Saturday's Free Horse Racing Picks: Late Pick 4 Predictions From Woodbine
It brings a smile to my face to type this next sentence: Saturday is Opening Day at Woodbine.
It’s been a long road back for our friends in Canada, who had their biggest meet ended prematurely due to the pandemic last year. I’m excited to support people who have worked so hard to get things back up and running. Saturday’s Pick Four sequences provide opportunities to do that; I previewed the late Pick Four as part of this week’s “Champagne and J.D.” YouTube show, and I’ll write up the early one here.
One note before we start: Unlike most North American tracks, Woodbine’s Pick Fours carry 20-cent minimums. That makes for ways to get plenty of coverage for reasonable amounts of money, and my ticket could cost $22.40 depending on scratches and changes. Let’s dive in!
The program says this is a claiming event. However, many runners in here are coming off of long layoffs, which means they can run without claiming tags. It makes for a fascinating race to decipher, and I’m going four-deep.
For a sprint race, there isn’t much in the way of early speed, which makes #12 LEAVE IT WITH ME very interesting. She capitalized on a perfect trip last time out, and usually, I see that as a red flag. However, I think she’ll get a similar journey here, and that combines with a cushy outside post to make her a very appealing wagering proposition. She’s been working consistently, and if she’s ready, I think she’s got a big shot.
I’ll also use #1 PIPESTONE, #4 TARA DAWN, and #7 SHEDAT. Tara Dawn is another bigger price that hits me as a horse I can’t leave out. She found some trouble in several starts last year, but the last several workouts are too fast for me to ignore. She’s got some back races that are competitive, and if she wins, a lot of tickets will go up in smoke.
Turf sprinters will take center stage on the fairly-new inner turf course, which features tighter turns and a configuration that allows for more types of races to be run. I very nearly singled the likely favorite, but the more I looked, the more I realized I needed to use another runner that will be a far bigger price.
#3 SHOW SOME SKIN is an imposing favorite. She ran well several times here last year and has been aggressively prepped for her 2021 debut by new trainer Norman McKnight. She’s got enough speed to sit close to the pace, and when a well-backed horse gets a perfect trip, that horse often proves tough to beat.
#1 CLASSY N’ SILENT, meanwhile, won’t have any secrets attached to her running style. She wants to go as fast as she can for as long as she can, and the rail draw could be a big, big plus. Her lone race at this route came against similar-level opposition last August, and she went very fast early before tiring to run second behind a next-out winner. If she gets the same trip here, against a group of horses that may need a race to get going, she could be tough to run down at a gigantic number.
This maiden claimer is a befuddling race to handicap, and while I wish I could narrow it down more, I could wind up using as many as seven runners. Two of those, however, are also-eligibles, so if they don’t draw in, my ticket cost goes down a bit.
One of those, #13 REDHAIR N FRECKLES, is my top pick. She ran well against similar competition several times last year, and I like that a few of those efforts came against bigger fields (like the one she could face Saturday). Her two-back effort, specifically, was pretty sharp, and a repeat of that performance could be good enough in this wide-open event.
#6 QUEEN LICIA, #7 PESARO, #9 HIDDEN IDENTITY, #10 FEDERAL COURT, #12 BRING DA FUDGE, and #14 ELITE ELEGANCE are also on my ticket. If the field was smaller, I may very well have hit the “ALL” button, as there just isn’t a lot of proven form signed on here. I sincerely hope I’ve gone deep enough, and if you have any conviction in this particular race, more power to you.
I’ll look to finish out the sequence by going two-deep in this maiden optional claiming event. It’s similar to the second leg in that I think the favorite is logical, but that a bigger price also merits inclusion.
#11 THATSMYKINDANIGHT ran second against similar company twice last October and sure seems to be training forwardly. The June 2nd bullet drill jumps off the page, and the consistent pattern of five-furlong drills implies she’s fit and ready to run. If that’s the case, she’s absolutely the one to beat.
#3 ELITE PRINCESS, however, is a runner I can’t ignore. She’s worked well for McKnight ahead of her unveiling, and while debuting for a tag isn’t always the most encouraging sign, she’s by a sire whose stud fee is just $1,500, and her tag is $25,000. Add in that Kazushi Kimura sees fit to ride, and that Kimura and McKnight proved to be a strong tandem a season ago, and she could present a viable alternative to the likely chalk.
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