Free Picks & Analysis — Who Do Ya Like?
Friday, January 5, 2018
The rainbow pick 6 carryover at Gulfstream Park continues to build! It will be over $1 million today, and encompasses the last six races on the ten-race card. The first race on the program will be 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!
The dubious at best forecast for Aqueduct means it’s time to shift the tack to Florida.
Meant Tobe Mine (6) looks like the best speed in a race relatively light on front runners. She should clear early, and be hard for most of these to run down. In her last start they really went quick early. She didn’t cave in despite doing much of the dirty work against a big group of twelve.
Mojo’s Queen (7) exits the same race as a disappointing favorite. She raced up closer to the pace than normal, and had nothing left when the race came apart. She has declining form it seems, but she will race first off the claim for Bob Dibona. So perhaps Dibona can get her back on track. He doesn’t claim often, but when he does it has been with great success. He’s won five of ten starts first off the claim. You should also take notice the presence of Luis Saenz since he’s won three of four starts for this barn. This outside draw looks ideal for stalking. I can’t make a case for anyone else.
Cashless Society (1) has not improved since the Brown claim. That’s no surprise. She exits a pair of races against far better though. Her lack of sprint experience coupled with an inside draw are not appealing.
The same can be said for Be Sure Lisa (2). This trainer is an auto-toss for me to boot.
Hold That Kitten (3) should be out-sprinted.
Southern n’ Sassy (4) and Kiss the Crown (5) are the ones I want underneath. I don’t see either as a likely winner, but they are very experienced in turf dashes, and on many occasions run on for small shares.
Little Plumber (2) will likely do the norm and come out guns blazing for the lead. He’s got stamina issues though, and won’t offer value, especially with Ortiz taking the call.
Expect a little company from the inside by Admirable Kiss (1) racing first off the claim for Angel Rodriguez. This barn wins at a high 38% clip first off the claim, and they do well when giving the leg up to Saez. Rodriguez dominates with maiden claimers posting a 32% win rate with a ridiculous $3.54 ROI. There are some concerns though. I would prefer he drew outside of a possibly quicker rival, and if he doesn’t break well he runs the risk of getting shuffled back. He was also claimed away from a likewise strong barn. The gaudy trainer numbers ensure he gets bet.
Driven to the Max (4) was well supported in his debut for a trainer going well right now. The money he took is surprising since this barn has no real track record for winning first or second time out. “Not persevered with” is not exactly an encouraging trip note.
KK’s Revolver (8) has a couple seconds in slow time, and the low percentage barn and rider don’t inspire me. It’s conceivable he could pass tired rivals though. Eddie Keneally is sharp with maiden claimers as well as debuting ones.
Something about Macho Blue (7) bother me. With a top jock and trainer he should get plenty of mutual support. This obscurely bred horse fetched $50,000 at the OBS sale in March of 2017, but doesn’t debut until ten months later for the low price of 16K, and he was recently gelded. Clearly there have been problems, but maybe I am over reading into it since all of the horses have problems.
Honza (3) debuts for the Plesa family, but Eddie is winless with first time starters, and 0-5 with debuting claimers. This Spendthrift bred colt can’t be much of a looker as an 8K purchase.
I hate the spotty work tab for Dockyard (6), so how about taking a stab here with Pure Style (5). Rohan Chrichton doesn’t debut many horses, but he does show two wins from ten starts. This barn is solid with dirt sprinters, and there is some quickness in his pedigree. The lightly utilized stallion Lifestyle was a fast colt that raced for Wesley Ward. Of his progeny to race eleven of twelve have won at least a race. In fact, as a group all of his progeny post a combined 32/109 record. His unraced broodmare has four winners from four horses to start, including a debut winner at this track, distance, and level. Maybe there is some hidden precocity in this colt that has five well spaced published works leading to this debut.
Fast Mama (1) was not well supported in her first four races for Chad Brown, and now I can see why. In her fifth start when dropped in for 40K she plodded for third as a benefactor of a perfect trip. Chad adds blinkers in hopes of a wake up for this disappointing daughter of Kitten’s Joy.
