Free Picks & Analysis — Who Do Ya Like?
Saturday, December 3, 2016
It’s the unofficial start of the winter racing season: opening day of Gulfstream Park’s 2016-17 championship meet! They kick off their meet with the 2016 renewal of the Claiming Crown, featuring tons of big fields and great betting opportunities.
We’ve got Brian Arrigoni (@MrB_CBYanalyst) providing free picks & analysis of all the great racing today. Brian served as the paddock analyst at Canterbury Park this summer, and we’re happy to have him as the newest member of the Danonymous Racing team. You can find Brian’s write-ups of Gulfstream Park every Saturday here on the site.
Take it away, Brian!!
All eyes will be focused on Gulfstream Park in beautiful sunny Hallandale Beach, Florida on Saturday. Not only will everyone’s attention be on Gulfstream Park Saturday for the Claiming Crown, but for the entire meet. The Championship meet will include America’s richest race the 12 million Pegasus Cup which may feature an epic rematch between Arrogate and California Chrome. Featuring one of the best turf courses in the country, it doesn’t take long to quickly realize the handicapping and wagering options are bountiful at Gulfstream Park regardless of the surface. The Claiming Crown will kick off the opening of Gulfstream’s Championship Meet for the 5th year in a row at Gulfstream Park. The Claiming Crown has rewarded some of the industries blue-collar horses which are the backbone to the industry itself since 1999 when the inception came to life at beautiful Canterbury Park one of the Midwest’s most up and coming racetracks. Opening Saturday will consist of a variety of races to meet any handicappers needs, with an 11-race card and 9 Claiming Crown races will full fields and some of the industries hardest knockers shipping in from across the country.
First and foremost, I would like to thank Danonymous and everyone involved for the opportunity to provide analysis every Saturday at Gulfstream Park for the entirety of the Championship Meet. This past summer I took over as Canterbury Park’s paddock analyst, after being a lifetime fan. Every race I will look provide a brief analysis on my top 3 selections. However, below my top 3 selections you will find a list of “contenders” these are horses I would be afraid to leave off my exotics including Exacta’s Tri-Fecta’s and especially Pick 4’s and Pick 5’s. “Hammer Tyme” will consist of my strong plays, which will also most likely be my single or key to my exotic wagers as well. I look forward to providing analysis throughout the meet, and want to wish everyone a successful Saturday whether you’re playing Gulfstream Park or anywhere across the country.
Race 1: The Championship Meet kicks off with a field of 12 Maidens set to go 7.5F on the turf. Decant (2) could be awfully live at first asking for David Fawkes who excels with 1st time starters at 24%. Have to love this filly’s consistent string of 5F workouts, and is bred to love the sod. Aquemini (1) is your likely favorite for the 2nd time in a row. 3 career starts and 3 second place finishes is not a great stat for a horse who could be 2-1 or below. Trainer Ralph Nicks will try to switch it up with the addition of blinkers and Paco Lopez (J/T combo 0% 2015-2016). Some of the country’s best trainers are all drawn outside which can be awfully tricky at 7.5F, however Mistress ofthedark (7) shouldn’t be too concerned having speed and one of the best turf riders in the country in Jose Lezcano. Will need to improve, but have to love 2nd off the layoff, 2nd time routing on the turf. If this 20-1 shot can get a breather on the front end, she could get awfully brave at a price.
Race 2: Low end connections must have thought Micozzi (2) could run when they opted to name this colt after the owner Marcello Micozzi. He has yet to be bet, despite improving with both career starts. Ships in from Belmont Park and should continue to improve with the extra ground today. Love the most recent 47.3 workout over the Gulfstream Park surface. With 2 1st time starters entered for Pletcher should assure a fair price. Amp’d Up (8) was recently gelded and another who will only like the added distance. This surface is a tough surface to make up a lot of ground, so will have to giddy up out of the gate, but for a young horse has shown a tendency to pass horses. If the 1st time starters aren’t quite fit below 5-1 despite breaking from the tricky rail. Tranquilo (6) Rios rides this one right back off a brief freshening. Race 2 will be experience against some heavily bet 1st time starters. I have a hunch Le Pin (3) will eventually want to go longer on the turf, will opt elsewhere at a low price.
Race 3: An awfully difficult race to open the Claiming Crown. Eila (1) who has won 4 out of 5 does not crack the top 3. Trainer Ralph Nicks will also enter Lady Coventry (2) who is taking a gigantic jump in class but his lightly raced and certainly has a great set up in front of her. 5F on the turf is a great spot to spread and go deep looking for a bomb and at 15-1 you can do no wrong. This runner has a win over this surface and this distance. Should sit just behind the speed and pounce in the lane. My Sister Caro (8) Paco Lopez has ruined plenty of tickets in the past and won’t fool me here. This filly has done no wrong with a 1st and a 2nd since Clyde Martin took over. Another who should be right there if the speed backs up. Summer Rae (9) may be the fastest of the bunch while having the lead at 1st call in the past 8 races. If she can clear off by open lengths like she has the past 4 races, could be awfully tough to catch on a Gulfstream Park Turf surface that can be awfully friendly to speed horses. The one to catch!
