Brian’s condensed Pick 4 preview, October 17

With the scheduled Grade III Athenia getting cancelled on Thursday due to the heavy rains in the forecast, there’s a good chance that all of Saturday’s action will be washed off the turf. With that in mind, we’ll take a condensed look at the late Pk4 in terms of the main-track-only.

Race 7: $16,000 claimer for 3-year-olds and up at 1-mile.

THEARTOFCOMPROMISE takes a significant class drop and looks set to score for a barn overdue for a win; has shown in the past that he doesn’t mind a sloppy track as well. EL BORRACHO exits the restricted state-bred claiming ranks, which is a sign of confidence by Chip Dutrow; needs to raise his game a tad, which can almost be expected in this barn. TOP LEADER showed in his last that he fits at the level and now adds Dominguez; could be in line for a nice trip behind the speed.

Race 8: $22,000 claimer for 3-year-olds and up at 7 furlongs on the Widener turf

Assuming this one gets washed onto the main track, SAN NAA has some excellent off-track form and could catch a bunch of runners playing his game; could be long gone on the lead should he draw in. STORMZAPPER probably didn’t beat much at Monmouth when he defeated maiden claimers in his last, but did it the right way over a next-out winner; bred to excel in the mud as well. SHAREHOLDER DUES enters off a win over maiden claimers, which continued his good form since going to Callejas three starts ago; the main danger if the pace heats up early.

Race 9: $43,000 starter-allowance for 3-year-olds and up at 7 furlongs

BANKING HOLIDAY gets the tepid call in an extremely contentious race based on his tactical speed, which should allow him to get the jump on DREAM AGAIN, who might struggle to close ground on a sloppy track. The former drew well and improved with blinkers added in his last. JAZZ HANDS encountered trouble early and late in his first try against winners, yet still rallied strongly to finish second and ultimately get put up for the win; needs to improve again but with Galluscio white-hot, it’s entirely possible.

Race 10: $44,000 maiden-special-weight for 3-year-olds and up at 7 furlongs on the Widener turf.

Assuming this one gets played on the main, DROVER would rate a long look based on his pedigree, most notably his half-sister Ashado, a future Hall of Famer who excelled in the slop; may be set for a breakthrough. HIGHVELDT STORM was bet down to 5-2 for his debut but blew the break and finished a distant sixth; far too early to give up on this well-bred runner. BUNKY cost over 10 times sire Afleet Alex’s stud fee and goes for Blusiewicz, who has had success with a limited amount of starters in NY; tab the tote board for the final clue.

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