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What a massive day today with great racing all over the country! With plenty of Pick 4 sequences at tracks like Saratoga and Del Mar, I went with Arlington Park because of its large fields, big pools, and some serious bomb potential. Let’s take a look at my Arlington Park All-Stakes Twinspires.com Late Pick 4.
Base Wager: $0.50
Races: 9 thru 12
Level of Difficulty (1-10): 7
It’s Arlington Million Day! That means we get to fire on one of my favorite Pick 4s of the year. I love turf racing because you get big fields and big prices, and this particular sequence always delivers. We have a plethora of foreign invaders from Europe and lots of Unknowns (see Handicapping 301: The Knowns vs. the Unknowns) that could step up and blow up the tote, which means that this is going to be a tough sequence. I’m going to leave out some horses that very well could win in order to get all of the live longshots on the ticket while still remaining within my budget. Now, let’s get to the races!
Must Use: This is one of the more difficult races in the sequence. The obvious Known horse here that I’ll include on the ticket is #9 Analyze It. He’s the deserving favorite and the only non-European that I tabbed as a must-use. #13 Hunting Horn should improve his second in time in North America, so he should be on every ticket as well.
Dismiss at Your Own Risk: There are two other Euros that I’ll be using here. I like #12 Lucius Tiberius, especially since trainer Aidan O’Brien also has Hunting Horn in this spot and is shipping them both in. Lucius Tiberius improved over the last two starts and he’s 3-3 at this distance. #2 Platinum Warrior also makes it on my ticket. Note that his last race was for a $1.75M purse and the winner, Latrobe, lost to Platinum Warrior in his previous start. Also, Saxon Warrior ran third in that race, and he’s one of the best running in Europe right now. I’m going to take a flyer and use #7 Captivating Moon here as well. While this horse seems to have issues winning, I like the move to add blinkers to try keeping him slightly closer to the pace, and the added distance should be a plus for him.
Unused Horse That Bettors Will Like: In my mind, I am really using all of the logical winners, so I guess we’ll go to the #8 Untamed Domain, even though Analyze It whooped him two back and nothing has changed. He is a Known that isn’t good enough to beat the other Known that I’m using.
Must Use: #3 Sistercharlie is the only one that you have to use in this spot. She’s the best turf filly in the country right now and there isn’t much reason to get cute here. That being said, I’m not going to single her because she’s a deep closer in a monster field, which could lead to her being too far back or encountering trip trouble.
Dismiss at Your Own Risk: #7 Fourstar Crook beat Sistercharlie last time out in the Grade 2 New York Stakes and is more reliable than Del Mar having nice weather. If Sistercharlie doesn’t get a clean trip, then she’s the most likely winner.
Horses for Deep Tickets: #4 Dona Bruja should be on the lead in a race lacking early pace and was favored last time out vs. both of the horses listed above. You’ll get all of the 6-1 and then some in the Pick 4 payouts if she wires them. #8 Inflexibility is “the other” Chad Brown in here and she’ll also be right on the pace. She should get the first run at Dona Bruja and is second off of a layoff with consistent improvement. A step forward makes her dangerous.
Unused Horse That Bettors Will Like: You’ve got to know who’s coming since I left off #9 Athena. Her last race was wonderful, no knocks there, but this is a HUGE step up. I’m talking a High School to the NBA jump in class. The Grade 1 Belmont Oaks is restricted to 3-year-olds, and not a single horse in that race has finished in front of any older horse in the US. The race also fell apart up front, the favorite didn’t fire, and Athena got a clean trip. Here, she’s facing the BEST older fillies, and at 3/1, she’s a hard pass for me. I’d much rather go two-deep and save this bullet for later, or use of one the deep horses in her place.
Must Use: Ah, the good ol’ “5-1 or Better” division. Love it! And look who’s 6-1?! #8 Money Multiplier! I think it’s his turn again here, and I love the price. #11 Oscar Performance looked so good in the Grade 3 Poker Stakes that you’ve got to play him since he should actually improve off of that race, and he’s coming in with my favorite angle: second start as a 4-year-old.
Dismiss at Your Own Risk: #3 Almanaar beat stakes-level horses in his return to the races after over a year away from the track, and the result was a win and a 100 Beyer. He’s a player in here. #9 Deauville has a chance as well if he can run back to last year’s effort. Notice that he was the 9/5 favorite and missed by less than a length.
Unused Horse That Bettors Will Like: I’m chucking #10 Robert Bruce. His A-game (that we’ve seen) can’t beat any of the aforementioned horses’ A-games and I expect AT LEAST one of them to bring it. He does get a weight break on the field, but I just think that others are better.
Must Use: If I had a single in this sequence, then it would be #6 A. A. Azula’s Arch. In her first time on turf, she fired off a career-best 85 Beyer while missing by 2 lengths to Got Stormy, who would be 2/5 if she ran here. A. A. Azula’s Arch has every right to improve in her second time on turf, she can go to the lead or stalk, and she has won before at this distance. The barn is also firing at 20% in graded stakes, so they aren’t running her just to take a shot.
Dismiss at Your Own Risk: New York has the best turf runners in America, and #3 Pamina’s last win was impressive. She’s improved nicely over every start and I love the jump when adding Lasix two races ago, plus she won at this distance last time out and should have pace to close into. I’m including #13 Beyond Blame as well, but she’s got a lot to overcome if she wants to win here. The far outside draw is terrible for a stalker because she has a bunch of speed to her inside. Her race could be over in the first turn if she’s stuck running four-wide.
Unused Horse That Bettors Will Like: Violence is one of my favorite sires and trainer Donnie Von Hemel is Aaron’s boy, but I’ve got to leave #4 Cosmic Burst on the outside looking in. I’m not willing to take 4-1 on the highest weight in the race, especially when he has never run a step on turf.
Must Use + Risk ticket: 2, 7, 9, 12, 13 / 3, 4, 7, 8 / 3, 8, 9, 11 / 3, 6, 13 – $120
I’m playing two, one keyed on the Brown fillies and one keyed on the last leg. If I’ve got both of those races right, then I hit big for $1. If not, the finale will still pay well, and $0.50 should be just fine:
2, 7, 9, 12, 13 / 3, 7 / 3, 8, 9, 11 / 3, 6, 10, 13 – $80
2, 7, 9, 12, 13 / 3, 4, 7, 8 / 3, 8, 9, 11 / 3, 6 – $80
If I was aggressive, here’s how I would shrink it down:
2, 9, 12, 13 / 3, 7 / 3, 8, 11 / 3, 6 – $24
Good luck on Million Day!
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