by Jerry Shottenkirk
October 20, 2018
Empire Showcase Day brings out the best New York-breds and the late Pick 4 is somewhat of an inverted pyramid.
The stakes races involved have full and evenly matched lineups, and in addition to great purses for horses bred in the Empire State, they bring some outstanding betting opportunities.
I’m approaching this is a 6 x 5 x 3 x 1 strategy. The single comes in the last as the Brad Cox-trained Dream Passage is a standout in the state-bred allowance. She has been running out of real estate going 5.5-and six-furlong turf races and gets seven furlongs today.
It’s not as cut and dried in the first three races off the sequence. Leading off in the 8th – the $250,000 Sleepy Hollow Stakes – there are six horses that made the cut on this ticket: Poppy’s Destiny, Bankit, Dugout, La Fuerza, Bustin to Be Loved and Bustin Hoffman. Unbeaten Dugout (3 for 3) is the 5-2 morning line favorite but many in there have shown lots of ability.
The $250,000 Empire Distaff Handicap brings another large field together, included on this ticket are Take Charge Aubrey, Hay Field, Frostie Anne, Tiznow’s Smile and Bonita Bianca (the lukewarm 4-1 favorite). That one looks like anyone’s race to win.
The $300,000 Empire Classic is the last stakes of the day and Pat On the Back is the 5-2 favorite. Can You Diggit also will get his share of backing, and Wine Not (8-1) comes off a good effort and is price play here.
Here’s the suggested ticket for the late Pick 4 at Belmont:
Race 8) #1 Poppy’s Destiny, #4 Bankit, #6 Dugout, #10 La Fuerza, #13 Bustin to Be Loved, #14 Bustin Hoffman.
Race 9) #2 Take Charge Aubrey, #4 Hay Field, #6 Frostie Anne, #8 Tiznow’s Smile, #12 Bonita Bianca.
Race 10) #4 Can You Diggit, #7 Wine Not, #10 Pat On the Back.
Race 11) #6 Dream Passage.
Total Ticket Cost) $45 for 50 cents.