Things haven’t gone as planned for barn mate Peace Front (3) as well. It certainly was not a good sign to see her debut at Monmouth going off at 6-1 odds with Saratoga open in New York. She ran off the board that day, and underwhelmed subsequently once again at Monmouth, then at Laurel. It’s also concerning this well bred daughter of War Front didn’t make it to the races until she was four years old. She too adds blinkers in what seems to be an act of desperation. Look I realize Chad is beyond dangerous dropping from straight maidens to claimers, but this filly seems without any talent.
Sympathetic (2) has run out of chances against special weight company and drops in for the tag, an angle Mike Matz is successful with from limited tries. Despite this fillies breeding, her better efforts have come sprinting. This is a big rider change to Rosario, but she’s going to need to show more to earn better than a small share.
Miss Munnings (5) has a pair of seconds and thirds from five starts. Her last effort was a near beat third at this track and distance, while finishing far clear of the rest. That day she was a little further back than her prior starts, and she had zero pace to run at. I don’t want to put too much stock in a five horse field, but a repeat of any of her five career starts puts her right in the picture here.
She’s Always Ready (7) is clearly the speed of the race. I really want to get creative with this group of hangers, but the fact that she has finished on the board just once is concerning. And with the Brown duo adding blinkers, the plan may be for one of those to go early. Furthermore I question this fillies true ability because these owners use Jason Servis with their better stock. At least 12-1 ML odds gets my attention.
Front Row Debbie (6) will likely do her thing, and settle for yet another smaller award. Romans adds blinkers, but that’s never been an angle to keep an eye on. Like the Brown pair, it seems grasping at straws.
Sunfest (4) can outrun her odds and spice exotics.
Moonshine Promise (1) has 49 in the money finishes in seventh-five starts without ever “Beyering” higher than 81. Talk about a horse that’s been historically campaigned brilliantly. When last seen she ran a decent third on opening day in a Claiming Crown event at her favorite track and distance. She has always possessed good early speed, so with a rail draw she will undoubtedly be sent. Unfortunately for this overachieving daughter of Will She Shine is the fact that big speed draws just to her outside, and a speed duel seems imminent to me.
I don’t care for that rival, Glorious Moment (2) since any improvement at this point would be a big surprise. She’s been cautiously placed by Jorge Navarro, and should find this group beyond her scope.
The best races of late for Miss Visconti (4) have come over an off track, and she was recently a no factor at this very same level.
Of the Navarro pair, Battle Tale (5) intrigues me more. She too is cheap, but she’s shown an ability to rate, and she likes this course and distance.
Amaluna (7) has had a solid year, consistently facing better. Toss the last in the Claiming Crown and you are left with a horse that always fires.
He hasn’t gotten on the turf yet, but Blue Chip Prospect (3) seems really well bred for the surface. I like the fact Jose Ortiz takes the call for a capable barn in a race with other viable contenders.
Tenkov (8) cost over half a million at auction, and has been dusted in all three starts. Now he’s available for a tag, yikes. I simply let this type beat me at a short price.
Mark Casse is horrible with debuting maiden claimers, and he saddles Rider of the Blue (2), a son of all world sire Uncle Mo that will run first out available for $50K. He can’t be very good win or lose this race.
The work tab of Scribe (6) is horrible. However, Wesley knows how to bring them fit. He’s also capable with all applicable stats. I have to assume he’s fit enough to beat these if he can run at all. It’s also not a red flag situation that he debuts for a tag since he brought so little at auction.
Brag Dude (1) fits, but I believe there will be one better.
The light published work tab of Magic Gus (7) does not merit respect from me.
Pirate Beach (4) is well bred to sprint on grass. The connections don’t offer any intrigue, but they will ensure a big price.
In this type of race I usually look for a horse that hasn’t failed at or below the level. Well that eliminates everyone except for two horses.
