Free Picks & Analysis — Who Do Ya Like?
Friday, January 12, 2018
The action continues at Gulfstream Park on this Friday! They’ve got a ten-race card, with a first post time of 12:35 PM EST.
We’ve got Jason Perry (@jmanmetsfan1) providing free picks & analysis of the entire program. Jason’s been writing about New York racing for a while now, and we’re happy to have him handicapping Florida racing this winter. Give him a follow on twitter when you can.
Good luck, and take it away, Jason!
Gentrify (1) returned from the layoff in the same form he went to the layoff with, bad. He should fire out from the inside, but prior to the vacation he stopped at this claiming level, so I don’t care that he’s dropping in class today. 5-2 seems a bit short on the ML.
Chiseled (2) has been facing better, and also drops in class on Friday. This is probably where this old-timer belongs. His ability to navigate seven furlongs is questionable since he’s always routed. His last effort was really bad, albeit versus better.
Sambroke Edge (3) has been plodding for small shares against lesser going longer. No thanks on top.
Orpheus (5) actually has three wins and a second on conventional dirt, with a victory his lone time at this distance. However, those races came in his native Brazil, and he’s yet to hit the board in The States. His last race was a bit better, and the presence of Vazquez riding for this barn is noteworthy. His stablemate drew just to his outside, Coxswain (6). He turned in a terrible effort at this level in his latest start, and now they turn to an unknown bug boy. His six race win streak is starting to become forgotten. This is his tenth start since June, and it may be he’s simply gassed.
Ship Disturber (7) takes a significant drop in class, and he adores this seven furlong distance. This barn is having trouble getting to the winners’ circle, but they have been live with regards to earning pay checks. This gelding should be able to stalk the pace against weaker competition than he’s faced. He’s better stalking than deep closing.
Tough heat here. Many have had their chances and not been able to get to the wire first. Take A Stroll (9) has a pair of seconds and thirds in six turf sprint starts. But, she’s yet to have a chance against maiden claimers. Her lone start when tagged was a two-turn race last out. There’s no reason to believe she can’t run a big one back in a sprint. Sugarsugarsugar (7) has eighteen defeats now. It’s a tired act when she drops far behind and passes tired rivals for second or third. She could be a horse you key underneath though, since she hasn’t been off the board at this distance in five starts.
Deer Island Diva (6) was a disappointment last out as the post time favorite dropping to this level. Her two races prior against straight maidens were OK at best so she was probably simply over bet. This barn is cold right now, except for when they use Vazquez like they do on Friday.
It’s conceivable that Wanda Girl (5) just needed that race off the layoff. It wasn’t a bad either for former Chad Brown assistant Fernando Abreu. She promoted a fast pace, and was barely beaten for second by an aforementioned rival who benefited from the fast pace, and came in with considerable more experience.
In eight career starts Untruthful Sonnet (4) has yet to run at a distance shorter than seven furlongs. Her running lines do suggest a shorter distance may be to her advantage though since she tends to make a move and hang. These are top flight connections that will ensure she is well bet. She’s never been longer than 6-1 and has only once finished second.
Love for Ovie (8) is a viable option. She too has been away for some time, but this trainer is pretty good with turf sprinters, and he was victorious once in three starts with layoffs of this nature. Her debut on dirt was against light years better in a field that featured Unchained Melody and multiple graded stakes winner Actress. I like her grass breeding, the drop in class should help, and the time away should ensure the barn doesn’t lose her for the 35K, thus allowing them to spot more aggressively.
NY bred Spring Drama (2) has been away a while for low profile connections. She’s appropriately spotted, and not without hope if she can build off the April debut.
Claiming Crown entrants highlight race 3. I had given up on Flashy Jewell (6) a couple races ago, but he impressed me a bit last out. I probably would look to others if their was more early speed present, since he’s dubious sprinting. Often these route speed types don’t have the early speed needed to get to the top in sprints, but that doesn’t seem to be the case for this hard-hitter. He’s forced fast fractions in one-turn races in the past, and he finds a spot without any early speed.
Aztec Sense (1) is the logical contender. He raced for lesser barns in the past, but ran his best career race two back first time off the claim by “The Juice Man.” He showed more speed that day, but last out was bumped at the start against thirteen rivals and managed to run on finishing beaten a little over two lengths. Third place finisher Crocodile Charlie has already returned to score. He has won at the distance, and now Navarro turns to his main man Jaramillo.
Dream Saturday (2) likes this distance, but hasn’t done much over the last two years. His lone win came two back against lesser over an off track when he benefited from a fast pace.
Joshua’s Comprise (3) is impossible. He’s 3-75 lifetime, and 1-34 over the last two years, and 0-7 at the distance. This is a terrible spot. Barry Rose’s 2-151 record is well deserved.
In twenty-five starts Grand Nene (4) has not run a race fast enough to beat the top two if either show up. Vencedor (8) seemingly prefers Gulfstream Park West aka Calder, and regressed returning here. He is now 0-14 eight miles away over this surface.
