Handicapping

Pick 4 to Score: Cross Country Pick 4 – Belmont & Kentucky Downs

NYRA Bets
NYRA Bets

I have always been a fan of the multi-track Pick 4 sequences. Not only do they reduce the time between the races, but you also get some interesting payouts because the people playing are not generally on-track and the pool sizes vary! NYRABets has selected two nice turf races at Belmont Park that will intertwine with big fields at Kentucky Downs! For all of the details on this series that will be continuing all fall, click HERE.

Sequence of the Weekend: NYRABets Cross Country Pick 4 (Belmont and Kentucky Downs)

Base Wager: $0.50

Races: Kentucky Downs races 6 & 7 and Belmont Park races 8 & 9

Level of Difficulty (1-10): 6

Kentucky Downs Picks

Kentucky Downs Race 6: Grade 3, $500,000 Kentucky Downs Juvenile Turf Sprint Stakes

Must Use: This one is WIDE OPEN!  You’ve got 2-year-old fillies sprinting at a distance that none of them have tried to cover before, and many of them are eligible to make drastic improvements. I’m going to start with #10 Moonlight Romance. Trainer Wesley Ward sent this one over to Ascot, which he only does with his best. If you look at her two US efforts, she’s got the second-best turf Beyer and lost to Shang Shang Shang in her debut, a fellow Ward filly who went on to win at Ascot. #3 Faraway Kitten won her last start over Woodbine’s main course at 7 furlongs and is the only winner in this field at that distance, so she should improve second out and first time on turf. She’s bred to love these conditions, and trainer Mike Maker has been dominant at Kentucky Downs through the first two days.

Dismiss at Your Own Risk: Both #2 Chattel and #5 Carter Cat are coming out of the $100,000 Skidmore Stakes at Saratoga and should be real threats in here. I will use both but would lean on Carter Cat over Chattel if pressed. Carter Cat’s first try on the turf was not her best, so I’d expect a big step forward here, and trainer Steve Asmussen clearly believes that she’s the best on turf, which means that she should improve off of her dirt form. I’m going to include #8 Life Mission as well. Colebrook is shipping in from Europe with this daughter of Noble Mission who will be carrying nine pounds fewer than than her last effort while adding Lasix. Finally, let’s use #9 Blame the Frog, the other Colebrook, who was rained off of a turf start two back and ran so well that she ended up in the Grade 3 Schuylerville Stakes. She beat Chocolate Kisses two back, who came back to win at Saratoga, so she’s got talent.

Unused Horse That Bettors Will Like: I’m going to be against the other Ward horse here, #11 Mae Never No. While I love the name, I don’t love the draw which will cause her to run very wide around the long turn, or the fact that she previously quit at 5 1/2 furlongs. She’ll need to get 7 here while again going wide on the lead. Just too many things working against her for me. 

Belmont Race 8: State-bred N1X Allowance, $66,000

Must Use: Here’s a nice race where we can thin out! Only #3 Not So Quiet Man is going to make my Must Use section. Throw out any race on dirt and this horse fits nicely. Last time out, he caught a soft turf and was a little shorter than I would like. Here, he goes 7 furlongs and Hall of Famer Javier Castellano rides back, which are good signs.

Dismiss at Your Own Risk: The #4 Outrageous Bet would be the other horse that I’d consider using in this spot. I don’t love the fact that this one has been in this condition for over a year, but this is a very weak field for this level in New York. Catch A Cab, Shiraz, and Discretionary Marq are nice horses, but you don’t have anyone like that in here.

Unused Horse That Bettors Will Like: This one could definitely beat me, but I am going to leave off #1 Juniter Rising, who should go off as the post time favorite. I don’t like that he hasn’t run since May (after a long layoff), where he laid an egg. This horse consistently takes money and consistently does not deliver. His lone victory was a $40,000 maiden claimer vs state breds – not good for a horse that has been favored in three of his eight starts and has never raced at odds over 10-1.

Horse Racing Betting

Kentucky Downs Race 7: Grade 3, $500,000 Ladies Turf Stakes

Must Use: If you like back class, then you will love #9 Insta Erma. She’s run in four straight graded stakes while facing the likes of Fault, Off Limits, and Cambodia, and her Beyers in late ’17 and early ’18 tower over this field. If she can run back to those effort, then she wins here. Since I am not 100% sure that she can, then I will use the improving #6 Pas de Soucis as well, who should be rounding into her top form for the Jorge Abreu barn. Adding the best turf jockey in the world (Flavien Prat) should help as well.

