Woodbine Horse Racing Predictions: Late Pick Four Picks
We’ll head north of the border for Friday’s late Pick Four at Woodbine, which begins in the fourth of eight races on the program. As always, before we begin, we’ll give a reminder that Woodbine’s minimum bet is 20 cents, not 50 cents. My ticket costs $16, and here’s how I’ve assembled it.
RACE #4: We’ll kick things off with a claiming event for older sprinters. It’s drawn a field of nine, and I’m going two-deep.
My top pick is a pretty big price. #9 JERSEY DIAMOND has a lot of early speed, draws favorably, and is far better than he showed last time out (when he lost all chance at the start). The last two workouts hint that he’s doing well, and he’s got back races that would certainly be good enough to win this. Jersey Diamond hits me as a significant overlay at or near the 15-1 morning line price, and I hope we get that come post time.
I’ll also use #7 COPINSAY, who ran in several fast sprints for the level late last season. Most recently, he was a good second in his 2020 finale, which came at this level going seven furlongs. If he’s ready to fire in his 2021 unveiling, he’s got every right to run well.
RACE #5: This is a very, very tricky race. It’s a bottom-level claimer for older runners, and I see fit to use five of the eight horses signed on.
I think #4 DYNA’S GAMBLE has a far bigger chance than the morning line indicates. He’s shown a ton of early zip, and he’s another that lost all chance at the start last time out. He’s got one way of going, and if he makes the front, he could get brave second off the bench for a very capable barn.
#2 VICTOR’S DESTINY, #6 ABBAA, #7 BADJEROS BOY, and #8 SLIP KID are on my ticket as well. I’ll focus on Abbaa, who returns to the Norman McKnight barn ahead of this race. He put forth several strong efforts here last summer and fall and won for a far more expensive tag before going to the New York and Pennsylvania circuits. Luis Contreras takes the call, and he’s another whose morning line price hits me as an overlay.
RACE #6: In typical Woodbine fashion, we’ve got a full field for this turf race, and your guess is as good as mine with regard to which of these runners will go favored. I’m going four-deep, and I sincerely hope that’s deep enough.
#5 LUCAS N’ LORI is my reluctant top pick. He’s spent most of the past few years going against far better horses, and he hasn’t disgraced himself. I think he’s considerably better on turf than on synthetic, and he should get a bit of a pace to run at in this spot.
I’m also using #1 STRIKE THE TOP, #2 DOCTOR UPTOWN, and #13 MATINEE. Doctor Uptown is an interesting case, because with the exception of his last-out effort, his turf runs have been very solid. That effort in question saw him break slowly and rate behind a very slow pace. With a better setup, I think he could come running at a price.
RACE #7: We’ll finish off the sequence with a maiden optional claiming race on the main track. I’m going two-deep, and the runners I’m using are the “bookends” in this field.
#9 FINAL ECLIPSE is my top pick. He’s a first-time gelding that ran reasonably well going two turns several times last season. He comes in with a steady pattern of five-furlong drills, and between the first-time gelding and first-time Lasix angles, I think there’s plenty to like.
#1 IN SEARCH OF, meanwhile, is another first-time gelding, and the recent workouts from this Norman McKnight trainee look razor-sharp. His form from last season wasn’t the best, but many horses progress from age 2 to age 3, and the pedigree indicates he’ll get better as he gets older.