navy Now, #6 Ascertain, #10 Angel at War.
Race 11: #1 Fear the Cowboy, #2 You’re to Blame, #3 Discreet Lover, #5 War Story, #6 Diversify, #7 Afleet Willy.
Ticket Cost: $30 for 50-cents