The Money Monster (7) had a promising start to his career, but never improved. This $6500 value buy woke back up out of nowhere when dropped to the 20K level. That said, anything short of a minor award would be shocking.
At seven years old Drink in My Hand (5) has never run on conventional dirt. Horses trying a new surface this late in their career has to be a horrible ROI proposition. I don’t have the numbers to support that, but I do have a good memory.
The outside horses in this week group of 16K N3L seemingly have zero chance. Let’s consider the one’s with hope. Bossyata (2) has been knocking on the door, and found herself further back than normal most recently.
That was because Dointhewatusi (7) was on a suicide mission on the front end carving out absurd fractions for the level and distance. She should work out a better trip tracking that rival. I worry a bit about her finishing punch, but frankly none of these fillies and mares have that either. She could finish on the back end at a price.
Feed Me Carats (3) is the horse to beat in my opinion. This daughter of Gemologist hasn’t exactly lived up to her expectations, but she has improved since switching to the grass. She faced drastically better in New York against non conditional competition. Last out she worked out a victory against a relatively strong group of N2L rivals. I say that because a repeat of that race should beat these. I’m a big fan of Jeremiah, and love when he uses Saez. Cunningham Creek (1) is often a victim of slow paces. She can be counted on typically to run on for a share. She would be well served to stay within reach early. A repeat of her race two back could be enough against these.
On paper Leroid’s Mommie (4) is a bit too slow to win here. In her favor is the fantastic numbers this barn boasts second off the layoff of this length. However, she’s raced second off the bench in similar spots for the same trainer on two other occasions without showing improvement. Why would today be different?
The lack of run without excuse when Alex’s Party (5) raced last out is concerning. It seems the winning effort in June is the exception and not the rule. Indeed, that good performance is surrounded by poor efforts.
The 6-1 ML odds on Dana’s Ride (9) are baffling. Her lone start at the distance was a debacle. I guess if Jose Ortiz put her on the lead she could take them a ways, but I can’t see her staying the course based on her past performances.
A group of bottom level maiden claimers make up this race five “event.” There are only a few horses I give any shot to, and will discuss only them.
Bannon (3) has to be the worst horse in Todd Pletcher’s care. I don’t recall him ever running anyone at this level. He’s out of champion Tiznow and an unraced mare that is half sibling to Eclipse Award winner Ashado (3.9 million) as well as multiple stakes placed Sunriver ($816K). The fact that he only commanded 65K at auction tells you enough. Two years ago Tiznow stood for six figures, and its personally sad for me to see the decline of my all time favorite as a stallion. He has nothing left to offer. This colt debuted at 11-1 at Aqueduct so nobody had faith. I’d be surprised if he won here, but this field is beyond horrible.
Maybe Cap Gun (2) could wake up returning to the debut surface while dropping in class. It’s a big maybe since he’s been buried in all five starts.
Bullroarer (1) has cashed a couple pay checks. That’s more than most can say in this spot.
Gran Fortress (4) is supposed to win this race for fun. He improved dropping in class while stretching out. He races first off the claim for the lethal Gary Gullo, who kills it first time in his barn. He was pressured up front in his last start, and may not be in this one. He was claimed away from a good barn, so improvement is not imminent, but it’s likely not necessary either.
Diamond Mint (7) has improved in each of his last three races sprinting in turf. He even showed a little versatility when winning while rating from just off the pace.
Two back he yielded late to Tu Exageres (5) after doing much of the dirty work. I don’t think that rival will improve for Clement, and I don’t think he can get a better trip than he just got.
Silver Shalis (6) has not improved since claimed away from the string Zerpa barn, and he seems better on the main track.
Zeus Odin (2) surprisingly didn’t run better first off the Navarro claim. That day he got first Lasix, likely amongst other “firsts.” He is now 1-19 sprinting on the lawn with a slew of seconds. He can be used underneath, but won’t provide the necessary value on top as your program pick.
The form of Lone Trader (4) has clearly gone backwards. He does return to one-turn racing where he’s been far more effective. This distance may be too short, but he could wake up against a group of this nature. It would be no surprise to me if he ran on late for one of his patented small shares. He also offers a reasonable value from the morning line.
You could do worse than using Stone Heart (9) in your exotics. In has last ten starts he’s been beaten over five lengths just once, and that was a 5 ¾ length loss.
Dino Dude (1) is the one of two horses in the race seven bottom level maiden claimer that has shown any sign of life. He’s gotten four seconds in ten tries, and was narrowly beaten on three occasions. He draws well to the inside, and is clearly the horse to beat.
Somedreamscancometrue (6) has a second and a pair of thirds in four starts on the main track. He doesn’t finish well though, and faces a group of runners to his inside in which many have better early speed.
