Andrew Champagne previews the late pick four at Delta Downs on Wednesday.
It’s not often we see a stakes-packed card on a Wednesday, but that’s what we’ve got at Delta Downs. It’s Louisiana-Bred Premier Day, with plenty of big races for state-breds and several big fields (and purses) to match.
The late Pick Four starts in the seventh of 10 races on the program. I’ve got an $18 ticket, and here’s how I’ve constructed it.
RACE #7: This is the Premier Distaff, which has attracted a full field of older fillies and mares to go a mile. I’m using two of the main contenders, but I’m also throwing in a big price that may have figured things out.
#10 SAINTS N MUSKETS has won two in a row against similar company here at Delta, and she’s run some of the best races of her career over this track. She’s got enough speed to be able to clear most of this group and sit a perfect stalking trip, and such a journey would make her a handful.
#6 NET A BEAR ships in off a runaway win at Fair Grounds last time out and attracts leading rider Tim Thornton. She makes sense, though the 1-for-7 local mark doesn’t exactly inspire confidence. I’m also throwing in #2 MISS CHARLIE SIOUX, who has won two in a row since going to the Juan Larrosa barn and draws an inside post that could make her the one to call the shots going into the first turn.
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RACE #8: The second leg is the Premier Matron for female sprinters, and this is where I’ll take my biggest stand. My most likely winner of the sequence runs here, and between her running style and affinity for the surface, I feel reasonably comfortable singling her.
#5 MR. AL’S GAL has won five of eight local starts and has never been worse than third over this strip. She’s only been worse than second once in her last seven starts dating back to March of last year, and that outing came over a sloppy track at Monmouth Park. She doesn’t need nor want the early lead, and she’ll certainly be the one they have to hold off turning for home.
RACE #9: The Premier Championship has drawn several stalwarts of this circuit to go a mile and a sixteenth for a $125,000 purse. I think it’s a fantastic betting race, and I’m using four of the nine runners set to go postward.
The last two winners of this race, #1 GRAND LUWEGEE and #2 UNDERPRESSURE, are both logical. I prefer Grand Luwegee, who simply found the waters too deep when seventh in the Grade 3 Louisiana at Fair Grounds last month. Four of his six career wins have come at Delta, and Diego Saenz sees fit to ride.
#7 POUND FOR POUND and #8 JUS LIVELY are on my ticket as well. The former has won two in a row and was second to Underpressure last year, while the latter is ultra-consistent and ran a career-high 92 Beyer Speed Figure when a hard-luck second at Fair Grounds just a few days ago.
RACE #10: We’ll finish things off with a starter stakes race for horses that have run for $10,000 or less since the start of 2020. Karl Broberg saddles three of the 10 runners in here, and two of them are on my ticket along with the morning line choice.
#6 EXTON and #8 GUITARZAN could both offer some value. The former has won three of his last four starts and was claimed by Broberg last time out following a victory at this route, while the latter’s most recent race was too bad to be true and he almost certainly won’t have to run so hard to make the lead in this spot.
#7 MUCH CLASS is an interesting case. He’s a former Broberg trainee who was claimed by Ron Faucheux last time out. Faucheux doesn’t claim many runners, but he hits at a strong 24% clip with new acquisitions and this one is 2-for-3 so far this meet. It wouldn’t surprise me if the new barn keeps him on the right track, and I need to use him.
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