Atazipan (5) did not run a step off the eighteen month hiatus. After a poor start against much better than these he really didn’t have a chance though. Prior to the layoff he was flashing speed against better. Jose Ortiz jumps aboard, and with an outside draw he should be on or right off the early lead. It seems he is a need the lead type, so anything but a clean break would probably prove fatal.
Jewel Heist (1) also drops in class while returning to the main track. He likes to be forwardly placed, so I’m concerned about a rail draw with quicker rivals to his outside. He’s only had one win since his debut score about a year and a half ago, and that came at long odds at Monmouth.
Visionary Ruler (3) comes in as the most accomplished runner, and he may possess the best early speed. However, this will be an attempt to break an eight race losing streak for a high percentage barn. His last loss came for 25K when he was a mediocre third at 8-5. He’s getting a little long in the tooth at the age of eight, and he has just one win over the last two calendar years. As the program pick I’d look to others.
Fundy’s Tide (7) also has some early speed that could keep the front runners honest. His current form is poor though, so I don’t give him much of a shot.
Bordini (6) would be best served to give it a try as a one-run closer. I know his two wins on paper came in wire-to-wire fashion, but he’s probably not fast enough to grab the lead in this spot. His race two back would put him in the picture. However, he often finds himself up close to the pace, like in his prior start. It’s hard to trust these horses to come from off the pace that aren’t true closers at a short price. Demand more than the seemingly low 3-1 ML.
Izzy the Warrior (2) came from off the pace in his first two starts, both of which resulted in victory. In his last race he had a rough start then raced wide, and as a result he hung. I see a scenario that might unfold where he can settle in behind the speed horses, and hopefully better a cleaner run under Saez, whom has landed on some live horses for Romans at Gulfstream over the last couple of years.
Lots of disappointments to sort out in the race seven maiden claimer.
So let’s start from the rail with Blake’s Lucky Star (1) a $325,000 son of Tizway that races for the tag in just his third start. He was distanced in both career starts, and needs dramatic improvement.
Ride on Faith (2) is 7-2 on the morning line for trainer Nick Zito. You have to ask yourself if you really want Zito at a short price. I must admit, on paper he fits against this group. His race two back when racing for a tag for the first time was not bad, given the trouble in the stretch. After a bullet move from the gate since his last start, I must give him some chance against a group like this, but I suspect there will be one better.
The $270,000 purchase Diplomatic Shaft (3) has not panned out. He’s bred to prefer turf routes, and after a pair of failed tries ends up on the main track sprinting in his third career start.
Wave on Wave (5) is far too well bred to have only reached $75,000 at auction. He’s out of the great Smart Strike, and his mom is a half sibling to millionaire Idiot Proof. I’ve done well drawing a line through Eric Guillot in the past. Another that is far too well bred to be campaigning at this level is Houdini Affair (9) so I can’t take him seriously.
I don’t know why For the Gipper (4) would improve at this point having raced for strong connections since his debut. But, you’d be a fool to omit him from exotics.
The race from Florida Cotton (7) two back would probably beat these. He returned from the layoff in a curious spot routing on grass, and was not embarrassed. He landed in a spot with other early speed type and took on horses with significantly more talent. It’s hard to get behind these connections, but I think he’s the horse to beat if able to replicate the race in June prior to his vacation.
Murray’s Pick (7) is the program selection, and although I can’t rule her out, I always look to beat horses like this. She is just two for eighteen lifetime, she’s winless sprinting on dirt, and hasn’t finished better than third over this course. Her lone win in the last year came over a sloppy track she’s bred to relish. In her last start she made all the pace before blowing a clear lead, and prior to that she was a well beaten third in three straight starts at this level.
Hopefully Tiuana (6) will apply token pressure to just keep her honest. She demonstrated she possesses the speed to do so in my opinion. She’s a more viable option of the favorites since she’s three for nine lifetime, with a win at this level, over this course, and at about this distance.