There is no doubt about the fact that Sumner (5) is a really bad horse. But, it’s also hard to believe that TAP is saddling anything not capable of making an impact in this spot. I could elaborate on why this horse screams red flag, but at the end of the day he’s probably the second most likely winner since I cannot remotely argue for anyone else.
I want to be wide here, as there are a number of price horses that would be no surprise. Jane Cibelli is simply fantastic second off 45-180 day vacations firing at a huge 32% win rate with a positive ROI.
O.K. Kay (6) just missed first off the layoff, and Cibelli has attracted Irad Ortiz. This filly has some versatility, and I’m impressed by the way in which she rated nicely in her last start. It’s noteworthy her lone score came second time out, as well as the fact she was protected that day, and has been every day since the debut. All of these things are nice, but she’s going to have to run faster to prove best.
Ultimate Cause (3) races first off the Maker claim. Don’t let the “four wide” running line mislead you. This mare enjoyed a dream trip saving every bit of ground throughout, was eased out into the stretch, and the rejuvenated War Canoe simply blew by her. For the most part, her former conditioner campaigned her over lesser circuits, which brings further skepticism to the table.
Stable mate Lovin Empire (9) has a poor running style where she drops far back early. However, I think this race should be quick early with enough horses signed on that like to be on or near the lead. She faced considerably better last out, and gets a monster jock change to Jose Ortiz. She should be moving late.
I wanted to get creative with Magalie (5). Unfortunately Biancone has horrid numbers with most applicable stats. Blame It On Dixie (1) figures to sit a perfect trip. I can’t stop seeing this horse as a disappointment though. She can run well here, I just suspect someone beats her.
I wish I knew why Rosario isn’t aboard Clude’s Queen (8) since he rode well on her last spring, and this filly is working really well in the morning. Bottom line, use as many as you can afford in this race in your horizontals.
I want to beat program favorite Tiger Blood (4). He was really hard hitting earlier this year in Florida. After a strong campaign for the first half of the season, he ran poorly when last seen in June at Monmouth. Now he returns from a lengthy layoff in for a tag, and moves from a 25% barn to a 7% barn.
Abounding Legacy (1) ran a huge race against a rival that is going really well right now. A repeat effort might mean photo time. I would have preferred he drew to the outside. The rail draw can be tricky for horses that like to be right off the early lead.
Unbridled Outlaw (5) has raced only once since March, and it wasn’t a good try even if he encountered trouble. You have to be leery that we are going to see the same horse we saw late in 2016.
I’m also circumspect about Delta Bluesman (6). I know he faced better, but he was winless last year, and hasn’t been seen for six months. The layoff shouldn’t concern you though, Jorge is four for his last eight with horses away 180 days or longer. Navarro is having a good meet, but nothing Earth shattering by his standards. He is good with these drop downs though, and has a knack for getting one last big race out of them. It’s really curious to see Irad aboard, since he never rides for this barn. I think he’s live.
I want to take a shot with Diddley (7) though. He debuted on the main track, and after 12 races gets back to that surface, where Wesley Ward thought him best. Out of Stay Thirsty, he’s better bred for the main track. You can’t knock his competition either, he’s battled some really good turf sprinters. This gelding has a knack for getting in trouble and shows numerous “steadied” running lines. Now the good news, we get Jose Ortiz at a big price. If anyone can keep trouble free it’s Jose. This barn is going well right now, and they post solid numbers turf-to-dirt in limited chances. This guy works up a storm on the main track, so let’s hope he can do it when it counts.
An interesting finale with a number of options, but I think the horse to beat is Bakelite (9). Clement runs his horses where they belong, and on paper he looks to sit a great trip with a few horses that will probably look to show early energy. I also don’t care for some of the other program picks.
I know Elk Camp (12) is well bred for the grass, but don’t you think TAP would have run him on that surface prior to dropping in for a tag if he thought he was any good? He draws poorly from the twelve hole as well, and the state bred special weight races he exits are a far cry from open company.
Dreaming of JoJo (6) is out of a two million dollar earner, that has been a successful broodmare. He’s been a great disappointment. L
arry Rivelli is decent first off the claim, but I don’t want anything claimed away from Jonathan Thomas right now, and so I don’t think Cabin John (1) will improve at all.
I also doubt Erre Erre (2) or Kid Macool (3) can stay the distance.
I’m going to give Rocky Strange (4) a puncher’s chance dropping in class for Stanley Gold. I won’t lie his 0-43 turf mark is ugly, but that’s what price plays are made of, and like his grass breeding. I can excuse his defeats against better. It’s always nice to see Jamarillo take the call for this stable.
First time starter Masquerader (11) gets my attention as well. He races for a revocable trust that may be looking to liquidate. He has a strong turf pedigree, and a great rider sees fit to give it a go. Barclay Tagg doesn’t debut many maiden claimers, so I could see this guy flying under the radar.
Capo Dei Capi (10) could show more for a barn that is good when dropping to maiden claimers.
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