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Saturday, December 26, 2015
On Saturday, we’re headed out to Gulfstream Park, where we’ve got FREE PICKS & ANALYSIS from returning guest handicapper Mark DiLorenzo Jr. (@MarkDiloJr).
Mark is another one of our favorite young handicappers. He spends endless hours analyzing races every week and he’ll be providing his picks and analysis at Gulfstream on Saturdays throughout the meet. We’re thrilled to have him with us and encourage you to follow him on Twitter, when you get a chance. Take it away, Mark…
Giddy UP!!! Merry Christmas +1… the lone race yesterday saw Dasher jump out to an early lead and clear the other 8 reindeer early, on what looked to be a speed bias track. 🙂
There are three nice graded stakes surrounded by some claiming races today; it leads to a full 11 race card where there is money to be made. Below are my opinions, and please reach out to me on Twitter today if you have any questions, as I’ll tweet out some opinions if I feel the track is playing a certain way, or one of these maidens is taking a lot of money at the windows.
Race 1: Claiming $6250, 3yo and up, 1 1/16 Miles on the Dirt
I hope to get the 10-1 morning line odds on my op pick #10 El Gran Joyful, but I doubt it. This 5yo is coming out of a restricted stakes race on claiming crown/opening day at Gulfstream on December 5th. He did not embarrass himself that day at 90-1 and made a decent close on a good sealed track, where he paired up his 11 sheet figure from his effort on November 1st. Those last two efforts are much the best vs. these today, I just hope for a decent trip as he draws the outside again and usually finds himself with to much to do late.
#9 Congenial, is first off the claim by one of the best around off the claim, Jorge Navarro. Navarro lost this horse in the spring and didn’t wait too long to bring him back into his barn. This horse has run races that are more than quick enough to win in here, is coming 2nd time off the layoff, and might be alone on the lead, must use in horizontals. #2 Kitten in May is going to test out his dirt skills for the first time today and might be worth tossing in at 12-1. Looking at this ones pedigree, it does not scream turf so maybe switching to a surface he prefers.
#10 El Gran Joyful (10-1)
#9 Congenial (9-2)
#2 Kitten in May (12-1)
Race 2: Claiming $16000, 3yo and Up, 1 1/16 Miles on the TURF
I don’t see much early pace signed on here so I landed on #2 Fan Base to go to the lead and stay there as he did his last start. Eddie Castro might have found this horses running style last time out and surely should send to the lead again today. His speed figures are more than fast enough to compete with these even though he is moving up in class. And the other so call speed in the race #5 Powerful Instinct is being ridden by Junior Alvarado, who doesn’t usually like to send and be on front end, but we will see.
Im also interested in #6 Racetrack Romance at a price. This horse made a very nice middle move last time out off the layoff and drops down to a level where he should be more comfortable. Ill also use #7 Port Severn underneath, as this horse has run races good enough to win here and willing to make an excuse for last race, have a brutal outside post on a good turf course he seems to not prefer.
#2 Fan Base (4-1)
#6 Racetrack Romance (12-1)
#7 Port Severn (10-1)
Race 3: Maiden Claiming $12,500, 3yo and up, 5 ½ Furlongs on the Dirt
The first of two Md claiming 12.5k races in this early pick-5 sequence, and I landed on on same Jockey Trainer combo for both races. #8 Indy Artist is 0 for 22 lifetime but ran an improved effort last out when jockey Edgar Prado jumped aboard. I remember looking at this race on Dec 13th and thinking it was peculiar for Prado to take the call, she was cold on the board, but the connections knew they had something, where she battled on the lead with eventual 1/5 shot winner Tale Stone. Also I have this 3yo maiden against the bias in his last two efforts, as both Nov 14th and Dec 10th I felt were closer friendly days.
Im interested to see if anyone takes money in double or pick 3 pools, but until then I will use #7 Spark D’ Shark underneath, as he is dropping to the lowest level Md claimer ranks here at GP, getting blinkers on, a 5 pound weight advantage, and is going second time our Navarro, so surely to improve. #10 Uncle Muggs pedigree does not scream turf so he might be getting on his preferred surface for the first time today. In a extremely weak field the over year off doesn’t bother me as much but still very hard to use on top with confidence
#8 Indy Artist (8-1)
#7 Spark D’ Shark (6-1)
#10 Uncle Muggs (7-2)
Race 4: The Sugar Swirl, Grade 3 event for fillies and mares 3yo and Up, 6 furlongs
You are going to get a legitimate odds on favorite in this Grade 3 event, #2 Stonetastic, coming out of the Kelly Breen barn. I am a big advocate of the Ragozin sheets and use mostly for looking at horses who are going to bounce. Stonetastic has run 2 HUGE efforts. Back on August 30th 2014, she ran a 4+, and was never the same the rest of the year. On September 1st 2015, she ran a 2. I didn’t like her on Breeders Cup day because I thought she was going to bounce and she did, running a 9. Now she has gotten enough rest, with almost 3 months between that huge effort on Sept1? Maybe. Does she not need to run her best race and win here? Maybe. But I’m not willing to forfeit the race to her, because once fillies and mares late in the season start to get slower they usually need a lot of time off. With all that being said I landed on # 4 Best Behavior on top.
