04/19/2008 7:30PM

Pick Four Madness

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Race 1:  Can't argue with a two-turn maiden special weight even if it is linked in the Daily Double with a claimer.  Despite a tough post position, Sette E Mezzo loomed the deserving favorite after a good third-place finish to kick off his career at Gulfstream.  He had a tough outside post for this two-turn test so I also used Unique Tale from the inside.  The main track played to speed on Friday, and Edgar Prado wasted no time putting Unique Tale on the front.  Unique Tale and Tizzy basically ran one-two around the track. Sette E Mezzo tired after a wide trip. I was alive into doubles with the two horses that I used to kick off my Early Pick Four adventure.

2.  I really liked Party Crasher off his game race off the bench on Opening Day, and the track was playing to his pacesetting style.  He was the 'A' ticket with Above Board as a solid 'B'.  Again, things went according to plan.  Party Crasher broke like a shot, cleared to the inside, and kept on going.  Conversely, Above Board broke terribly from the rail, and raced greenly as the favorite.  I cashed the Double, but more importantly, was alive into the next leg of the Pick Four with a 7-2 winner.

Race 3:  Despite my affinity for baby races, I've been shut out this meet. With confidence low, I went four deep.  Miss Hen was turf-bred for Asmussen.  One Hot Toddy was the first runner by the brilliant Congaree.  Old Time Religion showed good works for Wesley Ward.  Royal Card was bred both sides for speed, and was going out for Pletchazquez.  Royal Card unseated Johnny V. soon after entering the track, and ran off for a good while.  Surprisingly, the stewards took no action, and Royal Card joined his peers during the warm up.  Evidently, the unexpected exercise did the colt some good.  He pressed the early pace, and although under the whip on the turn, gamely wore down A Day for Dancing at 2-1.

Race 4:  I felt good going two deep with Drop a Line and Awesome Ashley.  The former looked to have a pace advantage, and I've been a fan of Awesome Ashley's since she debuted at Saratoga.  Drop a Line actually rated under John Velazquez before ranging up to tackle Silence Dogood on the turn.  Awesome Ashley took her time on the rail before swinging out at the quarter-pole.  Both my picks hit the wire together for the heater with Awesome Ashley at 5-1, and Drop a Line at 6-5.

Race 5:  This is where it all fell apart.  I knew I should use logical favorite Jumpin Charlie, but he drew outside, and I wanted to be a wise guy.  El Aleman seemed to be improving from the rail while Marl made a premature mid race move in his seasonal debut on Fair Grounds turf. Excitable Boy was a reach based on his recent turf race, but he had a little zip, and I wasn't too fond of the still-green Starboard Side.  El Alaman and Excitable Boy finished up the track at big prices while Marl rallied mildly for third.  Jumpin Charlie got up late to give Pletcher his third in a row, and my Pick Four tickets were gone, gone, gone.

In the meantime, I did a segment on :58 Flat where I unsurprisingly gave out a loser.  Hey, this was a spread day for me, and I didn't want to give out questionable chalk so I landed on a 7-1 shot that did nothing.

Race 6:  Didn't have much action in the Fort Harrod although I was intrigued that Gary Contessa brought Successful Affair down from New York.  He didn't do much over the Polytrack, but Jade's Revenge relished the going.  Prado broke the 13 furlong race open entering the final turn at 5-1.

Race 7:  Late Pick Four time, and I was taking a shot by going deep.  I don't really care for Morakami, felt like she was bad favorite, and went with Daddy Sez Smokum, Grand Breeze, and Ride Em Cowgirl as 'A' picks.  Morakami was relegated to 'C' status.  Again, things started out well as Ride Em Cowgirl pressed the pace of a 60-1 shot before drawing off to win at 7-1.

Race 8:  I gave out Fanlight Fanny to the folks watching TVG, and she was an 'A' play along with razor-sharp Danceroftherealm, Taletobetold, and Just for Keeps.  I'm really not a Jazzy fan, and pitched the Grade 2 winner completely.  Again, I felt I caught a break as Jazzy didn't get the easiest of trips while Danceroftherealm overcame some late trouble to post her fourth straight win (5-2 odds)

Race 9:  The Lexington was a tough, tough race on paper, but I knew that if I could get through it, I'd be in pretty good shape for the Pick Four.  I went with the four horses I mentioned in yesterday's blog.  Samba Rooster and St. Joe both had speed, and figured to be aided by the way the track was playing.  Atoned projected for an inside trip, and Riley Tucker had good tactical speed as well.  The prices on all four were extremely generous.  Samba Rooster was 17-1, St. Joe was 20-1, Atoned was 9-2, and Riley Tucker was 10-1.  Turning for home, I thought I was made in the shade.  Samba Rooster had set fast fractions, but still held a two length lead at the quarter-pole with Riley Tucker breathing down his neck.  At the eighth pole I still felt confident, but Pletcher's Behindatthebar ran both down late.   Again, the Pick Four was gone, gone gone.

Race 10:  What made it worse was that I had Biggerbadderbetter on my tickets, and he scored at 7-1 in the finale.

How do you go six for eight, and still go home a loser.  When you bet as foolishly as I did.

Even though my wallet is lighter, I still had a great day thanks to the time I spent with members of the FormBlog team.  I'll be back in front of the Jockeys Quarters near the walking ring tomorrow afternoon if anyone wants to stop by, and chat about the races.

Too bad about War Pass.

Best of luck to everyone.  Dan