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Wednesday wagers: Kadri crushes competition at Delaware

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It should be another beautiful Wednesday at Delaware Park, and I’ve got picks for five of the eight races on the program where I see value in fading the favorites on top.

Best bet: Kadri (race 3)

Best value bet: Flamenco Star (race 5)


Race 1

No. 5 Grand Rozzo (5-2) has never raced for a tag on dirt, likely his preferred surface, and enters this race as a first-time gelding while shedding weight with hot-riding apprentice Gabrial Maldonado (26 percent). Note the solid tune-up work for Victor Barboza (19 percent on the year). No. 7 Clever Tiger (7-2) could be dangerous with a smooth trip even off the layoff as he adds Lasix. No. 4 Aspiring Comedian (8-5, morning-line favorite) tries a new low but seems to be overvalued on the morning-line while luring seven-pound bug Ederik Robles (27 percent).

How I’d bet it (based on a $100 budget): $10 exacta 5/7, $5 exacta 7/5, $5 exacta 5/4


Race 3

No. 1 Kadri (6-1) has been in good form on dirt and gets back to turf, where he split a pair of quality rivals in Mid Day Image and Boats a Rockin, either of whom could justifiably be favored here, last April. It doesn’t hurt that Jamie Rodriguez (39 percent) once again has the call for Jamie Ness (34 percent). No. 6 Cash Now (8-1) nearly wired a comparable group at Belmont on the lawn last season, and while recent dirt efforts are less-than-inspiring, you’re getting a good price if you keep the faith. No. 8 Bam Bam Blu (5-2, morning-line favorite) is 2-for-2 over this course and is logical if you can forgive his last two facing tougher at Tampa. However, those efforts could be a sign of age catching up to the 12-year-old son of Curlin.

How I’d bet it: $10 exacta 1/6,8


Race 4

No. 4 Grand Pick (6-1) misfired on turf in his season debut but this dirt runner gets back to his better surface today. He’s 3-for-4 all-time at Delaware and should get plenty of pace to close into. No. 7 Spectrier (8-1) steps up in class but lures Robles and could take advantage of a pace collapse. No. 5 Visual Artist (3-1) will have company early but has back class as well as dangerous connections in Rodriguez and Ness.

How I’d bet it: $10 win 4, $4 exacta 4/5,7, $2 win 7


Race 5

No. 6 Flamenco Star (10-1) rallied on debut going slightly longer despite some traffic trouble at Laurel – capable of improving and scoring at a nice price. No. 1 Roundtop (2-1, morning-line favorite) adds Lasix for Graham Motion, who has picked his spots nicely so far at the meet (7: 4-1-0). He ran behind two next-out winners in his most recent start back in October. No. 5 Summer Soldier (4-1) cost nearly $300,000 at auction and attracts Rodriguez for Christophe Clement.

How I’d bet it: $5 exacta box 1/6, $10 win 6


Race 8

No. 1 Positively Awesome (7-2) is training well for his first start since an ill-advised turf try last
October – he nearly won at this level two-back. No. 2 Flat Lucky (5-2, morning-line favorite) would be dangerous if able to replicate his 2022 form But subsequent efforts, albeit vs. tougher, have been somewhat lacking so demand a fair price if betting to win. No. 4 Touchdown Montage (8-1) will take them as far as he can.

How I’d bet it: $8 exacta box 1/2, $2 exacta 1,2/4


Robert Criscola is a free-lance handicapper based in New York.

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