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Homeracing

Cross-Country Pick 4 – Shared Belief, Dynamic Sky key; War Correspondent price play

Profile Picture: James Scully

February 6th, 2015

Gulfstream Park and Santa Anita will offer an All Stakes, $500,000 Guaranteed Cross Country Pick 4 on Saturday and I’ll be playing on TwinSpires.com.

Here is a look at the sequence:

Leg 1 (Gulfstream Race 12): MSHAWISH (#1) is a given considering how sharp he’s been this meet, earning his first U.S. stakes wins in the December 13 El Prado and January 10 Ft. Lauderdale (G2), but the late runner must avoid traffic from a tricky rail post. I’ll also include IMAGINING (#3), who ran well for second in last year’s event and looks like the controlling speed, and WAR CORRESPONDENT (#6) is an intriguing longshot play.

A lightly-raced son of War Front with plenty of room for improvement, War Correspondent has run well in a pair of North American starts since arriving from France. He figures to be ready off the layoff for top turf trainer Christophe Clement, who is enjoying another fine Gulfstream meet (seven-for-40), and his tactical speed should ensure a good trip. War Correspondent can get the jump on the late runners and I will make a straight play on him as well.

Leg 2 (Gulfstream Race 13): LEA (#4) needed his last race, a game win in the January 10 Hal’s Hope (G3), and looks tough as nails in a title defense. I won’t let PROTONICO (#8) beat me – the improving 4yo has run huge (104 BRIS Speed rating most recently) in his last two starts for Todd Pletcher, who is three-deep in this affair. I don’t like Constitution from the rail but will use COMMISSIONER (#2), who I expect to flash speed from the start in attempt to lead wire to wire with Johnny V.

Commissioner is eligible to move forward significantly from the January 10 comebacker and benefits from a lack of early speed in the 10-horse Donn.

Leg 3 (Santa Anita Race 7): DYNAMIC SKY (#8) was best last time in the San Gabriel (G2) – he never had room to run until the wire and immediately galloped out in front of the field – and I’m expecting him to rebound convincingly in this spot. Hall of Famer Neil Drydale sends out a pair of improving runners – POWER PED (#4) and POWER FOOT (#9) – that are worth a look in case the top choice stumbles, butI’m not keen on likely favorite Finnegans Wake – can’t envision him reeling off three straight graded wins.

Leg 4 (Santa Anita Race 8): SHARED BELIEF (#5) could be nine-for-nine if Bayern doesn’t eliminate his chances at the start of the Breeders’ Cup Classic. Loved his Malibu (G1) win at a seven-furlong distance that didn’t favor him and he had to run lights out that afternoon to defeat Conquest Two Step, who blistered rivals with a super-impressive victory in the Palos Verdes (G2) last weekend (108 BRIS Speed rating).

After missing the first half of last season due to an injury, Shared Belief is ready to take his game to a new level at age four.

California Chrome figures to show up ready and Hoppertunity merits respect following back-to-back graded wins, but I expect them to battle it out for second.

50-cent Pick 4 Tickets: $46.50 budget

Ticket 1 = $13.50

1,3,6
2,4,8
4,8,9
5

Ticket 2 = $12

1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8
2,4,8
8
5

Ticket 3 = $13.50

1,3,6
1,5,10
4,8,9
5

Ticket 4 = $7.50

6
2,4,8
1,2,3,5,6
5

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