True Motion (2) is also quick early at times. She exits races at shorter distances, and since she’s drawn inside away from the other speed look for her to go early.
Last Kiss (1) should work out a nice trip. She doesn’t sport a strong win percentage, but the majority of her starts have come against better horses in optional claiming events. The last time she tried conditional claimers she was victorious for this jock at this level when “nicely rated.” I’m hoping for similar tactics today because she tends to fade when prompting the pace, and there should be enough speed to allow the others to do the work.
Working Carol K (5) has fired in three straight starts against similar. Her win last out was over an off track, but prior to that she was zero for two on a course less than fast. She is in consistent good form, and should have no excuse to run another good one.
With blinkers on the plan will be for Miss Aliphant (2) to try to wire out this group of high priced maiden claimers. She’s got a little turf breeding as well with Tribal Rule on the bottom side of her lineage. You have to love when Jeremiah turns to Luis Saez, it’s worked out very well to the tune of $3.02 ROI over the last two years. This daughter of Violence exits a race against much better horses, as the winner impressed mightily, and the third place finisher returned to win. Pay no mind to Englehart’s route-to-sprint numbers in this spot. They are strong, but 7.5 furlongs around two turns is not sprinting in my book. Englehart is winless in thirteen starts going dirt to turf, and I’ve always considered him a much better dirt conditioner. So let’s consider others.
Close the Deal (1) ran ok in her third career start prompting the pace in these very same conditions. I have concerns about her ability to rate and win though, even with the monster jock change we see here. It’s interesting she was bet to favoritism last out with a low profile jock and an average trainer. Wesley Ward saddles his second debuting maiden claimer of the afternoon. I’m pretty surprised he’s actually good with these type.
The thing that bothers me about La Piu Bella (3) is that she is out of More Than Ready, and debuts for a tag. It may just be that this is where she belongs, but I’ve loved this stallion for a long time, and don’t like to see them debut against claimers. Wesley is incredible with maidens, and has a knack for knowing where they belong. I think he wins with one of his two debuting maiden claimers today.
I would probably like Pointedly (5) more if she were facing special weight rivals. She’s better bred for grass, but the barn doesn’t wish to protect her even once on turf. She doesn’t seem the part.
If you dig far back enough in her pedigree Love to Love (8) is from a good family. The three million dollar earner Caller One as well as a nearly two million dollar earner Mr. Sydney are half siblings to her second dam. She races for a low percentage outfit, but they do very well when Zayas sees fit to ride. I like her long string of consistent published works that may suggest fitness. Don’t let her beat you at a big price.
Newman’s Fast Gal (4) ran second at this level first out, and had trouble most recently finishing fourth. She should get a piece.
Todd Pletcher rarely claims, and he’s decided to reclaim Driven By Thunder (4). That is almost unheard of, so it logically inspires confidence. However, I am not a big believer in this horse, and he faces another quick rival to his outside. I’m looking for a better price.
I’m not really sure why Mai Ty One On (9) changed tactics last time out, but I would expect him to show his customary speed on Friday. His first route try was not bad, and he can build off that effort. Let’s just hope he doesn’t allow the TAP horse to “walk the dog.”
The poor race from He’s the One (6) last out has me believing he will show more speed this time. I want an off the pace runner once again.
Thoristic (1) is in good form, but has been facing lesser. Those n2l and n3l races he exits are really bad. He’s also finished second in almost half his starts, so clearly there is plenty of hang in him.
Millionaire Pure Sensation’s Lil brother Salute the Colonel (8) is obviously a real disappointment, but should get a favorable pace scenario and comes off a nice win.
It seems Without Remorse (7) figures out a way to find trouble. I have had success with this barn in the past, and this trainer is better than her record suggests.
Matanzes Inlet (5) clearly needed that race off the layoff. Now Jose Ortiz sees fit to ride, and I would look for more of a relaxed effort as opposed to a pace prompting one. In his last start he had a horrible post, and did a lot of the dirty work, look for a big improvement.
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