A new week of racing starts Monday at Delta Downs, and we’ll be back in action with a nine-race program. The late Pick Four starts in the sixth race. If you’ve been hanging around this space for a while, you know I don’t like to advise more than a $40 investment, and this ticket uses every cent of that total. Here’s how I’ll play the sequence.
RACE #6: Bottom-level claimers kick things off, and a field of eight fillies and mares will line up for this five-furlong sprint. I’m in agreement with the morning line man here, as I’m going two-deep and using the likely favorites.
If #3 SIDASTA repeats her last-out effort, she’ll have a big shot. She was professional in victory that day against non-winners of three, as she stalked in fourth before pouncing in the stretch and pulling away late. On paper, this is a jump in class out of restricted company, but there certainly aren’t any monsters going against her, and she’s a logical chalk.
#8 MIMI’S SONG makes my ticket as well. She pulled away late after dueling in her first start off a brief freshening last time out, and she’s clearly shown an affinity for Delta Downs. She’s won four of her five starts over the bullring, and the outside draw could make things easier for her out of the gate.
RACE #7: The second of three five-furlong races in this sequence comes here, with a group of nine headed to the gate. There’s a 9/5 morning line favorite making his local debut, and I’m using him, but he’s not my top pick.
That distinction goes to #3 YOUNG HENDRICK, whose last-out effort was too bad to be true. Perhaps he needed the race off of a five-month break, or maybe the muddy going got to him. Either way, his races from earlier in 2020 were far better than that performance, so I’m more than willing to throw it out. A repeat of his two-back win at Lone Star would give him a big shot, and it’s encouraging to see Tim Thornton riding back for Karl Broberg.
#9 SHANGHAI MIKE, meanwhile, makes his first start since August. He was last seen running well twice at Prairie Meadows, and one of those efforts was a third-place finish against $15,000 claimers. He runs for a third of the price here, and if he’s ready to go, he certainly stands a chance of making his return a winning one.
RACE #8: Every once in a while, a handicapper comes upon a race that may as well have running lines composed of Egyptian hieroglyphics. No matter how hard you look, no matter how many times you start over, it never gets easier, and the right move is simply to hit the “ALL” button and move on.
That’s what I’m doing here, and I take no pride in it. I wish I could narrow things down, but I’m not sold on #10 PARLAY PETE and #7 RAMAAH, your likely favorites, and a few bigger prices have back races that would make them competitive here. #5 ROYAL GALAXY, for instance, ran very well when second three back at this level, and his two-back effort is better than it looks considering he was very wide going into the first turn. #6 LUCKY STREAKER has a win over this track to his credit, #1 BRAVE RIFLE stretches out and draws favorably, and #12 MIDNIGHT BAYOU has every right to relish shallower waters should he draw in.
I’ve simply got no alternative to the “ALL” button here. I’m punching it and hoping for a price.
RACE #9: The Monday nightcap will see 3-year-old fillies go postward, and I’m against #6 KLEINMEISTER, the 9/5 morning line choice. She’s been second at this level twice, but she hasn’t been close either time and seems like an underlay at or near her likely price.
I’m going two-deep, and both of my horses cut back in distance. #4 FAITH AND FIRE showed early speed going 6 1/2 furlongs last time out before fading to seventh. However, debuting going two turns is no easy task, and she did so against a higher-level group than the one she faces today. I think she’ll improve with a start under her belt, and that she’ll be prominent early.
I’ll also use #5 FASHION MERIT, another who has found two turns a bit too far. She progressed in her second start after a lackluster debut, and I think further improvement is logical here at a pretty nice price.
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