A Pick Three for Saturday
Regrettably, I only made it to the track for a couple of races on Opening Day so I don’t have any interesting news to report. To make up for it, I’ll give you some bonus handicapping in this space.
If you’re going out to Fair Grounds in person, be sure to pick up Black Gold, the daily tip sheet featuring my expert selections. On Opening Day our top choice finished first in five out of 10 races, with winners of $10.20, $9.00, $7.80, $6.60 and $5.00. Those are legit winners, too, not those I-had-it-in-my-top-three-so-I’ll-call-it-a-winner kinds you see tip sheet guys bragging about at some tracks.
As long as we’re on the topic of my handicapping, let me add that all three of my suggested Value Plays for Opening Day resulted in winning tickets, including a $49.80 exacta in the Si Cima Stakes. The total return on my recommended wagers was $91.70.
Anyway, let’s come up with an affordable Pick Three ticket for Saturday’s races. Fair Grounds offers rolling Pick Threes all day long, so we’ll start by identifying one horse we really like, which we can single and build our ticket around.
The single will be Race 6’s #9 OSAGE COUNTY. The Malibu Moon colt showed improvement in his second start in Chicago, and shows an impressive bullet work over the Fair Grounds surface a few days back.
A three-race sequence starting with Race 6 is especially appealing because the last two legs are a pair of quality allowance events, and all races are on the main track so we don’t have to worry about scrambling to completely change our ticket if we’re off the turf.
In Race 7 we love #2 E M SQUARED. The gelding broke his maiden at first asking on the downhill turf at Santa Anita, which is no easy feat. While this race is on the main track, there is no reason to think a son of Thunder Gulch can’t succeed on both surfaces. For this second leg of our Pick Three, we’ll also use #5 NOT GROUNDED, who won a rich stakes for state-breds at Evengeline two back and will be up on the pace early.
We’ll spread out in the final leg of our Pick Three and hope to catch one of the longer prices out of #1 VICTORY ROMANCE, back in a first-level allowance after competitive stakes efforts; #5 FARASINO, winner of six straight; #6 CREEK GIRL, who chooses an allowance try for her comeback; and #8 SYRIANA’S SONG, returning from a long layoff with last season’s leading rider up.
So the ticket is a $16 investment and looks like this: $2 Pick Three 9 w/ 2,5 w/ 1,5,6,8.