The final Pick 4 of the weekend in Hallandale Beach includes an intriguing maiden special weight event, a 6-furlong allowance dash over the main track, and a pair of lower level two-turn turf races. Here are my thoughts.
#6 Sneer is the clear one to beat in this 7-furlong dash for protected maidens. The Into Mischief filly dueled along the inside with #4 Erv’s Wench in her start on Mar. 22, put that runner away, and battled to the wire with eventual winner Pleasant Orb. The Christophe Clement trainee should benefit from a more favorable post and the cutback in distance. The only concern is that she has lacked a will to win thus far in her career, so I will use a couple of price horses as well.
#2 You’re the Best makes her second lifetime start after breaking slowly from the rail and racing against the flow in an event dominated by front runner Boerne. With a better break she should take a big step forward. #5 Second Grace has not been seen since a pair of starts in Canada last year. She ran a solid second on debut over the all-weather at Woodbine before a disappointing fifth-place finish as the 8-5-favorite on Aug 24. At 12-1 she is worth including.
This open $12,500 claimer at 1 1/16 miles on turf has a pair of class droppers that are tough to toss, but equally difficult to trust.
#1 Projected continues his descent down the class ladder after never getting a chance to run on Mar. 18. The former Chad Brown graded stakes runner is a shadow of his former self, but he should get a great trip along the inside under Tyler Gaffalione. #11 Bourbon in May did not draw as favorably as Projected, but takes a massive drop for Todd Pletcher. With plenty of speed to his inside, Luis Saez should be able to angle in and avoid an extremely wide trip. An obvious contender.
#12 Morning Stride makes his first start off the claim for trainer Mike Maker. The far outside draw is a concern, but the presence of Irad Ortiz Jr. and solid recent form make him tough to toss. #10 Roddick is a longshot to consider. The son of Brethren is on the improve against a group of runners that have seen better days. Expect him to be prominently placed under Emisael Jaramillo.
#2 Hop Kat won by eight lengths in his debut last May at Churchill Downs, but has not seen since. If he can get back to that effort in Louisville he will be tough to beat, but I wonder why he has been off for nearly a year after such an impressive performance.
I will try to beat the morning-line choice with #7 Ournationonparade. The son of Cal Nation ran two big races as a 2-year-old in Maryland before ending up in the Kathy Ritvo barn this winter. The Reeves Thoroughbred Racing gelding ran into a couple of real nice runners in Money Moves and Edge of Fire in his start on Mar. 27. I can forgive that sixth-place finish. The cutback to 6 panels and a comfortable outside draw make him an attractive alternative. My single.
#10 Queen’splate Nolan is the 2-1-top choice in this maiden claimer over the sod. The son of Carpe Diem has done very little running in his initial two tries, but takes a massive drop out of special weight company for trainer Mike Maker. I will use, but also include a few horses that will provide better value.
#4 Armando’s Team has struggled to get out of the gate in his first two starts, but has shown a little bit of run during wide trips. He is capable of a significant step forward with a better break. #8 Breakaway Romance and #9 Inconveyance have been outrun versus better, but the decrease in competition helps their chances. #7 Indirectly lost jockey Mario Fuentes in his first start of the form cycle on Apr. 3. His runner-up effort on Jan. 20 puts him in the mix in the Sunday finale.
- 2,5,6 with 1,10,11,12 with 7 with 4,7,8,9,10 = $30