08/01/2014 5:04PM

Dunleavy: Mountaineer pick 5 play (adjusted for scratches)

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Barbara D. Livingston
Delaunay will be favored in race 6, the second leg of the Mountaineer pick five.

The West Virginia Derby is supported by a nice undercard, comprised strictly of stakes races. There is a 50-cent pick five on races 5-9. The first four races in the sequence look pretty straightforward, but the final race looks up for grabs to me. Here is a $34 play intended to hit the pick five multiple times.

This ticket originally started off as an $89 ticket but has been adjusted for scratches (as of noon Saturday).

Race 5
$100,000 President’s Cup, fillies-mares, 1 mile and 70 yards on turf

I so badly want to single Sassy Kitten (No. 8) in the first leg, but Malibu Yankee (12) ran super winning the $100,000 Opelousas Stakes at Evangeline Downs last out and I have to use her, too. They could easily fill the exacta in this race.

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Sassy Kitten shipped in for the $75,000 Firecracker Stakes at Mountaineer on July 2, which was run over yielding turf. She made what appeared to be a winning move on the far turn, had the lead entering the stretch, but was caught in deep stretch by La Malaguena, who also is in this field.

Trainer Mike Maker thinks Sassy Kitten may have been “wandering” in the stretch after making the lead and will add blinkers for this race. Jockey Alan Garcia also will likely wait a bit longer to make his move than Sassy Kitten’s rider did in the Firecracker. She will be tough to beat.

Malibu Yankee has raced at Fair Grounds, Keeneland, Arlington, and Evangeline since Tom Amoss took over her training four starts back. In the Opelousas Stakes, she raced behind a slow pace but was still able to close and win a four-horse blanket finish.

The morning-line favorite is the Jimmy Toner-trained Moment in Dixie, but I will be taking a stand against her. After winning her first two career starts, she is 1 for 13, albeit against some pretty salty company.

Race 6
$100,000 Robert Byrd Memorial, 3-year-olds and up, six furlongs

Delaunay (4) just missed to Work All Week in the $125,000 Iowa Sprint last time out over a muddy track for Amoss. That win was Work All Week’s seventh in a row. Delaunay may be a half-step slower than he was a year ago, but he is one tough cookie and looks better than these.

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I wa also going to use Ghost Is Clear (5) but he has been scratched.

Race 7
$100,000 West Virginia Governor’s, 3-year-olds and up, 1 1/16 miles

The Friday evening news that heavy favorite Moonshine Mullin would scratch makes Carve (8) the horse to beat in the Governor's. Carve was going to be the second choice in the Governor's but would have had to run down Moonshine Mullin. The scratch leaves the Governor's short on speed and Carve should be able to controlthe tempo. Outbacker, another speed threat, has also been scratched.

The lack of speed in the race puts Mylute at a decided disadvantage, and makes Carve a pick-five single.

Race 8
Grade 2, $750,000 West Virginia Derby, 3-year-olds, 1 1/8 miles

I see Vicar’s In Trouble on the lead, Tapiture challenging him on the far turn, and Candy Boy running on late. If Tapiture doesn’t get by Vicar’s In Trouble, he should soften him up for Candy Boy. I will use both Tapiture (5) and Candy Boy (9) evenly on the ticket.

Race 9
$100,000 House of Delegates Speaker’s Cup, 3-year-olds and up, 1 mile and 70 yards on turf

Two horses in here come out of Silver Max’s front-running victory in the Grade 2 Firecracker at Churchill Downs. I watched the replay and really wasn’t impressed.

Two horses in here come out of the $75,000 Independence Day at Mountaineer. I wasn’t wowed.

I did think Greengrassofyoming ran well when he finished a close fourth in a third-level, $100,000 optional-claiming race at Arlington, and he is my tepid top pick at what should be a nice price.

But this race is as wide open as it gets to me (I can see the favorite winning since I said that) and I will spread big time. Of the 11 runners, I will use eight of them, fiveon the main ticket and three on a sub-ticket.

In addition to Greengrassofyoming (5), my main-ticket horses are Free World (2), Regally Ready (7), Key to Power (8), and Point Finish (9).

My sub-ticket horses are Pitch N Roll (6), Praise Worthy (10), and Coalport (11).

I rarely go this deep in a race.

I originally was going to use Keg Party here but he has been scratched.

Tickets (50-cent denominations)
$10 Main ticket
Race 5: 8-12
Race 6: 4
Race 7: 8
Race 8: 5-9
Race 9: 2-5-7-8-9

$5 ticket keying Sassy Kitten (8) in leg 1 with the other main-ticket horses
Race 5: 8
Race 6: 4
Race 7: 8
Race 8: 5-9
Race 9: 2-5-7-8-9

$10 ticket keying Delaunay (4) in leg 2 with the other main-ticket horses
Race 5: 8-12
Race 6: 4
Race 7: 8
Race 8: 5-9
Race 9: 2-5-7-8-9

$2 ticket keying Greengrassofyoming (5) in the final leg with the other main-ticket horses
Race 5: 8-12
Race 6: 4
Race 7: 8
Race 8: 5-9
Race 9: 5

$1 ticket keying my top picks in legs 1, 2, 3, and 5 with Tapiture and Candy Boy in leg 4
Race 5: 8
Race 6: 4
Race 7: 8
Race 8: 5-9
Race 9: 5

$6 sub-ticket keying Pitch N Roll (6), Praise Worthy (10), and Coalport (11) in the final leg with the other main-ticket horses
Race 5: 8-12
Race 6: 4
Race 7: 8
Race 8: 5-9
Race 9: 6-10-11