Free Picks & Analysis — Who Do Ya Like?
Sunday, February 11, 2018
There’s no stakes, but twelve races headlining today’s card at Gulfstream Park, with the first post time at 12:00 PM EST. We’re happy to have Paul Hundley (@vapaul67) providing FREE picks & analysis of the program. Be sure to give Paul a follow on twitter; he’s handicapped Florida and New York racing in the past, and he’ll be handicapping Gulfstream every Sunday of the meet.
Hello everyone and welcome to another Sunday at Gulfstream Park, or if it were a daytime soap, As The Posttime Drags. I want to start off by thanking all who helped out Les Onaka last weekend. I’m sure he could still use your support, to find out more contact Les directly on Twitter at his handle @les_onaka or his very good friend Dave Weaver @icecoldexacta . Let’s get to today’s 12 race card!
RACE 1: This $16Kn3L could certainly provide us with an early price as I’m leaning towards 5-PRUE to start off the day at double digit odds. Last out PRUE dueled with leader early, went to lead probably prematurely, opening up a big 4 length lead in stretch but was run down, beaten 1 1/2 lengths. Chalk that up to inexperience from the 7lb bug boy Donis. Still, was 2 lengths clear of 3rd and switches back to Carlos Montalvo. Montalvo rode 2 back with no success but did have a troubled trip. Thinking if this 7 year old gelding’s move is timed a little better, he can win this. 10-Ours Again nearly won at this level last out and will be one of the betting favorites to pull it off today. Certainly capable but am always leery of the outside posts in these races that have such a short run to the first turn. Of course did come from post 9 two races back to win and will probably drop over to save ground anyways rather than getting caught wide. Obviously would be no surprise, but his last race combined with connections of Ortiz and Maker make this one too short of a price for me.
Now, if you do like Ours Again, you almost have to like 2-King Mauro here as well, who was beaten a neck by him 2 back at the n2l level. Came back in last to win at that level, now gives today’s probable favorite another shot. 2 wins and 2 Show finishes since they dropped him down to a more reasonable price level.
RACE 2: My lucky day, the first of a couple of $6,250 claimers, this for n2L. 4-DANCE AROUND was bothered at the start last out at $12.5K level after a 2nd place at today’s level in which he beat 9 other horses home, though he himself was beaten almost 9 lengths by the winner. Trainer Rohan Crichton is 5 of last 13 second off the claim and 4 of last 13 dropping 2 or more class levels. 1-Altruism has a lot going on here today. Puts the Blinkers back on after 1 race without them, is going turf to dirt for only his 2nd start on dirt, and is dropping from $16K to today’s level. 2-Headhunter is another going turf to dirt, and though in last dirt start only beat 2 home, did stay competitive throughout; winner and place horse came back to win next out. Also drops from $16K. Luminary Flight and Shootist are also logical contenders in here.
RACE 3: I think 4-PEKIN ran a bang up race at today’s level 2 weeks ago, beating 8 horses while finishing 2nd. Was also 2nd at level in 2nd career start last December. The only concern is those races we’re 5 1/2 furlongs, this is a 6 furlong. Still, I’m willing to take the shot here.
9-Inverted ran 3rd vs $25K as the 2/1 favorite in debut and will probably be favored again today. Could certainly see a scenario where he gets an easy early lead and is probably “see you later” if that happens.
1-Steve’s Sonata has not beaten a single horse in 2 career starts, but Ian Wilkes is 5 of last 11 dropping 2 classes or more and this 3 year old gelding was at least in it in the early going last out. The furlong cutback may help as well.
RACE 4: Another $6,250 claimer. 8-FIRST DISTINCTION went gate to wire last out at today’s level to break a streak of 3 straight races she was a beaten favorite. Should have more options today breaking from an outside post and able to utilize early speed.
“5-Coquivacoa beat top choice 2 back at today’s level and followed that up with a very commendable effort versus $10K OC’s, was also first start for Pedro Castillo, who is only 2 for 51 since the start of 2017. Also, the drop back into today’s level is puzzling considering how well she ran last out. Too many questions for me to endorse on top.
6-Roraima has been ITM last 5 at today’s level and will probably appreciate the distance cutback. Peter Walder 26% third off the layoff.
RACE 5: Compared to the card we’ve seen so far, this looks like a stakes race! I’m glad to see Fayeq entered here, as it means he finally finished running the Travers as one of my Longshot plays that day. I might be a glutton for punishment, but I’m going to go right back with 3-FAYEQ in this spot today. Was coming into that Travers in good form having won two in a row, was in a wide post, bumped hard at the break, and was eased later in the race, so not a true indication of his talent. McLaughlin took some time with him after trying to find the next spot for him, granted this race is a means to an end, so I’m not sure we’ll see 100% today, actually I’m sure we won’t. But, I also believe he has the most upside of anyone in here, and that reason plus I don’t think he’ll end up being the betting favorite is enough to make him my top pick.
It was hard trying to find who might be on the early lead, but I believe 6-Icatiro coming out of sprints fits the bill. 2nd off the claim for Michael Tomlinson (29%) and if I’m correct in my assessment, could be trouble if allowed a loose lead.
RACE 6: Not getting cute here. 4-FUNNY DUCK has knocked on the door the last two races at today’s level, beaten a half length each time. The difference in those races and today was he was in post 9 in both of those races, today can save a little ground in post 4. Dam already has 6 turf winners, thinking he becomes #7 today.