#4 Best Behavior is second time off a lengthy layoff, where in her last start she showed good speed from the gate and got passed by the best horse that day in Cali Star. She is cutting back in distance, and back to a distance she prefers, winning 6 times at 6 furlongs. And her best races have come at this track, where she has won 5 time, and where the odds on favorite has never stepped foot on. #1 You Bought Her is worth using underneath. She wants some pace to run into and might get it in here. Her speed figures going 6 furlongs makes her fast enough to win, so why not at 10-1+…
#4 Best Behavior (7/2)
#2 Stonetastic (1-1)
#1 You Bought Her (10-1)
Race 5: Maiden Claiming $12,500, 3yo and up, Fillies and Mares, 5 ½ Furlongs
A big field signs on here for this low level Maiden Claimer and I landed on #9 Lady Nura. I do not look at turf races and compare them to dirt races but willing make an exception here as Lady Nura knows how to break away alertly from the gate, and that is all that it might take to win this event. Though it shows in the DRF that Zayas is batting 0% for this barn, after looking into formulator, he has won multiple times before for this outfit in races very similar to this.
This would be a great race to use the odds board in your favor and see who is taking money in the win pool, double pool, and pk3 pool. If one of these first time starters is live on the board I wouldn’t ignore. #3 Breezy Song can be tough if she can go back to her form this past August…but where has she been?
#9 Lady Nura 10-1
Any first time starter taking $$$
#3 Breezy Song
Race 6: Claiming 16000N2L, 3yo and Up, 7 ½ Furlongs on the TURF
On Top, I’m using #1 Caroline’s Spirit (8-1) It took this one a while to break its maiden, and did so vs a very soft md clm field at GPW, but twice back in the spring she was within a neck and a length of breaking maiden vs much tougher at MTH. She then caught two good turf tracks, then took a few weeks off, then came back to win a race where she closed into soft fractions. Paco should send to get good position within the first pack, have a ground saving trip and win.
Underneath ill be using #9 The Ghost Bride (3-1) Ill say this a few times today but Peter Walder horses are firing, and this horse is coming out of the Abigail Adsit barn, who is s good young trainer in NY but NOT Peter Walder. With even the slightest improvement The Ghost Bride clears this field, but she will get bet and I’m not betting in the 6/5 range, but must use on horizontals. #11 Cynthia’s Fury I will be using underneath if she draws in. This horse wants more ground, closing nicely in his two efforts on the turf at the Meadowlands.
#1 Caroline’s Spirit (8-1)
#9 The Ghost Bride (3-1)
#11 Cynthia’s Fury / AE (8-1)
Race 7: Maiden Claiming $35,000, for 2yo fillies, 5 Furlongs on the TURF
In a wide open Md claiming sprint I landed on #11 Unknown on top. This 2yo filly is taking the biggest drop in racing, going from MSW to Md Claiming ranks, gets a hall of fame jockey aboard, and showed great improvement moving to turf last time out. Her pedigree isn’t great but lots of European turf horses in as aunts and uncles tells me this 2yo wants turf.
Tossing any Jason Servis horses right now is a mistake as every horse he has raced at Gulfstream has been live. #4 Ramblin N Gamblin has 3 winning turf siblings and Servis can fire first time out with 2yos. #8 Sam’s Princess is out of a dam that was 6-2-2-1 as a 2yo. Im not quite sure if this one wants the turf but has that win early pedigree I look for in these 2yo sprints.
#11 Unknown (15-1)
#4 Ramblin N Gamblin (4-1)
#8 Sam’s Princess (10-1)
Race 8: MSW $50,000, for 2yo colts, 1 mile on the DIRT
Lots of nice pedigrees in today’s 8th race, but none better for this 2yo race than #13 Billion Star, who is a full brother to MGSW 2yo To Honor and Serve, and full brother to G1W 2yo Angela Renee. This horse is an A+ on my scale of win early pedigree rankings and should be ready to fire with Delgado connecting at 21% with FTS on the dirt.
