03/29/2012 12:48PM

How to bet Fair Grounds Sunday Pick 4 - April 1, 2012


Here's my race-by-race rundown of Sunday's pick four at Fair Grounds. I'm building my wager with TicketMaker, found exclusively on DRF.com.

Race 7 (Optional claiming race)

This opening leg of the Pick 4 may be the toughest of all the races in the sequence, and, as a result, I'm going to use most of them in one form or another. FORBIDDEN FOREST (#3) rallied nicely in his latest despite some slow fractions up front. THE PROGRAM (#6) didn't run badly in his lone turf try to date, and he's worked very well of late. COGNASHENE (#8) has been away but his Beyers put him in the mix, and he should get ample pace. TUTTI BUONA GENTE (#14) is one of the expected speeds, and if he gets in off the AE list he has to be considered a threat to steal it. BAUERS GOT HOURS (#15) will be wide if he goes but he has a decent late kick. I'll also use GRIZZLED ROBERT, READY TO TAUNT, UP AND OUT OF SITE, GLINT and AVENSTOKE in varying degrees on lesser tickets.

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Race 8 (The New Orleans Handicap)

MISSION IMPAZIBLE (#2) was a game 2nd in the Donn when last seen, and he's worked very well since. NATES MINESHAFT (#3) has won two straight, including the Mineshaft Stakes last time, when able to shake loose; could get brave again if able to control the pace. REDEEMED (#5) was a game 3rd in the Donn, and he does seem to be at his very best at this distance. PANTS ON FIRE (#9) was very sharp in that optional claiming score at Gulfstream, and though the water clearly gets deeper here he may well be good enough if he can move forward off that effort. Backup tickets will include NEHRO, TOBY'S CORNER and FAST ALEX.

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Race 9 (The Mervin H. Muniz Jr. Memorial Handicap)

SMART BID (#4) and MR. VEGAS (#8) were a head apart in the Fair Ground Handicap, a well-graded race. Both fit here on the strength of that Beyer. PAPAW BODIE (#11) has won four straight, including the Connally in his latest, powering through the lane to post a relatively easy win; he hasn't been out since that win in late January but he couldn't be working any better. Other runners I'll use on back-up tickets include WILLYCONKER and SWIFT WARRIOR.

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Race 10 (The Louisiana Derby)

MARK VALESKI (#1A) came up a nose short in the Risen Star but he certainly proved that two turns is not much of an obstacle for him. That race, thanks to the presence of the winner, El Padrino, may have been a tougher assignment for him than this Louisiana Derby, and if he's able to run back to that effort he should be very tough here. I'll use SHARED PROPERTY and ROUSING SERMON on secondary tickets, but all of my main tickets will have MARK VALESKI as the anchor.

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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.

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