2-Isolated ran well in debut finishing midpack in a 5 furlong Sprint, now stretches out. Should appreciate the distance.
1-Divide is a FTS for Pletcher/Castellano and the Dam already has 5 turf winners, but Flatter is only 5% first time turf.
Joel Rosario is in one of the worst slumps I’ve ever seen him in, so I was a little hesitant to pick him in this race on 4-REALLY PROUD
. He may have moved horse a bit prematurely last time out, which Rosario has a noted history of doing (he also has a noted history of taking horses too far back as well!) but he also learns well from his mistakes. Also believe post 4 today a much better place to be than post 12. Last out was the horse’s first attempt at a Sprint.
closed nicely in debut for a 3rd of 9 in a race where she was 3 lengths clear of 4th. Note the Place horse came back to win next time out. Jason Servis 21% 2nd career race.
5-Supercommittee is a FTS for Rick Violette (27%) but he’s only 1 of last 16 with debuting on turf. However, Dam has 2 turf winners from 2 starters and The Factor hits 16% FT Turf.
RACE 8: The initial thing that struck me looking at this race: how on Earth is Joshua’s Comprise still racing? Yes I know he had a 2nd in his last outing, still. My pick here is 4-ICONIC, which is a little bit weird in a way. We may get a better idea of ICONIC’S chances after Carlino runs in Race 5, since Carlino was a length behind in their Allowance race last out. The irony is, I didn’t have Carlino in my selections in that race, so why am I picking ICONIC here? Well, I’m not sure ICONIC is the BEST horse in the race, but I think he may be the best one “today”. Should be very close to pace or even on the lead early. Luis Saez and Dale Romans are sizzling together right now, 31% their last 29 opportunities together.
5-Hedge Fund could be, or at least had the opportunity to be, the most talented horse of this field, and that may still end up being the case. Makes return off 9 month layoff for Pletcher off a 4th place finish in the Sir Barton on Preakness Day at Pimlico. Before that almost won the G3 Illinois Derby and was 3rd in the Sunland Derby. Pletcher a ridiculous 31% with long layoff horses, but doubting you get a decent price.
Another who looked like he was going to be really good last year was 7-Meantime, and I’ll retract something I said a minute ago; THIS one will be on the lead barring a break mishap. Really thinking this one’s future should be at 6-7 furlongs, or maybe even on turf. We’ll see how it plays out. Still have to respect his speed. Leparoux rides for the first time today, wondering if this signals a change in tactics?
RACE 9: 1-STAY ON BASE beat 8 other horses home after dropping down to today’s level last time out, making a wide bid from post 8 and now draws the rail. Edgard Zayas stays aboard.
3-We Take Checks only beat 1 horse in debut at MC 35K but wasn’t really asked late. Navarro and Jaramillo are 29% together recently. Should show improvement in 2nd career start.
7-Rider of the Blue tried to be up the pace early last out while being claimed from Mark Casse by Marcus Vitali. Will see if the barn change has any affect.(or is it effect?)
RACE 10: Wow what a nice race! That being said, I’m saying 4-LUCULLAN (how many 4 horses have I picked today???) is my top play of the day. Just missed last time out in the Hill Prince , sandwiched between 2 of my favorite 3 year old turf runners of 2017; Yoshida and Bricks and Mortar. Believe the longer the 9 furlong distance today is right up this 4 year old Colt’s alley. And while the concern might be that there’s a lack of pace for him to run into, I suggest that that’s a problem for everyone in here.
2-Black Sea will vie for favoritism with top selection and may get first jump on that rival. Just my opinion this 5 year old gelding wants longer than 9 furlongs.
5-Classic Covey is lightly raced and has never been longer than 8.5 furlongs, and maybe the one most dependent on a fast pace. However is always coming at the end and has plenty of room for improvement.
RACE 11: I feel blessed today, this is like the 4th quality race I’ve been given to handicap. I think that may be a record for a Sunday at Gulfstream! I’m not exactly sure what a PROFITEER is(although by the suggestion of the name, I’m thinking my career has always been the exact opposite)but the last time 8-PROFITEER was entered in an OC, he was a nose winner at Saratoga. Puts Blinkers on today for Shug and is 2nd off the layoff. Should be rolling late.
I wanted to pick 7-Ring Weekend, I really, really did. But I can’t. He’s just disappointed me too many times. However, this might be the spot to get him back to the winners circle, or not. Certainly on back class is the tops of the field. 3-Hieroglyphics is a FT gelding from the Pletcher barn that ran well last winter/spring here.
RACE 12: 12-1-4
DISCLAIMER: THIS IS NOT A GAMBLING SITE. PICKS & ANALYSIS FOUND ON THIS SITE ARE MERELY OPINIONS BASED ON SUBJECTIVE ANALYSIS. PICKS DO NOT GUARANTEE ANY SUCCESSFUL OUTCOMES WHATSOEVER. PICKS ARE PROVIDED TO GUIDE YOUR STRATEGY TO PLAYING THE RACES. MATERIALS FOUND ON THIS SITE ARE IN NO WAY INTENDED TO ENCOURAGE GAMBLING. WHERE LEGAL, ALL WAGERS SHOULD BE MADE RESPONSIBLY AND ARE DONE SO AT YOUR OWN RISK.