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Andrew Champagne previews is back for Monday's meet at Mahoning Valley and has the Late Pick Four covered for us.

I’ll head to Mahoning Valley for the Monday program, and I’ll do so for a defined reason. The 20-cent Buckeye Pick Six has a mandatory payout, and with that sequence as part of the proceedings, the late Pick Four should have a good-sized pool as well. That wager starts in the fifth of eight races on the program, and I’ll attack it with an $8 play that looks like this…

RACE #5:

My first of two singles comes in the kickoff leg, a $15,000 claiming event for older fillies and mares. We’ve got a field of nine set to go to the gate, and I’m drawn to the outside runner.

#9 LUCKY QUARTERS has run well twice this season at Turfway Park. Those races were on a synthetic surface, but she’s taken to dirt just fine in the past. Her lone career win came over the main track at Fair Grounds, and her record looks far better if you draw a line through the clunker from last May at Churchill Downs. She’s 3-1 on the morning line, and that price hits me as a significant overlay.

RACE #6:

Fillies and mares maintain control of center stage in the second leg of the sequence, an $8,000 claimer. Trainer Elliot Sullivan has a pair in here, and I’m using the entry of #1 COLORINCOLONEL and #1A GRATS ROAD, but I also see fit to use three others as well.

My top pick is actually #4 DOUBLE OAKED, who returns to the dirt and takes a pretty significant drop in class after trying much better horses in her last two outings at Turfway. Her efforts late last year at Churchill and Keeneland were pretty strong, and if she’s ready to run off of a brief freshening, I think she’s got a big shot.

I’ll also use #5 BEL TEMPO and #7 LITTLE MATILDA. The former is a one-run closer who ran a strong second two back, while the latter takes a steep drop and may very well wind up on the lead in a race that seems a bit light on early zip.

RACE #7:

Making a morning line is a thankless job. Those who do it are rarely commended for a job well done and are skewered whenever they’re wrong. With that in mind, I’ve got a single here, and it’s not one of the runners the morning line maker thinks will get bet.

I like #5 TAP THE TOWN, whose 8-1 price seems very juicy. Her last-out effort against stakes competition is a throw-out, as is her run three back going a two-turn distance she wanted no part of. Draw lines through those efforts, and you’re left with a filly that has won several times at this stand and beat #4 FRICKA on the square back in December. I’m going to take a stand and single her, and I’d also recommend a win bet at or near those morning line odds.

RACE #8:

I’ll spread a bit in the Monday finale. Bottom-level claimers will finish off the Monday card, and I’m using four of the nine runners that are signed on.

#9 MISS SURPRISE seems like the main speed in here. She was impressive last time out when topping a field of 10 rivals at this route, and while this field is probably a bit tougher, it’s also one that seems light on early zip. The last-out win rider has the call again for Sullivan, who’s hitting at a 35% clip this meet, and she’s my tepid top pick.

#5 LADY KIM, #7 JILLY FROM JERSEY, and #8 SUN DRESS are on my ticket as well. Lady Kim doesn’t have a ton of recent form and may be at her best over an off track, but she was claimed last time out by one of the top barns on the circuit. That matters, and I think she could be sitting on an improved performance at a bit of a price.


R5: 9

R6: 1,4,5,7

R7: 5

R8: 5,7,8,9

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Article Author

Horse Racing

Andrew Champagne is a horse racing handicapper with a specialism in juveniles. One thing is for certain, Champagne gets the party started.


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