06/02/2017 3:24PM

King: Pick four for Penn Mile card Saturday


An all-stakes pick four at Penn National on Saturday night, beginning on the sixth race, the Penn Oaks, and concluding with the ninth, the featured Grade 2 Penn Mile, looms an attractive exotics wager. And it looks hittable on a relatively small ticket, thanks to Matt King Coal seeming to be a standout in the Mountainview, the third leg of the sequence.

Here’s a look at the races and the horses I advise using.

Race 6

I feel fairly safe using only three horses: two-time stakes winner Party Boat (4), a winner of three of five on turf; Dynatail (2), a front-runner coming off a sneaky-good third in the Hilltop at Pimlico on May 19 after pushing a demanding pace; and Adorable Miss (7), a filly unbeaten in two grass starts for trainer Todd Pletcher.

Race 7

Two horses seem to lay over these in the five-furlong Pennsylvania Governor’s Cup on turf: Rainbow Heir (7) and Richard’s Boy (2). Both horses are in top form and have the benefit of recent races, unlike Ready on Rye, who is unraced since the fall. Rainbow Heir is slightly preferred over the California-based Richard’s Boy due to the latter wheeling back on two weeks’ rest after a hard-fought victory at Pimlico on the Preakness undercard.

Race 8

Matt King Coal (4) was brave in defeat most recently in the Charles Town Classic, finishing second, beaten a neck, after having to rate due to the presence of a rabbit. Here in the Mountainview, he looks like the controlling speed and should be able to establish his preferred racing position on the lead with most of his rivals being stalkers. Time to take a stand. Single him.

Race 9

We wrap up the pick-four sequence with the Penn Mile, which drew an abundance of speed horses, seemingly aiding the chances of the late-running Big Score (7). He also happens to be the class of the race as a graded-stakes winner at Keeneland who was third in a tough Grade 2 on Derby Day at Churchill. Also worthy of use are California raider Cistron (4), who owns Beyer Speed Figures comparable to the top choice on the grass, and Frostmourne (8), a candidate to improve after running a close second in a well-rated stakes race at Aqueduct in his first race of the year.


Playing the horses suggested above, a 50-cent ticket – 2,4,7 with 2,7 with 4 with 4,7,8 – costs $9.