Monday kicks off another week of racing at Delta Downs, and we’re greeted with a 10-race program and a late Pick Four beginning in the seventh. I think the sequence can be played for a reasonable amount, and my ticket costs $12. Here’s how I’ve put it together.
We’ll start things off with the event I thought was the most wide-open of the sequence. It’s a maiden special weight affair for Louisiana-breds, and I saw fit to use four of this race’s nine runners.
#9 ALL OUR TIME will likely go off favored, and I suppose that makes sense. He was second in his debut last month, which came at this level and route, and he draws a cushy outside post. The question is, what did he run against last time, and how does that compare to those shipping in from out of town?
With that in mind, I’m also including #2 IN A BIND, #6 GYPSY’S SOULMATE, and #7 GOODROCKINALVIN, who all exit races at Fair Grounds. Those may have come against better groups, and In a Bind and Goodrockinalvin have both run well over this surface in the past. With that in mind, I don’t think All Our Time is anything close to a cinch.
This $5,000 claimer attracted a field of eight, and this is another instance where the favorite seems tough, but not unbeatable. I’m using #6 SILENT TRICK, but I’ll also throw in two others as well.
My top pick is actually #5 C C’S BABY GIRL, who runs against non-winners-of-four competition for just the second time this meet. She’s got plenty of early speed and ran third against what may have been a better group last time out. It helps her cause that that day’s second-place finisher has since come back to win, and I think she could present some value.
In addition, #2 RUNFASTANDLOUD sure seemed to take to the Delta Downs surface in her local debut. She went wire-to-wire against a lower-level group and does get a bit of a class test, but she also makes her second start off a three-month break and hails from a barn that’s enjoyed a fair amount of success at the meet.
My biggest stand of the sequence comes in the third leg, a $5,000 claiming race for older horses. I thought #9 CARRIER PIGEON had a dream trip against a far weaker group last time out, so I’ll try to beat him by singling the 4-1 second choice.
#4 END ZONE stretches back out after running third at this level going 6 1/2 furlongs. His three-back effort going a similar distance saw him stalk the pace and pull away late to win by two lengths, so at a minimum, we know today’s one-mile distance won’t get him beat. The Tim Thornton/Karl Broberg duo has been winning almost everything in sight, and I think they get the money here while also providing value going against a favorite I don’t like.
We’ll look to finish this out by going two-deep in a puzzling maiden claiming race. I think two of these runners will take a majority of the betting money, and that’s the pair I’ll be using.
#5 MEAN CRUISER seemed to wake up a bit at second asking a few weeks ago. He rallied from well back to finish third against a similar group, and perhaps he’s figuring things out as he gains some experience. If he can show a bit more tactical speed and keep the front-runners in range early on, I think he’s got a big shot.
#7 WICKED FITZ, meanwhile, has run up against some tougher-than-average foes in his last two starts. The winners of both races came right back to win again, and his Beyer Speed Figures from this meet are far better than those of any other runner in the field. This group certainly seems a bit softer than the ones he’s been going against, and perhaps that’ll be enough to get him to the winner’s circle for the first time.
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