by Al Cimaglia
July 16, 2021
Hawthorne Racecourse begins the weekend with a 12 race card. The 0.50 Late Pick 4 has a $10,000 guaranteed pool, it will be my focus and the sequence starts in Race 9.
Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.
2-Strait Rate (6-1)-Seven-year-old still can't get past the NW3LT but this isn't a strong group and Wilfong is a top pilot at Haw. This is a one move type, so will look for a very efficient trip from this post and could get sucked around for a rare win.
4-Bet Ninteen (9/2)-Erv Miller trainee has raced from the back in the last 2 starts and that probably changes tonight. Bender chose #10 so Husted takes the lines. This 3-year-old has some heart and should be in striking range at the top of the lane.
9-Drivin Me Crazy (8-1)-Steps-up after taking control early in last and didn't look back. Todd Warren's pick over #3 who is a Simmons trainee, and he often steers for that barn. Should be a solid price with this post draw. Will respect the pilot's choice to stick with a small barn.
10-Alwaysshowfaith (5-1)-Hasn't raced since 6-27 but qualified well at HoP on 7-10 and Bender did the steering. Could leave and so might #9, which makes the start key. Will respect the connections despite the post and has hit the board in 3 of 5 here with one picture.
2-Always Virgil (7/2)-Tossing last on a sloppy track and did rally well from the back of the pack in the previous start at this class. Is only 1-19 but does fit with this crew. Wasn't Seekman's choice and Todd Warren provides a new set of hands. Looking for a more aggressive try and hoping for a fair price.
8-Round Here Buzz (4-1)-Team Leonard entry was stuck with post 10 in the slop and that didn't work well. Expecting improvement and can roll off cover. Lightly raced 3-year-old seems to like the long stretch and the pace could be lively.
9-Everychanceitake (7-1)-Husted's choice over #6 tried to wire the field in last and faded down the lane. Appears to have the best gate speed and should be forwardly placed throughout.
10-Go With Joe (5/2)-Beat the straight NW2 at HoP 2 back and if was starting inside might be an odds-on chalk. Looks like a main player if Bender provides a smooth trip.
2-Franksnativewestrn (9/5)-Tried to wire the field in last and faded down the lane. This is a softer group and was off almost 2 weeks before the last start. Comes back in sequence this time and makes the 2nd start in Stickney after returning from Ohio. Could be sitting on a big try.
8-Backstreet Lawyer (5-1)-Takes a good drop after losing all chance at the start last week. Stumbled and almost fell, not sure but a front hopple could have slipped. Should offer a nice price and has the gate speed to be driven aggressively versus this crew.
2-Holden Steady (3-1)-This big grey wins about as often as the leaves change colors but this post draw should be a big help. Leonard sticks and this is the level that a good pilot can keep this 5-year-old engaged and then make a well timed move down the lane.
6-Paddy Murphy (9/2)-Bender's choice over #5 has only 1 win in 17 starts in Stickney. But this is the basement class and Paddy probably wouldn't have won his last start versus better but he could have hit the board. Was blocked in the stretch on Sunday night and hasn't been in this soft all meet, so best to not overlook.
0.50 Late Pick 4
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