Updated on 12/03/2016 10:31AM

Illman: Turfway Park pick four for Saturday, Dec. 3


Let’s take a look at the late pick four at Turfway Park on Saturday.

Race 6

The Holiday Inaugural looks loaded with speed, and I’m hoping that MELALEUCA (8) can strike from just off the pace. It appeared that the connections made a concerted effort to take this mare back in her most recent start, and she rewarded them with a rallying runner-up effort behind the favored Clairenation.

Others to consider in the pick four include DEAR ELAINE (2), a 3-year-old trying an unfamiliar surface; TOUCH OF BLING (3), a filly who took a step forward with blinkers; and TOUCH AND SMILE (5), undefeated from three starts over synthetic.

I won’t use the also-eligible CONTRASTING (13) on my original TicketMaker play, but please utilize her if she draws into the body of the race.

Race 7

Lots of folks will gravitate toward CERRO (1) based on his recent Beyer Speed Figures and top connections, but he’s no slam dunk. Cerro has done the bulk of his damage on dirt and hasn’t raced on synthetic in more than two years. I can’t pitch him in the pick four but will resist the temptation to single.

Instead, I’ll also use CHAPTER TWO (3), a gelding who is back to synthetic (5-3-1-0 lifetime) after an even effort against a good field of allowance runners on turf.

Race 8

It’s hard to trust BLAME IT ON TEKELA (8), a 6-year-old who is 2 for 24 lifetime and hasn’t won in more than a year, but his recent turf races tower over these. I’ll lean on him in the multiple-race wagers but will also use a couple of longshots as backups.

SILVER LUCKY Q (1) has been flat in his last two at Gulfstream Park West but seems well spotted for his local debut. SQUEEGEE (2) tries Polytrack for the first time. He needs a form reversal but owns back numbers that indicate he can factor.

Race 9

GUIDON (3) halves in claiming price after tiring at Churchill, but his good prior turf form might bode well for synthetic success. In this spread race, I’d also consider WADDY (5), a 16-time maiden cutting back in distance; MANTOVANI (9), a colt returning from an extended layoff with a big drop in class and several equipment changes; and BOOMBOSH (11), beaten at 2-5 in his last two starts but adding blinkers here.