Handicapping the Parx All-Stakes Pick Four

September 24, 2017 05:54pm

Saturday’s All-Stakes Pick 4 at Parx contains the track’s two signature races, the $1,000,000 Cotillion (G1) and the $1,000,000 Pennsylvania Derby (G1), along with the $300,000 Gallant Bob (G3) for sprinters, and the PA Derby Champion Stakes. The sequence includes races 8 though 11 with post time for the first leg scheduled for 3:41pm ET.


We have had pretty good luck handicapping these all-stakes multi-race wagers recently, so let’s take a look at this 50¢ based bet and come up with a ticket to play.


Race 8PA Derby Champion Stake (3:41pm ET) – First off, the name of this stake confuses me every year, having the PA Derby in the name when the real Pennsylvania Derby is later in the card leaves me scratching my head. Anyway, this is a wide-open race with several horses that we know because they had their time on Kentucky Derby Trail in the past and because they have taken turns beating each other at tracks around the Mid-Atlantic region.


This is a race where I hope to get decent price winner, partially because of its wide-open nature and because I don’t really like the (3-1) morning line favorite, #4 Matt King Coal. He likes to run on the front end and seems to only win when the pace is not particularly fast and I don’t see that happening with the likes of #3 Grasshoppin and #6 Mr. Jordan in here. Donegal Moon #2 has been knocking on the door recently and should get an excellent pace to run at. Last race, he was beaten a nose by Destin at Saratoga. Out of respect and because they all have had their day at this level, you have to use Matt King Coal, Mr. Jordan, #8 the warrior Page McKenney, and #9 Just Call Kenny, who always is the best-looking horse in the paddock. In summary, race 8, we’ll go five deep with 2, 4, 6, 8, 9.


Race 9 – Gallant Bob (4:14pm ET) – The (2-1) entry of Petrov and Coal Front could be very tough to beat and might be shorter than the morning line odds. Petrov #1 has made the move back to sprinting after his run on the KY Derby Trail. Last out he had a very fast win at Saratoga coming from off the pace to win at seven furlongs. His entry-mate, #1A Coal Front, will be flying on the front end. I am willing to draw a line through his last race in the Jerkens. That field was extremely tough and seven furlongs is probably not that one’s best distance. Although the entry will be on the ticket, I want to take a shot at beating them with two horses that should come running late. The early pace should be very quick and set it up for #7 Excitations and #5 American Pastime.


Race 10 – The Cotillion (4:55pm ET) – The most likely winner in the sequence is #9 Abel Tasman. Her three grade one wins in a row make her the best three-year-old filly in the country. Trainer Bob Baffert likes the way she got over the Parx track. He said the surface was deep and soft, like Saratoga, and we know she loved the going at the Spa. Abel Tasman will be a single, otherwise we would have to go very deep to try and beat her.


Race 11 – Pennsylvania Derby (5:45pm ET) – West Coast #4 is a very worthy (8-5) favorite and will be tough to beat, but he will not be the only one to use in the Pick 4. If he does not win, then Pick 4 payouts will balloon, thus four others will be on the ticket. There should be an honest pace in the race, so #3 Watch Me Whip will get a favorable set-up. At (20-1) morning line, this Dale Romans runner is worth a shot as a horse that has flashed some talent in the past. Irap #5 is the most likely horse to beat the favorite. I have not given up on #8 Irish War Cry. The outside post may force him to come from off the pace and the rider change back to Feargal Lynch may help that happen. Let’s throw in one more longshot in #10 Giuseppe the Great based on his runs in the Jim Dandy and the Woody Stephens.


The Play: 50¢ Pick 4 – 2, 4, 6, 8, 9 with 1-1A, 5, 7 with 9 with 3, 4, 5, 8, 10 = $37.50


Good luck and enjoy the great day of racing at Parx!


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Meet Matt Shifman

Matt Shifman has been on the Horse Racing Nation staff since 2011 and currently serves as Assistant Editor. Matt covers Aqueduct, Belmont Park, Monmouth Park, and Saratoga in his two HRN blogs, Racing at the Jersey Shore and New York State of Racing.

Since 2012, Matt has been a voter in the NTRA weekly polls for the Top Thoroughbred and Top Three-Year-Old.

Recently, Matt helped launch Derby Day Racing, a new 2-year-old racing partnership, that just purchased a promising Lookin At Lucky filly named Sooner Schooner.

You may also know Matt by his Twitter, Facebook, and HRN screen nameAndyScoggin.

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