I can’t ignore the pedigree on #11 Tale of the Mist either. This 2yo is a half-brother to Belmont Stakes winner Tonalist, and just like Tonalist, he might need a few to get his feet under him. He improved last time out and might want more ground but picks up Johnny V (who isn’t on a Pletcher) and is a must use for me. The two Pletcher horses don’t have the workout patterns I normally like to see from his barn and he does much better with 2yos sprinting than routing, so I’m leaving off my tickets. I’m going to also use #6 Dangerous Bend on my late pk5 ticket, as he has been working out great and has that win early pedigree I love to see in these 2yo races.
#13 Billion Star (15-1)
#11 Tale of the Mist (12-1)
#6 Dangerous Bend (20-1)
Race 9: The W.L. Mcknight Handicap Grade 3, 3yo and up, 1 ½ Miles on the TURF
I landed on #9 Charming Kitten on top for a few reasons. First his best races have come on this Gulfstream turf course. Second he has shown he likes to be close to lead, but not a deep closer (which haven’t faired well yet at Gulfstream on the turf) and third, you are going to get a lot of value on this 5yo with Kaigun and Da Big Hoss in this race.
I think #11 Da Big Hoss is a very nice turf horse but beat up on some weak fields at Saratoga and Kentucky Downs, and was nowhere near the class Found and Golden Horn were in the BC Turf. He is a must use on my pick 5 ticket but I’m not betting to win in at 2-1 or 6/5. Does #10 Kaigun want to go this far? I don’t think so. Casse has had many opportunities to stretch this 5yo out and when he has she has faltered home. I’m tossing. #1 Beyond Smart is a use at 30-1. It looks like Jonathan Shepard has lost a lot of horses from Augustin Stable and moved over to a better trainers barn in Graham Motion. This horse will surely save ground and doesn’t have to improve that much to win this. Going this distance is a question mark but the price will be right.
#9 Charming Kitten (8-1)
#11 Da Big Hoss (3-1)
#1 Beyond Smart (30-1)
Race 10: OC62k/N2X, for 3yo and up, 7 ½ furlongs on the TURF
On Top I landed on #1 Tetradrachm (8-1): If I’m reading formulator correctly Bill Mott has claimed 2 horses the past 5 yrs! 1 of them won and the other ran a strong 4th. Back in September of 2014 David Jacobson claimed this horse away from Mott, and ran some good races, but nowhere near as good as when he was in the Mott barn. No way you will get 8-1 here, but the pick in race 10.
Underneath im going to use #2 Stromy Rocit (3-1): I looked for some prices that I could use underneath here but I feel everyone came up very slow…other than the two logical contenders. #2 Stormy Rocit has back class that can win this but stretching out is a concern for me. JJ gets the call and no one is better at rating on the lead. #5 Best Bard: IMO Peter Walder is a better dirt trainer so I’m hesitant to use here at a short price but this horse is coming out of back to back efforts that win this race. Woodbine races always seem to come up faster on the sheets, so again using with caution.
#1 Tetradrachm (8-1)
#2 Stormy Rocit (3-1)
#5 Best Bard (4-1)
Race 11: The La Prevoyante Handicap Grade 3, 3yo and up, fillies and mares, 1 ½ Miles on the Turf
On Top I landed on #4 Gotachancetodance (6-1) I have been very impressed with this horses last two efforts this fall. Off a small layoff she made a strong middle move to clear decent Alwx1 field. Next time out she stepped up to graded competition for the first time and made a winning move down the lane but was just too far back to catch wire to wire winner Goldy Espony. She ran a 11+ ragozin sheet number that day while the winner Goldy Espony ran a 12-. This is an angle that has worked for me in the past, as a horse that has run a better sheet number but did not win, comes back next race against likely favorite and wins.
Underneath im using #12 Goldy Espony (3-1) Chad Brown has three in here and his likely winner is a last out winner where he had an easy lead and held on in the G3 Long Island Handicap. Last out he drew the rail, saved ground and had a perfect trip. Today he will be alllll the way on the outside… but I don’t see much pace in here. I see Goldy getting to lead and getting beat in last few jumps. In a field filled with 4 and 5 yo’s that have had long campaigns this year I’m going to give a long look at #10 Promotional at post time. If she is near her ML odds I think it could be worth a win bet, as this lightly raced 3yo seems to want to run long. I’m willing to excuse her last effort only last weekend vs. a very very talented Tammy the Torpedo, in a race I don’t think she wanted to win, and for Tom Proctor to move this one up to Graded Stakes ranks on only 7 days rest, makes me think this one is live.
#4 Gotachancetodance (6-1)
#12 Goldy Espony (3-1)
#10 Promotional (12-1)
Giddy Up, Good Luck, and Merry Christmas!!!
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