We’ll kick off another week of racing at Delta Downs with a nine-race program, and the late Pick Four starts in the sixth. I think this sequence can be played for a minimal investment, and my ticket costs a mere $6. Here’s how I’ve put it together.
There are a few short-priced favorites in these four races, and in order for this to pay anything, at least one of them has to lose. I’m taking no such stance here, as #4 FURTHER LANE looks to have this field over a barrel.
Further Lane was claimed for $20,000 two starts ago at Churchill Downs and was entered for twice that price last month at Sam Houston. Her new connections tried her on turf that day, which clearly isn’t what she wants. She seems to have found a very, very soft field of maiden $5,000 claimers in her local debut, and if she doesn’t win, I honestly have no idea who does.
This race, however, presents a favorite I’m going against. #6 CLASSIC GREELEY is 8/5 on the morning line after dead-heating for the win last time out, but I have some doubts. That day’s winning rider hops off, and if this horse was well-meant, why is he going from a state-bred allowance race, one he won, to a $7,500 claimer?
I’ll try to beat him, and in doing so, I’m going four-deep. My top pick is #1 EXTON, who has won three of his last four starts and was claimed by Karl Broberg last time out. Tim Thornton jumps from the previously-mentioned favorite to this 5-1 shot, and while his status as Broberg’s first-call rider is likely the biggest reason, this one certainly has the talent to win here, and 5-1 hits me as an overlay.
I’ll also use #3 KING OF THE TESTO, #5 APPLEWOOD, and #7 THREE RUN HOMER. Hopefully, we’ve gone deep enough to find the horse that’ll beat what I think is a vulnerable favorite. If we have, this sequence’s payoff potential goes up considerably.
This allowance event has drawn a field of eight Louisiana-bred sprinters. It also houses my second single of the sequence, as I think the 2-1 favorite will be hard to beat.
I think #1 TONI’S STAR may actually come down from that number by post time. He hasn’t run a bad race in four starts this meet, with two wins, a second, and a third. He wasn’t far behind Madelyn’s Wild Max last time out, and that one is one of the better state-bred horses on the grounds. He has enough speed to use the rail to his advantage, but he doesn’t necessarily need the lead in order to run well. I think he’ll sit just off the pace and pounce turning for home, and that this trip will make him tough to hold off.
We’ll finish things off with a maiden claiming race for older horses, and several of these runners have been at this level for quite a while. I’m using the likely favorite, but give his 0-for-16 career mark, it’s tough to have too much confidence in him.
My top pick is #4 MY CALL, who drops in claiming price after an OK third-place finish at the $10,000 level a few weeks ago. He rallied a bit despite not having a lot of pace to chase, and he may get a more favorable setup here. Add in that he could provide some value compared to the favorite, and he’s a reasonably-attractive betting proposition.
#8 GASPERGOU has run second three times in four starts this meet. Perhaps this is the day he breaks through, but again, 0-for-16 speaks volumes. Finally, #2 TAP A MIRACLE comes back to the $5,000 level and was third twice for $10,000 tags earlier in the meet. He’s another that needs a pace to chase, but he’s at least shown he can pass horses, and at or near his 10-1 morning line price, I have to have him on my ticket.
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