09/13/2012 3:39PM

Balmoral: A Super Night on tap Saturday


Saturday is Super Night at Balmoral Park. It is basically the equivalent of the New York Night of Champions (one of my favorite nights) or any other Sire Stakes finals night, except for Illinois breds.

I have to admit that perusing the Super Night card has never been high on my list of priorities. In fact, most tracks west of Ohio rarely get my attention (except Grand Circuit action at the Red Mile). But with the decision to produce an event page with live video to highlight the Super Night card, I was forced into handicapping action.

Truth be told, the card is quite good and I have probably been missing out over the years when I failed to pay attention to the Orange and Blue or Grandma Ann finals.

The 14-race card may not have any bona-fide national stars (although Riccolo could turn into a nice horse), but there are plenty of good-looking pacers and trotters who are sure to put on a show come Saturday.

Besides a program packed with strong horsepower, the wagering end is quite appealing as well. Next to Mohawk, Balmoral should easily rank second in total handle on Saturday. That will give bettors some rich pools to wager into, regardless of your favorite exotic or straight bet.

Plus the track is offering up three guaranteed wagers on the card. A $15,000 pick five kicks it off in race 3 and a $25,000 guaranteed Super Hi-Five is being offer in the 14th race. The most popular of the wagers will be the $40,000 minimum pick four starting in race 11. Balmoral has done quite well with guaranteed wagers this year and you can expect the pool to easily eclipse the $40k mark this weekend.

I gave out my top selections for all the stakes races in this video, but let’s dig into the pick four as well and try to pick up some of that pool. After my analysis you will find two tickets. One is a play using all the horses I like and the second narrows it down for those of you on a budget.

Race 11

(4) UNCLE SMOOTHIE is clearly as fast as any of these and you have to love the fact that his connections gave him six weeks to freshen up for what will be his biggest race of the year. I’m expecting a big effort after a solid tightening mile. (5) ALS HAMMERED charged home last week and has a vicious late kick. With plenty of outside speed signed on, it could set him up nicely. (2) ICE SCRAPER is certainly sharp but probably should have held on last time; using, not loving.

Race 12

(5) IAM BONASERA jumps off the page. This classy 5-year-old is in fine form and looks to be a step or two faster than these when on his game. He is probably a good single and I’ll try that tactic on some of my tickets. (6) BOI perked up nicely last week and was stakes-spotted on the east coast earlier in the year; coming around? (2) INTHEBLINKOFANEYE rarely misses the board. Is he up to this assignment?

Race 13

My top two are coming out of the fastest Orange and Blue eliminations and are far and away the most interesting of the bunch. (6) DARTH QUAIDER did his best to keep up last week but finds a much softer spot this time around. (7) CHECKOUT MY BODY finished only a half length behind my top choice and should offer more value.

Race 14

(2) FOX VALLEY ACTION has posted three straight wins and looked good doing it. It is hard to deny that this guy is the one to beat. (7) MYSTICAL WALTER only did what he needed to do last week. He is faster than that and will likely be a major player on Saturday.

$1 Pick Four Ticket: 2,4,5 – 2,5,6 – 6,7 – 2,7 = $36

$1 Pick Four Ticket: 4,5 – 5 – 6,7 – 2,7 = $8

Good Luck!

More Balmoral

If you want another opinion on Balmoral, Jeremey Day has handicapped the entire Saturday card and will provide daily analysis from that track.

Big races at Mohawk

Mohawk has three monster stakes races including the $1,000,000 Canadian Trotting Classic for 3-year-olds. Greg Gangle and I discuss the CTC, the Peaceful Way and the Wellwood in the video below. You can also read his full-card analysis here.