Singles And Spreads for Delta Jackpot and DeFrancis Dash Pick 4s

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Ed DeRosa

November 18th, 2016

Thanksgiving weekend marks the last big stakes week not only of the year but also for the next two months when the Pegasus World Cup card is likely to be the first Big Event day of 2017.

Yes, there are interesting races and race meetings between now and then (Fair Grounds, Oaklawn, and Sam Houston all open, Derby points races continues, etc.), but Thanksgiving is a destination weekend.

Before we get to all the great stakes next week, though, the road there over the next few days includes great cards at Delta Downs and Laurel Park on Saturday and at Penn National and Zia on Wednesday.

We’ll get to Penn and Zia next week, as the Pick 4s at Delta and Laurel demand our attention now. The Delta sequence is a $200,000 guaranteed all-stakes Pick 4 on races 4-7 that concludes with the Delta Princess and Delta Jackpot—which are Kentucky Oaks and Derby points races, respectively. The late Pick 4 at Laurel encompasses races 8-11 and has the DeFrancis Dash as leg 2 with full fields surrounding it.

My approach to both Pick 4s is similar: Single in the opening leg and fan out from there.

At Delta, that means leaning heavily on #4 Rise Up, who we know likes bullrings in general and Delta specifically. He also holds a decided pace advantage over these with Pinson to his outside the lone danger early, but the Pace Ratings say Pinson can’t hang.

The logical horses make sense in the Sam’s Town and Princess as well with #10 Black Bear getting the nod over morning line favorite The Truth Or Else based on expected price and consistency, but a repeat of The Truth Or Else’s last wins this, and I’ll use both in equal strength in the Pick 4.

In the Princess #10 Dude Fantasy is undefeated in two starts in Florida, and I like the professionalism she’s shown sitting off the pace early but winning as the rider asked in the later stages of both races. She and Golden Mischief are the only two horses with two-turn dirt wins, and they’re the two I most want here.

That brings us to the Jackpot, which I think has potential for chaos given that none of the horses have run a par Speed Rating of 94 points. Any of them seem capable of jumping up. I’ll definitely play a 4 with 3, 10 with 1, 10 with ALL ticket for $20.

But it’s a Derby points race, so we’ll make a top pick in #7 Balandeen, who was no match for McCracken last out but was best of the rest and looks to have figured things out lately.

My other tickets look like this:

1, 2, 3, 4 with 3, 10 with 1, 10 with 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 ($40)

4 with 3, 5, 8, 10 with 1, 2, 4, 8, 9, 10 with 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 ($60)

Laurel has a similar flavor with Phlash Phelps looking much the best in the opening leg dropping back into the overnight ranks from stakes company. He’s undefeated on turf against conditioned foes, and two other reasons for singling here are 1) I want to be deep later in the sequence, and 2) if I go beyond Phlash Phelps I could make a case for all of them, and I can’t afford all of them by virtue of my previous point of wanting to go deep later.

Leg 2 is the featured De Francis Dash, and the scratch of Weekend Hideaway makes this an extremely easy to play 2, 8, 9, though I’d add that Ivan Fallanluvalot is the one to play to win if 5-to-1 on the morning line.

We’ll spread in legs 3 and 4 with #6 Kaitan interesting in leg 3 stretch out second off the layoff and sporting a Maryland turf winner under the second dam. Candida H. in the nightcap has excelled at extended sprint distances and goes turf to dirt while stretching out 3rd off the layoff.

9 with 2, 8, 9 with 1, 2, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 12, 13 with 4, 5, 7, 8, 12 ($67.50)

9 with 2, 8, 9 with 2, 6, 8, 9, 12 with 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 12 ($60)

Good luck!