Free Picks & Analysis — Who Do Ya Like?
Saturday, December 30, 2017
Gulfstream’s got a great 11-race card this Saturday, with four 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!
After a week off we’re back to take on another Championship meet card at Gulfstream Park. Today we’ll have 11 races, highlighted by an all turf late pick 5. Last time out found our first Shot of the Day in the winners circle and 3 out of 11 races picked correctly. However, they were all pretty big favorites and the ROI for the meet suffered as a result. Hopefully, today will turn things around a little bit.
|Top Selection||7 of 33 or 21.2%|
|ROI (based on $2 win wager for top selection)||0.723|
|Shot of the Day||1 for 3|
We start the day and the first pick 5 of the day with a claiming $50,000 race at 6 furlongs on the dirt. I found myself on the outside with Coronado Again (7). This 3 year old out of Gemologist comes off an impressive claiming $25,000 race on December 8th, winning by 2 ¼ lengths and has shown early speed in his racing career. Look for this one to get out into the lead and attempt to wire this field. Vencedor (2) is dropping in class from optional claiming down to the $50,000 price tag, and is the 9-5 morning line favorite. This horse is a closer that maintains the same connections as he has had for the last 6 races, so that consistency may prove to be too tough to beat. Throw the turf try out for Storming My Way (1) and you’ll see a horse that fits in at this level on the dirt and could be a contender by getting a stalking trip.
The pick 4 starts with our first of seven turf races on the card and is a 1 1/16 mile route for 3 year olds and up. Bingo Bango Bongo (9) is coming off of a 2nd place finish at Gulfstream Park West and his earlier races at Gulfstream Park are competitive with the rest of this field. Rios maintains the mount for the 4th straight and at a price of 12-1 in the morning line provides value for a 9 year old gelding that is knocking on the door of getting to the winners circle. Purely Boy (7) comes out of the Maker barn which always is competitive at Gulfstream and across the country. He also keeps the services of top Gulfstream Park jockey in Tyler Gaffalione and is looking to make it two in a row after winning at this level on December 6th. Sinatra (2) did ran to his 28-1 odds in the Claiming Crown Emerald stakes on opening day finishing 9th out of 14 but will drop back to claiming ranks where he had won 4 races prior including multiple wins at the $16,000 level.
Race 3 goes back to the dirt for a one turn mile at a claiming price of $6,250. Enders Cat (8) is another horse who was in over his head running opening day in the Claiming Crown’s Iron Horse stakes where he ended up going 6 wide in the stretch ad never really was able to provide any rally. A move back down to a level he has won 3 back should make him a major threat in this race. Goodtimehadbyall (6) also ran in the Iron Horse finishing 4 lengths better than Enders Cat in the Iron Horse while getting a little better of a trip. This gelding out of Quiet American ran competitively last spring in a few races at Gulfstream and since them has found the winners circle at Delaware, Monmouth, and Penn National throughout the summer however the last two races since returning to Florida have left little to desire but perhaps a change to Luis Saez in the irons will help right the ship for this one. Big Boy Bruno (7) will need to stretch out from the sprints he has been running in most of his career but does have a 3rd place finish at this mile back in July at Gulfstream and perhaps the stretch back out will provide a winner.
For this 5 ½ furlong $6,250 claiming race I took Bull Dozer (2) rejoins the Jorge Navarro barn where he raced earlier in the season before changing hands a few times throughout the spring and summer. His start 2 back at Gulfstream Park West he ran a respectable 2nd at the same distance. Pachanga Party (10) comes back to a level where he’s been competitive after running in the Claiming Crown Express stakes opening day. This horse has some early speed and if he can break well from the gate and clear could put himself in a good position to wire the field. Lil’s Fast Boy (9) is cutting back from the 7F and is starting for the lowest tag he has in his career while gaining the services of Gaffalione.
The H. Allen Jerkens is the first stakes race of the day going a daunting 2 miles on the turf. I went with a horse that has some experience at this distance in Bullards Alley (7) who last out was running in the Breeder’s Cup Turf taking 6th by 3 ¾ lengths. This grade 1 winner raced 2 miles once previously in his career at Belmont so that experience I’m hoping will come in handy in this spot. Infinite Wisdom (1) has some speed and has a win at the 1 5/8 mile distance so he may be able to handle the stretch out in this one. English Illusion (4) ran in this race last year finishing 8th out of 14 entries. Since then he has jumped between surfaces up at Woodbine and preformed well back on August 30th at 1 ½ in a stakes race.