Race 4: If Shaft of Light (4) gets an easy lead, the rest could quickly find themselves running for 2nd. However, I think there is enough speed to keep that one busy on the front end, and the local charge Tenango (7) could be ready to roll. Has yet to miss the board in 5 starts over this surface, if you can forgive the loss in the slop this one was an impressive 5 length victor at this distance and track 2 back. Sharp Art (8) Confirmed connections beliefs this was a great claim winning at first asking while going up in class. Cuts back in class and should be awfully fit to continue the improve for a hard-trying gelding, a must use.
Race 5: Maybe what makes the Claiming Crown so great is a race like this, where some would call it the Glass Slipper Stakes while I prefer to call it the Most Improved. Top 2 selections began their career an unimpressive 0-23. However, both Sweet Madea (9) and Esken Lady (2) have improved and have found a new desire to get their photo taken. Sweet Madea is 2-2 since Alvarado took over and will look to stay perfect. Amaluna (4) loves to settle for less, but the most recent form and workout say all signs are go today, in a great race to take a stand with what could be an extremely vulnerable favorite.
Race 6: Not often do you see a horse who has won their last 2 races by a combined distance of 18 lengths at 10-1. J B Quick (2) looks to score the hat trick, and the J/T combo of 34% says why not? Not only will Mitos Y Leyendas (5) give track announcer Peter Aiello fits during the race, but could very well give the competition trouble as well. 8 for 14 at Gulfstream Park simply cannot be ignored, while 3rd off the layoff. Defer Heaven (8) Looks an awful lot like the other Navarro runner in the 4th who will likely be heavy favorite. 5 for 6 at Gulfstream Park but plenty of question marks and other speed.
Race 7: I can imagine there was some unhappy connections during the post draw for the Iron Horse. Meanwhile the connections for Chepstow (1) had to be quite pleased. Draws the rail and the only other speed in the race drew the 14 hole. Should set reasonable fractions and have enough to hold on late. Goodtimehadbyall (14) is 6 for 8 in the Exacta at Gulfstream Park, plenty of speed to cut over and save ground. This hard trying 8-year-old looks to push career earning over $600,000 despite being 1 for 10 in 2016. Racetrack Romance (12) the one to beat on paper, but could be stuck wide heading into the first turn, and may need a race off the layoff since August.
Race 8: The Canterbury Stakes going 5F over the turf course turned out to be a very difficult race. Carnarsie Kid (5) Likely won’t be anywhere near that 20-1 ML price, but has a lot to like regardless. 2-2 over this surface and while going further the past 3 races has had the lead at 1st and 2nd call. Lezcano could blow the tote board to Canterbury with the lightly raced 5-year-old who gets tested for class today. American Sailor (3) comes in with 2 impressive scores and workouts that say this race is going to be no different, another with speed and appears to need the lead. Divine Warrior (12) Tricky post and has never hit the board in 2 turf tries. The number fits, and the race 3 back at Kentucky Downs was the real deal.
Race 9: Temple Fur (8) Had the look of a horse who needed a race last time while making a nice move and not being able to sustain it in the lane. Should be much improved 2nd off the layoff and retains the services of Alvarado. Michael Maker and Be Playful (10) look for a quick return off the claim. Leparoux will have options as this mare has shown an ability to be versatile, while having a tendency to settle for less (8 2nd’s 21 career starts). Kasuga (2) was tested for class last time and stretched out and ran an impressive 3rd at 25-1 in a stakes race north of the border. If Kasuga can improve 2nd time routing and set reasonable fractions may find yourself jumping for joy.
Race 10: Look no further for our first Hammer Tyme in Royal Posse (3) who should have no problem taking on open company again. Has won the last 3 while in hand and loves the 9F distance at 8 for 11, and will look to push career earnings over 1 Million today. Single with confidence. John Jones (7) brings his own 4-win streak while doing so in hand and in command. Will need to bring that boxer’s mentality to have a chance to win the battle today. Hometown Hero (2) Looks to live up to the name and make it 3-3 over the Gulfstream Park surface. The Ramsey’s have the most wins of any owner in the Claiming Crown and will look for win 15 with this longshot. Hammer Tyme: 3-7-2
Race 11: Keystoneforvictory (4) Love seeing Jose Ortiz land here. Went off as a favorite in a recent stakes race despite a lengthy layoff. 2nd off the layoff and 3 for 4 record over this surface says all signs are a go. Longshot single. Laythatpistoldown (1) appears to be getting better with age. Has enough tactical speed to work out a trip from the rail. Riviere du Loup (8) is a bit hard to figure out while going from a $35,000 claiming race to a 5-length loss in the Grade 1 United Nations while barely losing to World Approval and Money Multiplier. Tricky Read.
Early Pick 5 $126
Early pick 4 $40.50
Late pick 5 $162
Late pick 4 $90
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