Dismiss at Your Own Risk: How deep can we go? #8 In The Lee beat Pas de Soucis twice, so we’ve got to use her. At a price, #4 Oh So Terrible is oh so interesting. She’s coming off of a good showing against the two best horses in this division, Sistercharlie and Fourstar Crook, while running a Beyer that fits here. You’ll get every bit of that 15-1 morning line and then some. Trainer Phil D’Amato has done a great job with #3 Storm the Hill, so she’ll make it onto the ticket here – barely.

Unused Horse That Bettors Will Like: I went into detail on this one on the most recent The Magic Mike Show podcast. I just don’t like #1 I’m Betty G in this spot. She’s coming out of weaker fields and will have trouble getting the mile at Kentucky Downs. I’d use her underneath in single-race bets, but I don’t think that she’s a win candidate against this bunch.

Belmont Race 9: Allowance N1X, $77,000

Must Use: Speed did very well sprinting on the Belmont turf, so I’m looking for horses that will be close to the pace here. Let’s start with #7 Orecchiette, who’s run very well in her 4YO campaign. Her wins two and three back were both here at Belmont over solid fields for the level, and she should be on or close to the pace. #2 Transaction Tax looks awfully dangerous here, with the speed to be close to the pace and the stamina to finish. Also, she’s coming out of three straight mile-long efforts, so she should have the necessary kick down the lane. Saratoga’s N1X fields are always ultra-tough, so this race is a class relief of sorts.

Dismiss at Your Own Risk:  You know that I love me some Violence offspring, so I’ve got to include #6 Violent Times after she took a nice step forward in her first time on turf. She should improve again in her second start off of a layoff plus her second time over turf, and the extra distance should be a positive, too. Trainer Bill Mott sends out #9 Length, a nice filly by War Front that was impressive breaking her maiden last out while sprinting over the Saratoga turf. She should love the extra 1/16 of a mile as well, and any improvement off of the last Beyer should win this race.

Unused Horse That Bettors Will Like: Trainer Jonathan Thomas sends out #10 Kundray here, who should improve off of her last, but I’m not sure that she can take a big enough step forward here to beat the horses that I chose. She’s also coming out of NY-bred races with smaller purses, so this is a sizable step up in class.

Mike’s Tickets

I’m going to spend a little more money here since I don’t want to single:

$0.50 Pick 4 – 2, 3, 5, 8, 10 / 3, 4 / 3, 4, 6, 8, 9 / 2, 6, 7, 9 – $100

My smaller ticket would be:

2, 3, 5, 8, 9, 10 / 3, 4 / 6, 8, 9 / 2, 6, 7 – $54

Best of luck!

Kentucky Downs Picks

3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. James

    September 8, 2018 at 8:49 am

    Mike, you are working too hard my friend! I love the articles, it has helped me tremendously in pick 4s and ticket construction. After thinking about it there is no way I can single Arklow, I’m gonna do two tickets instead. I can’t do it with a closer in a field that is stacked. Your articles have been the missing piece of what I needed to cash a pick 4 ticket. It wasn’t as big as we had hoped but it was more than just the payout, it was a hurdle I had never crossed

  2. Mike Somich

    September 8, 2018 at 10:25 am

    Thanks man, it’s a labor of love!

    That’s incredible that you cashed! I like Arklow today as well and that would be one heck of a single. I couldn’t get that aggressive, but that would definitely separate your ticket vs. the majority of the field.

  3. James

    September 9, 2018 at 8:44 am

    I ended up cashing both tickets yesterday, I picked horses that had done well on wet turf. Arklow who I almost singled and Ruby Notion. I got lucky and when the 11 scratched I picked the 2 horse as replacement and with Mikes help from the article the first leg of the pick 4 was huge! So thanks to the “Dudes” I had never hit a pick 4, now I’ve hit 3 in two weeks and I’m up almost $2800! Knowns and Unkowns and the rest of this series are great insights into handicapping. Thanks for the series it’s helped my handicapping more than anything else I’ve read on pick 4s.

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