by Brett Sturman
Lazarus N and McWicked, Youaremycandygirl and Kissin In The Sand among premier matchups in Saturday Pick 4 sequence
Saturday, Oct. 6
$10,000 Guaranteed Pick 4 Races 7-10
$1 Pick 4 Ticket: 2-3-6 / 1-5 / 5-7 / 4-6 $24
Race 7, $63,000 International Stallion Stake 2YO Colts Pace
AIR FORCE HANOVER got back on track last week when winning his Bluegrass division after setting an unnecessarily wild pace two back at Delaware in a three-horse field. For trainer Brian Brown, that 1:51 win last out was a career best and should be raced prominently throughout now. ARITE’S IDEAL offered good pace on both ends of his mile last out as a longshot, losing only to the same horse that beat #2 two back. He closed in :26.1 in his most recent following a third place finish in the NYSS final; a nice colt for Erv Miller with Marcus driving. CAPTAIN AHAB will loom the prohibitive favorite and goes on Lasix now following his disappointing race last out in the Metro final. He was 7 for 7 prior and if he bounces back to form is an obvious threat to beat these. DE LOS CIELOS DEO folded in the Metro but all of his starts prior were solid; back to rallying tactics?
Race 8, $179,000 Allerage Farms Open Pace
LAZARUS N and MCWICKED go at it for the fourth time in this race, with the former holding a 2 to 1 advantage. There’s no question that LAZARUS N has been a high quality horse since arriving here but perhaps he’s a victim of the expectations that were set on him upon arrival. He was fortunate to hang on in the Hoosier Pacing Derby despite having things all his own way and has now had a couple of weeks to refresh following that win. Tough to predict how good he’ll be in this race, but it’s a certainty the price will be short. MCWICKED had an almost impossible trip last out at Dayton and could only manage a third-place finish; prior to that he closed in a :25.1 wind-aided final quarter when he just missed against Lazarus; no excuses today from the rail as he seeks to even the score. DONTTELLMEAGAIN has really burst onto the scene in a big way recently. He was airborne from an impossible spot two back and then last out blazed the way through fast fractions en route to a solid win. A lightly raced 4-year-old, the Dragon Again gelding is in career form for trainer Jim King. WESTERN FAME isn’t without a chance if Brett Miller can find a way into it; comes up with some good ones every now and then.
Race 9, $62,000 International Stallion Stake 2YO Colts Pace
As with Captain Ahab from above in race 7, PROOF is in the same category of having to guess to some degree what to expect. Granted, he closed in :26.2 last week off second over cover, but he clearly didn’t fire anything close to his best and ended up missing the board as the 1-9 favorite. There’s nothing wrong with any of his prior races and is another candidate looking for a big kind of bounce back mile. SUGAR FACTORY is capable of early speed if Callahan is in a position to use it; he was impressive last week over this track in 1:50.2 as a longshot. CAPTAIN CRUNCH has lost his last pair after starting off with three straight wins to begin his career; fits on paper with most of these. CAPTAIN VICTORIOUS almost took them all the way last week in the Bluegrass, just getting caught to lose by a neck. He had things his own way once he made front in that race and may not have as easy a climb to the top from out here.
Race 10, $113,750 Tattersalls 3YO Filly Pace
YOUARMYCANDYGIRL has been a Jekyll and Hyde horse all this year. When she’s good, she goes in 1:48.2 and when she’d bad, it’s dramatic. She comes off a break in the Jugette over the Delaware half-mile track but she’s bounced back in these types of situations before; the Red Mile suits her well where she was a 1:50 winner here last year at 2. KISSIN IN THE SAND renews her rivalry with the top pick and has remarkably consistent all year long; an obvious choice that must be included on all tickets.
ALEXA’S POWER makes her first start since winning the Jugette but for the most part has been a step slower than the top selections in their head to head races; inclined to let her beat me if she can from out here at the shorter than usual price. Ohio star BARON REMY took on KISSIN IN THE SAND last out in a big step up in class and was pretty good; gets another shot at these open fillies.