Free Picks & Analysis — Who Do Ya Like?
Saturday, December 16, 2017
Gulfstream’s got a great 11-race card this Saturday, with five stakes races! First post time is 12:00 PM EST.
We’re happy to have Shane Claypool (@SaratogaShaneR) providing free picks & analysis of all 11 races! Based at Canterbury Park, Shane is a very sharp handicapper, and we’ll be featuring his picks & analysis of Gulfstream Saturdays throughout the championship meet! Be sure to give him a follow on twitter when you can.
Good luck to everyone playing along out there!
Another week of the championship meet is in the books and as the meet has been accustomed to, we saw our fair share of longshots finding the winners circle. Last week was tough again in terms of winners, as I went 2 for 11, but we did manage to squeak out a profitable day thanks in large part to El Tigre Mono winning the Confraternity Caribbean Cup at a price of $18.20. Today’s card consists of 11 races including our first taste of graded stakes races for the meet as four grade threes will be sprinkled throughout the middle of the card.
|Top Selection||4 for 22 or .182 winning percentage|
|ROI (based on $2 win wager for top selection)||0.791|
|Shot of the Day||0 for 2|
We start the day with a 7 ½ furlong sprint on the turf at a claiming price of $16,000. Dream Shot (9) will look to get back on the turf after his last start was taken off the surface. This colt out of Trappe Shot has run competitively in the claiming ranks and has been outmatched when moving up to the allowance and stakes ranks so I do feel the drop back down puts this horse in an appropriate spot. The added services of one of the hottest jockeys in Florida in Luis Saez is also encouraging. Summer Scamp (12) is looking for his 3rd win in a row and has shown early speed in his last two starts and will attempt to continue on this role in start number two for the Angel Rodriguez barn. Imperial Warrior (7) will look to contest the speed with Summer Scamp and looks to be well placed by Antonio Sano with this group.
We move to the dirt and to the ladies in race 2 as we have a 5 ½ furlong race for the two year olds. I took a price in this one with Bawarige (7). In watching the replay of this fillies first race I was encouraged after a slow start that she showed something back making a middle move. She then dealt with some traffic in the lane before giving way. Armando De la cerda is a 13% winner with maiden 2nd starts and in a field that doesn’t appear to be too strong I think this filly will be live. Optimistic Shot (6) will be making her debut and comes from solid connections in Victor Barboza Jr. with Edgar Zayas in the irons. Tajeliha (2) is taking her 5th crack at getting that first victory and is going back to a surface that she showed some speed and ability to get on the board with after two turf tries that left something to be desired.
We have another claiming $16,000 on the turf at 7 ½ furlongs in race 3. Little Baltar (7) is coming from the optional claiming ranks and is cutting back in distance. The gelding is also has 5 wins at Gulfstream Park on the turf and is 3 for 12 at the distance and should be a threat in this one. Weeza Gone Gray (1) will look to set the pace from the inside position and although he might not be classy enough to hold the lead if the pace doesn’t provide any other presence and is allowed a loose lead he may be tough to catch. Modern Tale (4) is another one that is cutting back in distance and is a last out winner that was claimed back by the Imaginary Stables and Elizabeth Dobles connections one race after losing this gelding on October 5th.
Candy Blu (4) showed promise in her first start on October 20th finishing 3rd in a field of 8 at the same distance as this race. Kathleen O’Connell is 14% with maiden second starts and the addition of blinkers may prove to be the formula needed to reach the winners circle. Catharsis (12) will be trying turf for the first time after having last try on the surface spoiled due to weather. The Tomlinson figure would seem to indicate that this horse is appropriate for the turf and could prove to be a wildcard in this race. Honey Hearts (8) has 2 second place finishes including the last out and has shown early speed which is always a benefit at a distance of 5 furlongs.
The first graded stakes of the meet is the Rampart, set for 1 mile on the dirt course for fillies and mares three years old and up. Alpine Sky (5) is coming off a 5th place showing in the G2 Chilukki at Churchill Downs and had to hang out 6 wide in order to make a run down the turn. The two starts before that at this distance and at Gulfstream found a close 2nd place and a 3 ½ length victory at the optional claimer level. Gaffalione comes back to take the mount and I prefer the horse staying at this distance compared to others like my 2nd choice who are stretching out from the last start out. Curlin’s Approval (1) is the local horse for the course with a record of 7 for 10 at Gulfstream Park. The last out race was the Breeder’s Cup Fillies and Mare Sprint where she was 21-1 and stumbled out of the gate and wasn’t able to make up any ground however this spot is a little more appropriate for this horse who’s found the winners circle 7 times in 14 career starts. Lewis Bay (3) has been on the shelf for over a year and that is usually not a good thing however Chad Brown is good at long layoffs and has shown some quality works at Palm Meadows so perhaps this filly will be ready to fire for her first start of the 2017 campaign.
The pick 6 starts out with my SHOT OF THE DAY in Navistar (3). This 2 year old colt ran an impressive 2nd in his maiden voyage at Belmont on October 20th where he ended up being 4 wide throughout most of the trip and was a good 3 ¼ lengths clear of the third place horse and over 12 lengths clear of the 4th place finisher. Since that start this Pletcher trainee has rattled off bullet workouts at the 4f and 5f distance at Palm Beach Downs. Locomotion (10) will be making his second career start and first start for the William Mott barn. He broke slow in his debut but since then has put together a nice workout tab. He Takes Charge (2) was a $625,000 purchase at the 2016 Keeneland September auction. This Tapit colt who has two previous starts over the turf back during the Saratoga summer meet and will be switching to the dirt surface and with experience at the distance this horse may also be ready to fire in this race.