We go back to the dirt for fillies 2 years old racing 6 ½ furlongs for a claiming price of $12,500. Trudeau (8) joins the David Fawkes barn for her first start. Fawkes is 18% in first races for the workout tab up to this race are respectable. Look for her to improve and with the class drop be competitive in this one. Momma Tries (11) comes in for her lowest tag to date and is coming back to the dirt after a lackluster performance on the turf last out. The prior dirt race she was in she ran a 3rd while having odds of 25-1. Don’t expect to be so lucky this time around. Dancing Noelle (3) is 1 of 2 first time starters and comes from a barn that is good at firing at first asking. Add in the services of the red hot Luis Saez to the mix and there are plenty of reasons to like this filly.
The all turf late pick 5 starts with the Tropical Park Oaks, a $75,000 stakes race for 3 year old fillies going 1 1/16 on the turf. Dream Awhile (3) is making his 2nd North American start after finishing 3rd by less than a length in November at Aqueduct on a good turf. This War Front filly comes out of one of the best turf trainers in the world in Chad Brown and gets Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez in the irons. Ellery Lane (2) comes off a 3rd place performance last out in the same race as third choice Overnegotitate and this filly has graded stakes experience at Curragh and a state side win on the Belmont turf. Overnegotiate (10) looks to take another stab at a Florida stakes race for Pletcher after running 5th after being the favorite in his last out at Gulfstream Park West. Todd Pletcher is one of the top trainers around and can get a horse to rebound so at a price of 10-1 this may be one worth a stab.
We begin the last pick 4 of the day with a $16,000 claiming race going 1 mile on the turf. With the morning line favorite Roccia d’Oro coming off just over a year long layoff I thought this would be a good spot to take a longshot and that in the form of Tagore (1). This horse surprisingly is trying the turf for the first time and appears to be bred to like the turf having a sire of Giant’s Causeway. Marcial Navarro shows success 1st off the claim winning at a 21% clip while being a respectable 13% at dirt/turf and a good 19% win rate on the turf. Roccia d’Oro has the class to win this race and will be the favorite at post time with great connections in trainer Michael Maker and Jose Ortiz in the irons however there are some red flags to this one being claimed for $30,000 back in December of 2016 and then not being raced for a year and then in the return comes in for a price tag of $16,000. Disco Man (4) has been in the money in the last 4 starts and has shown the ability to win both on the lead as well as closing so this versatility makes him appealing in this position.
My SHOT OF THE DAY comes here in the 3 year old filly Speighal (10). This horse has won two straight and including a maiden breaking score at Belmont and then followed that up with a 1 mile turf win at the Optional Claimer ranks next out at Aqueduct. The workouts have been consistent and with Gaffalione in the irons this one should be competitive at a morning line of 5-1. I’m Betty G (7) is a stakes winning horse with speed that is coming off of a 4th place finish in a grade 2 on a yielding turf. With a firming turf course and a lighter position than last out this filly could be poised to get back into the winners circle. Sister Nation (13) is one of two horses that is coming out of Woobine and I took this horse over the Ghostly Presence primarily because of a win on the turf surface compared to just the poly.
For the 1 3/16 mile Via Borghese I went with pedigree in that of Galileo’s Song (3) for trainer Chad Brown. This horse has a history of coming in 2nd but comes out of a grade 3 2nd place finish and this softer group may be what this 4 year old filly out of Galileo needs to get back into the winners circle. Texting (4) is another Chad Brown starter who gains back the service of Velazquez who has been on this horse for a majority of her starts. Beauty (9) has been running in graded stakes company and last time in a non-graded stakes race was able to find the winners circle at Indiana Grand. Another one of these horses that may benefit from a softer group than what they were previously facing.
The finale of the day is the Tropical Park Derby. For this race I’m taking a morning line long shot that I absolutely love in Dance Strike (10). This colt out of Tapit won last out at Gulfstream Park despite an unfriendly trip having to go wide into the first turn and steadied and was pulling early. As the race progressed the horse stayed near the back of the pack but then was able to find an opening and exploded away to end up winning this race going away. Somekindofmagician (4) has a 2nd place stakes finish to his resume and has been racing well on the East coast circuit and will ship in looking to provide an upset at a morning line of 15-1. Profiteer (3) is dropping from graded stakes company and is a colt from a top sire in War Front. Perhaps the drop in class to this position will be just what’s needed.
|50¢ Race 1 Pick 5 $36|
|50¢ Race 2 Pick 4 $24|
|50¢ Race 7 Late Pick 5 $48|
|50¢ Race 8 Late Pick 4 $24|
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