Evangeline Downs Pick 5 for July 23: Cornerstone Race
We might see storms roll through Opelousas Friday and Saturday, which could change a few things here. Fingers crossed that we don’t because we have a quality turf contest in Race 7.
Let’s lean on the likely winners in races 5 and 8, so we can be sure to capitalize on our longshot opinions in races 4 and 7. When doing this, we want to be careful we don’t back into a cloud of chalk, especially because morning lines often get it wrong, leaving us with a low payout because the public was more in line with our thinking. Race 4 is one I feel confident that we will get a price close to the morning lines on these.
Race 6 is the cornerstone race - our key opinion here is what will separate our ticket from the majority of others. This is what holds our ticket together; otherwise, we’d be aiming for 10 or 15-1, which we can likely find on one of our opinions in races 4 or 7. We’ll stay away from likely odds-on favorite #2 Guitarzan (2-1)--this is a front-running horse who crumbles when headed, facing a ton of early speed. We’ll play all our opinions on this ticket, instead of divvying up into A, Bs, and Cs.
50-cent Pick 5
- Race 4 - 1,8,11
- Race 5 - 1,2,5
- Race 6 - 4
- Race 7 - 2,3,5
- Race 8 - 1,2
Race 4 - Dirt 5 1/2 Furlongs Md Sp Wt $24k 3yo & up state-bred fillies
Five horses in this field faced each other last out and they finished second through sixth. There’s only one I want out of those: #1 Talents Hot Deal (10-1) gave a huge late run, though erratic and losing ground. Maybe she figured it out halfway through the race. Second-time starter with two more workouts under her belt could lift the lid on this pot of gold sequence. #8 Not So Sweet (8-1) comes out for hot connections and has the pedigree on top and bottom to win at first asking. #11 Field of Lights (12-1) wasn’t asked out of the gate on debut--looks like they wanted to get one in her. Still she posted a strong speed figure. The pick.
Race 5 - Turf About 7 Furlongs Md 12500 3yo & up fillies
#5 Ann’s Storm (3-1) has had to close into slow fractions the last two races, but should get a better set-up today. She beat #1 High Value Target (5-2) to the wire last out, though that foe had to duel in the early stages and should be fitter for her second go on the turf. #2 Secret Melody (2-1) is dropping form maiden special weight ranks and faces the two-turn question. Should be fit and attracts Thornton.
Race 6 - Dirt 1 Mile Clm 5000N2Y 3yo & up state-breds
#4 Wise Guy (9-2) has the back-class edge and makes his second start after being claimed by 5-for-5 trainer Joseph Felks. He has won from off the pace and on the lead--a tactical edge he will need against this front-speed-heavy field.
Race 7 - Turf About 1 Mile OC 20k Purse: $24K 3yo & up
#2 Peacock Kitten (12-1) will be the overlay in this field. An accomplished five-time winner from a strong trainer who saw him fit to run in the Muniz Memorial Classic (G2). He might need one to race back in shape, but the price will be right to include here. #3 Fortuity (15-1) will walk over from Faucheux’s barn trying to take another step towards the winner’s circle form he had on Thanksgiving at Fair Grounds last year. #5 Jaci’s Royalty (4-1) has form and the pace set-up to keep his good runs going.
Race 8 - Dirt 5 Furlongs Md 12500 3yo & up state-bred fillies
A two-horse race, and we want to capitalize on our longshot opinions earlier, so let’s take both #1 Two Punch Fist (2-1) and #2 Scrappy (7-5). Stepping up in price tag but now facing state-breds, Two Punch Fist only needs to improve mildly to win here. Scrappy gets a rider upgrade with McMahon taking over for the apprentice. Both have good signal, and it’s hard to take one or the other.