Tuesday kicks off live racing on Kentucky Derby week. The $115,000 Champions Day Marathon Overnight S. serves as the feature early on the nine-race program (4th race), but I feature upon the Late Pick 4 sequence that starts with the 6th race, which is scheduled for 3:40 p.m. (EDT).
Here are my thoughts:
#2 El Asesino enters in good form for Robertino Diodoro following a pair of efforts at Lone Star Park and Louisiana Downs, and the 5-year-old gelding fits well at this $8,000 claiming level. He looks tough to beat on the front end with David Cohen, but I will add a couple to the ticket.
#3 Feeling It posted a fine win over $10,000 claiming foes at Churchill three back. He didn’t fare as well in his last two at Ellis Park, but the sophomore gelding has the tactical foot to enjoy a good trip in this spot and is eligible to rebound with an improved showing. #8 Sharp Art doesn’t win often, but he’s shown improved speed in the last two and drops to the proper level.
A competitive field of 10 is set for the $40,000 claimer at 1 1/16 miles, and I will go four-deep. #4 Street to Indy is the top pick. He’s been showing good speed against solid company in the last three outings, and the 7-year-old gelding should be prominent from the start in a race lacking pace.
#3 Honoring Major is 3-for-9 at the distance and has solid Brisnet numbers to his credit. He performs better when able to sit close to the pace, and may get the right trip here. #6 Arrival is a one-paced type who must avoid leaving himself too much to do. However, he could receive a favorable trip today and his recent form stamps him as a win contender. #5 Fort Peck has three wins over the track. I’m willing to give him his last start, the first under the care of Michael Tomlinson, and will look for more this time.
#5 Silver N Lai is my single. An easy winner of his first two turf starts, the improving gelding was tested for class last time and took serious pressure from a pair of well-supported foes in the early stages. He shook clear entering the stretch but was run down late by Split the Wickets, who came right back to finish third in an Ellis Park stakes race next out. Silver N Lai appears to receive a much more favorable pace scenario Tuesday, and the Tom Amoss runner can prove best on the front end with James Graham.
#2 Drink came from a layoff with a respectable front-running effort on Ellis Park’s turf on Aug. 8, his first attempt against winners, and should move forward while switching back to the main track. I like seeing the 4-year-old work 5-furlongs in the interim for John Ortiz; slight edge in the finale.
I’ll also use #12 Satchet de Ritches, who turned in solid efforts at Mountaineer and Belterra this summer and is a candidate to improve significantly in his second start for Mike Maker; and #6 Fire Marshall Bill, who ran a good race breaking his maiden against cheaper two back and never had a chance after breaking from the rail last time.
50-cent Late Pick 4 ticket
- 2,3,8 with 3,4,5,6 with 5 with 2,6,12
Total cost: $18