by Al Cimaglia
July 9, 2021
Hawthorne Racecourse starts this weekend with a 10 race card and the 0.50 Late Pick 4 begins in Race 7. That sequence has a $10,000 guaranteed pool and it will be my focus.
Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.
8-Fox Valley Gemini -Most will be using #7, He'zz A Wise Sky or my choice #8, some will have both on their tickets. My play is to use one and spread out in the other legs so as to look for a decent return. Last week, Gemini took advantage of a pocket ride and rolled by down the lane. Wise Sky has raced 11 times this year in fast miles. He didn't look as crisp as usual and Wilfong was after him throughout the mile, no doubt racing wide to get the top hurt. But tonight my key is Gemini who doesn't need to lead from the start to win.
1-Peter Moe (2-1)-Beaten odds-on chalk hit the basement level last time. Couldn't clear when asked to get the top and faded to finish fourth. The top 2 finishers aren't in this field and Leonard should be able to work a more efficient trip this time.
4-Super Pack Hanover (8/5)-Leonard stuck with #1 and Moe is 0 for the last 20. This 6-year-old is 1-20 this year but has faced better. Using and hoping some better prices will come in later legs or with the next selection. This is probably the fastest horse in this race but it appears he likes to follow.
7-A And C Artist (20-1)-In a field with horses who like to lose, this guy fits the bill winning once in 36 starts the past 2 years. That said, Husted could get the top and be leading coming into the lane. If so, chances go up and if he steals a quarter or 2 it could be picture time at a big price.
1-Park Official (5/2)-This is the level when a win could happen. Franco basically follows one way to drive and that is rolling hard down the lane. That works here as leaving fast is not a strong suit, but will need a lively pace and could be over bet.
3-He's Masterful (6-1)-This will be the 3rd start since a sick scratch on 6-6 and third in sequence. Wilfong has steered in the last 2 and my guess is he leaves this time to get a good early seat and will be a threat down the lane. The Schrock barn is batting 31% over the past 30 days.
4-Rockin Jimmy Brown (2-1)-Miller trainee makes the 4th start of the year and the 3rd straight at Haw. Isn't a bargain at the morning line price but did roll the back half last week in .56 with a 26.3 final quarter and could be tighter tonight. Best to not overlook as this is only the 8th start in the last 2 years.
5-Lucky Crusader (5-1)-Husted makes an interesting choice here not sticking with the Searle trainee #8 who is also dropping and he often drives for that barn. The Adam barn is 0-11 this meet but this veteran can be put in play early and if dialed on high could surprise at a solid price.
3-Western Vinny (9-1)-Leonard's choice is 1-20 this year but isn't out of contention considering this crew. Two of the last 4 starts have been on an off-track and Vinny is 0-8 on wet surfaces. Leonard is a ++ driver change, could get sucked around and use one move to roll by.
5-Franksnativewestern (5/2)-Ohio invader has been facing better and likes Stickney showing a 153.2 mark here in 2020. Has 7 wins in 25 Haw starts and is a player but recent form has been dull and might not offer any value.
7-Jersey Jim (3-1)-Doesn't usually get on the engine but did so in last and just missed. Moves up a notch but fits, could be forwardly placed and might get the jump on others.
9-Hot Rod Dylan (5-1)-Missed the top check by less than a length and now moves up. Still fits with this bunch and was off 3 weeks before the last start. Best to respect the Wilfong-Willis connection and that barn is batting 29% over the last 30 days.
Race 7) 8
Race 8) 1,4,7
Race 9) 1,3,4,5
Race 10) 3,5,7,9
Total Ticket Cost) $24 for $0.50
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