04/18/2012 10:37AM

How to bet Aqueduct's Friday Pick 4 - April 20, 2012

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Here's my race-by-race rundown of Friday's pick four at Aqueduct on April 20, 2012. I'm building my wager with TicketMaker, found exclusively on DRF.com. I'm making incremental bets at the minimum $0.50, with a budget of $100.

Race 6 (Optional claiming race)

ELUSIVE STORY (#3) is eligible here due to the turf try on the drop at Gulfstream, but he held his own in some strong maiden special weight contests on the main track to begin his career, and was a much-the-best winner back on dirt most recently. Of the five last out winners in this field, he seems most likely to me to run as well right back, and will be my "A." PHOTON (#8) was holding good form down in Florida for different barns, but improved to new Beyer top first off the claim by Dutrow; turns back and has shown that he can run from off the pace, which will play in this race crowded with speed-types. Will back up with him as a "B."

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Race 7 (Allowance race)

Want to spread a bit late in this Pick 4, so will lean on ZULTANITE (#4) who flashed potential on grass at two, and is clearly the most progressive runner in this field, in which five of the seven are entered off of layoffs. Trainer off to slow start here, but usually has this type ready to go for the opening of turf season in New York. Taking only backups with the two imports -- SYLVESTRIS (#1), who faced some top competition in posting 1-for-10 record overseas (Theyskens’ Theory, Blue Bunting, Dubawi Gold, Western Aristocrat) and she has had a prep sprinting on the dirt; and MAGICAL CAT (#2) switching to dangerous connections and getting Lasix, though she may want to go further. 

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Race 8 (Claiming race)

Tough to trust anyone in this evenly matched $50,000 claimer for older horses, so will take plenty of coverage. The ones I haven’t been particularly high on -- Crown the Chief, HEWITTS (#4), BERNIE THE MAESTRO (#5) and OBLIGINGLY (#6) -- all figure to be involved early, so I’ll make them "B’s" and look for somebody to close them down. Assuming EA (who just ran on Sunday) will be the scratched half of the Dutrow entry, those would be HE’S SO CHIC (#3), STARFORADAY (#7), and JET SET VINNY (#8).

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Race 9 (Claiming race)

Appears to be plenty of speed signed on in the finale, though whether they ride it that way is always an open question. Jacobson goes with pair of California shippers in BLUE TAMBORINE (#1) and BLUE GRASS MUSIC (#2), and while neither of them appears to be any great shakes, they have complimentary styles and it isn’t a tough spot; using them both.  Maybe DOPKE GAL (#6) catches a pace that she can work with here (she’ll need one) and SILVER CHEST (#7) interests me getting back to grass, as she has turf form from another lifetime (2008 and 2009) that would make her tough.

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My wagers

With TicketMaker I'm able to put greater emphasis on my "A" selections while still having coverage with my "B" and "C" picks just in case. This allows me to maximize my budget of $100 for this pick four (putting me $4 under it).

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