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Getting serious at the races

Steve Bortstein for The Daily Times
The Daily Times

FARMINGTON — Today's preview of the racing card at Sunray Park and Casino has little to do with storylines, and it has even less to do with stakes races and added money purses.

This is all about being smarter than the person sitting next to you.

If you're reading this, don't share it with the person sitting across from you at the track. This information is for your eyes only.

Today's late pick four, a wager in which you must successfully have the winner in races six through nine, has a guaranteed pool of $1500. When you take into consideration that Sunray's live program will be one of the few tracks racing in America today, the pool could easily swell much higher.

The minimum wager is 50 cents. The more combinations of horses you use, the higher the cost of the ticket.

But the possibility is there for a monumental score.

So how does that benefit you?

Well, let's try and find out.

Race six on the all-thoroughbred program is a 4 1-2 furlong claiming race for New Mexico-bred fillies and mares.

I'm going to spread this race, meaning I'll be using multiple horses. The morning line favorite, No. 4 Missing Reba, comes from good connections. However she hasn't won a race in more than a year, losing six straight in the process.

Roll So Gold comes from the resurgent Bart Hone stable, which has sent out some live runners this past week. She's also gone some time between wins, but should get a much better trip under Irwin Rosendo and rates a long look.

I'm going to use five horses in the sixth race, the opening leg of the pick four - Nos. 2, 4, 5, 7 and 10.

The top three morning line choices in the seventh race all rate big looks.

No. 2 Infinitys Moon comes in for leading trainer Justin Evans, making his local debut after a series of races this year at Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie, Texas. The son of Malibu Moon broke his maiden two starts back and might have found a spot where he can win his local bow.

No. 4 Sams Blue Cat and No. 8 Hit The Mark both ran into a very good horse in their most recent start. They appear to both be coming up to better efforts today.

Admittedly, I'm taking a bit of a gamble singling No. 5 Full Consent in the eighth race. He is looking for his third straight win for trainer Ed Kereluk and appears to be going very well right now. At 9-to-2 on the morning line, he will represent a bit of value in a strong allowance feature.

In the ninth and final race of the day, which also features a Super High Five Jackpot carryover pool of over $1000, I'll go deep in this race as well.

The morning line favorite, No. 4 Suancesong, makes his first start since being claimed by Justin Evans. He gets a key rider change to Alfredo Juarez Jr. and gets some pace at which to run.

That being said, there are several other contenders in the finale. No. 3 Quite Spectacular exits a very productive race, in which four horses came back to win their next start. The Curt Ferguson trainee has every right to be a factor at a big price on the board.

Five deep for me in the nightcap, including Nos. 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7.

The total investment for the ticket posted here would be $37.50. If it wins, you may feel free to thank me in whatever method you choose. If it loses, feel free to remind me of my bad advice, but thank me at least for the effort.

WEEKEND PREVIEW: Sunday's $50,000 New Mexico Breeders' Stakes, at a distance of 400 yards, features the return of Sunburst Stakes winner Regal First Moon.

Trained by Ramon Rivera and scheduled to be ridden by Jesse Levario, Regal First Moon is a statebred three-year-old filly by First Moonflash who has won three of her last four starts and could go well favored against a strong field of six rivals.

Blazin Version and American Gunslinger look like the main competition in what will be a strong Sunday featured race.

PLAYS OF THE DAY: Each day during the current racing season, Sunray Park track announcer Eric Alwan and paddock show host Steve Bortstein offer their best bets on that day's program.

Alwan's best bet comes in the eighth race, and he likes No. 4 Dirt Monster. He exits a third place finish in the Charles Taylor Derby at the Downs at Albuquerque and races for the leading barn in the colony.

Bortstein's best bet comes in the third race, where he likes No. 2 Chibita. He's been in consistently good form and is looking for his second straight win over what could be one of his favorite courses.

Steve Bortstein hosts "First Sports" and "The Fast Track" on Fox Sports 1340 AM and 93.9 FM and on iHeartRadio. He serves as paddock show host at SunRay Park & Casino and is a voting member of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association. Follow him @fox1340am on Twitter.