The grade 3 Sugar Swirl will have 9 horses traveling 6 furlongs for a chance at their share of $100,000 purse. Miss Hollywood (2) is coming back to the dirt after a 2nd place finish in a turf sprint at Belmont. This 5 year old mare out of Malibu Moon has had success at Gulfstream Park and if she can get back to the form she displayed when at the track she looms a threat to pull off the upset. Dearest (1) is the defending champion of this race and has been running in graded stakes company her previous 4 starts and will look to get into the winners circle for the first time in 2017. True Romance (5) has shown the ability to get out to a lead and boasts a respectable 3 wins in 8 tries in 2017. Perhaps this mare will take to the Gulfstream track and can get a wire to wire victory.
The late pick 4 begins with the grade 3 The My Charmer set to go 1 mile on the turf for fillies and mares 3 years old and up. On Leave (5) looks to be the one to beat. She has been running in stakes races throughout the 2017 campaign and is a graded stakes winner out of War Front. Although there are no graded stakes wins in 2017 the competition this filly has faced including the likes of Lady Eli and beat the Breeder’s Cup filly and mare sprint champion Bar of Gold. Southern Gem (2) comes in from running during the summer and fall at Woodbine and gains the services of Javier Castellano. One thing to take note throughout this meet to date is the improvement of horses who last raced on a wet surface and this is another one that fits this bill. Defiant Honor (9) ships in from a track that has also seen a few winners early in this meet after running 5th in the Grade 3 Valley View at Keeneland. With a few bullet workouts over the Belmont training track and the addition of Johnny Velazquez could be a combination winning combination.
Destin (3) comes into the Harlan’s Holiday off a disappointing 6th place finish in the Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs, but this 4 year old colt out of Harlan’s Holiday is a grade 2 winner the race prior and is 2 for 5 on the year. Velazquez takes the mount and has been undefeated on this horse in 2017. You have to be encouraged when Pletcher’s first call jockey comes back to take the mount. Mr. Jordan (2) is coming off a 100 Beyer speed figure performance in a state bred $75,000 stakes race at Gulfstream Park West winning by an impressive 11 ½ lengths over Richard the Great. This 5 year old gelding out of Kantharos is graded stakes placed in 2017 and you can’t deny is coming in good form. Fear the Cowboy (7) is looking to get another graded stakes victory at Gulfstream Park after wining the Grade 3 Skipaway in March and has won 3 of 5 races at the track. Since that March start there are a couple place finishes and a stakes win at Mountaineer on the resume and with the addition of Castellano in the irons.
We move back to the turf for the last stakes race of the day going 1 mile in The Tropical Turf for three year olds and up. Blacktype (7) may have been a disappointing 4th at Aqueduct last out in the Artie Schiller stakes but prior to that had run two impressive races at Belmont including a grade 2 victory at 1 1/8 miles. Christophe Clement has started out at a 25% winning clip in the championship meet and will look to get this 6 year old gelding another graded stakes victory to his already great career. All Included (4) in my opinion can have his last start in the grade 3 Redbank tossed out having bobbled the break and if you do that the horses form fits well with the rest in this one. A grade 3 win at the distance on this surface is encouraging and we know the combination of Pletcher and Castellano has rewarded bettors with a 24% win percentage and an ROI of $1.67 throughout 2016-17 with a 315 sample size. Camelot Kitten (2) has been a fan of mine since he salvaged my Kentucky Derby weekend 2 years ago winning the grade 2 American Turf but that was some time ago and the 2017 campaign has left much to be desired but like the American Turf when this horse went off at 18-1 with Chad Brown and Irad Ortiz you can never under estimate getting a horse to fire on the turf on any given day.
We round out the 3rd Saturday of the Championship meet with a 1 1/16 mile maiden special weight turf race for 2 year olds. Pletcher enters two into this field of 1,1 and I find myself taking the first time starter Hyndford (9) as my top selection. Although I am a fan of taking horses with experience, I believe on the turf there’s been more success at 1st asking compared to the dirt. Add that in with the pedigree of this $200,000 Keeneland purchase being out of Street Cry and a mare out of Candy Ride factored in with Pletcher and Castellano, this horse has all the makeup to fire at first asking. Boru (5) is the other Pletcher entry and is looking to improve off of a 7th place finish at Belmont on October 7th. That race was run at 1 1/16 mile so the cutback for race number two may be just what this colt needs. Donegal Racing owns both the 5 and the 9 and bought them at the same sale. Boru was purchased for $250,000 more than the $200,000 for Hynford. Dr. Bombay (11) is a 1st time starter out of the Mark Casse barn and although the post position doesn’t necessarily help the workouts show multiple bullet efforts. Casse also shows good numbers when it comes to 1st start, 2 year old’s, and debuts at a mile or over.
|50¢ Race 1 Pick 5 $36|
|50¢ Race 2 Pick 4 $30|
|50¢ Race 7 Late Pick 5 $45|
|50¢ Race 8 Late Pick 4 $30|
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