Handicapping Evangeline Downs' Louisiana Legends All-Stakes Pick 4
by Dick Powell
Saturday night is Louisiana Legends night at Evangeline Downs and they will have an All-Stakes Pick 4 beginning in the 4TH Race with a $50,000 guaranteed pool. If you play $25 into it on Twinspires.com you will earn a 10 percent bonus, so it makes the bet even more juicy.
With a $0.50 minimum, $25 will get you 50 combinations. But, with field sizes of eight, 11, nine and 12, there are 9,504 possible combinations so we will have to do some sharp handicapping to whittle it down.
The first leg is the Soiree Stakes for Louisiana-bred three-year-old fillies going a two-turn mile on the main track. Speed does well and inside posts do well as well so LA MISTAKE (#1) looks logical after winning four of five career starts, including a romp over the track going seven furlongs as the 1-5 favorite. The one time La Mistake was beaten, it was by TESTING ONE TWO (#4), who ran her down at Delta Downs against similar company. In order to have some bullets for the later races, we’ll stick with these two.
The 5TH Race five is the second leg – the Mademoiselle Stakes for distaffers, three-years old and up, going 5 1/2 furlongs on the main track. According to the BRIS Race Summary for this course and distance, outside posts do extremely well, so a clear path might be more valuable than saving ground in traffic.
SHAMROCK STAR (#6) enters this contest off two straight strong efforts in dirt sprints over the track against open company allowance foes. OVERTHEGARDENGATE (#2) has a ton of early speed and will most likely be on the lead from the inside. Roberto Morales gets off that one to ride a Larry Jones shipper, OURS TO RUN (#7), who had a good win against state-bred stakes foes at Delta Downs going five furlongs on a sloppy track earlier this season. Al Stall Jr. sends out EFFORTING (#4), who was second in last year’s Soiree Stakes going long and boasts a win in a $50K stakes race going seven furlongs. RACH’SLASTSCARF (#8) is a horse for the course who has been freshened up and has run well here at this distance.
The 6TH Race is the third leg, a starter stakes for three-years old and up who have started for $10,000 or less in 2017-2018 going a mile on the turf. THEORYINTOPRACTICE (#5) made his turf debut here last out and the son of Into Mischief romped by 4 3/4 lengths in fast time for trainer Bunky Richards. If he can run back to that effort 16 days later, he will be tough to beat in here since he is already a Louisiana-bred stakes winner at Delta Downs. For money management purposes, I am going to single him in the Pick 4.
The 7TH Race is the final leg and 12 older geldings will go 5 1/2 furlongs on the dirt in the Sprint Stakes. Here is where we really need to spread out and hope to get some kind of price.
SIR GENGHIS (#9) is a horse for the course with five wins and three seconds in nine starts here. He has been off for 170 days but his back class speaks for itself and, despite having many route races in his past, he is three-for-seven at this short distance. STAND HIM UP (#7) won a similar stakes race at Fair Grounds two starts back for trainer Tucker Alonzo and has the second highest BRIS Speed rating on dirt. DAY DRINKER (#1) was a sharp winner on the dirt at Fair Grounds then came back and showed high speed there in a turf sprint. This is a move up in class but he looks fast and dangerous to me. RIVER BOBCAT (#2) is a stone-cold speedball who draws inside with top rider Tim Thornton, who will gun him hard and hope to hang on. Finally, MONTE MAN (#3) will be flying late with Gerard Melancon and will be hard to deny if he gets any kind of trip.
So, our Evangeline Downs’ All-Stakes Pick Four will look like this:
Race 4: 1, 4
Race 5: 2, 4, 6, 7, 8
Race 6: 5
Race 7: 1, 2, 3, 7, 9
Total = $25