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HRN Original Blog:
Across the Board with Mike B

Gulfstream Park: Claiming Crown Pick 5

Gulfstream Park 615 X 400
Photo: Eclipse Spotswire

It’s that time of year again. Winter is about to take hold of the Northeast, and that means it is time for me to go the way of the geese and head south for some sun. I can’t think of a better place to warm my bones than Gulfstream Park. This Saturday Gulfstream will host the Claiming Crown for the second year in a row and there should be some very competitive racing on tap. I took a look at the late Pick 5, and here are some quick thoughts on how I saw it.

 

Race 6: This is a very tricky leg to kick things off and I am not sure I trust the morning line favorite, or the second choice either. I understand if you want to use them, but I like a few price horses that I think have a chance to run well. I will use the trio of Kingsford Drive, Ghost Is Clear, and Goodtimehadbyall. Ghost Is Clear is my top choice in here. I love the fact he is getting off the rail for this and that Javier Castellano sees him fit to ride. Three back he won a N3X at Churchill, while breaking from the rail, and if he runs back to that race I believe he wins. He was in over his head at Keeneland two back in the Grade 3 Phoenix and I do believe he will love 7 furlongs. Kingsford Drive is coming into this 3rd off the layoff, likes the trip, and gets Jose Lezcano in the irons. That is good enough for me. As for Goodtimehadbyall, he hasn’t been the most consistent, but when he brings his “A” game he can be tough. He has fired fresh in the past, and I am hoping he does the same again off a short break.

 

Race 7: I will single Deanallen’skitten in here for Chad Brown. I just feel she is pretty consistent. She has never missed the board at GP, and has never been off the board at this trip while racking up 5 wins in 10 tries. I do believe this is a fairly strong single. There are some others that I was interested in, and that I gave second looks, but I can’t get by the favorite in here. It always came back to her. This is her race to lose in my humble opinion. 

 

Race 8: I will go two deep in this leg with Red Hills and Point Finish. If Red Hills goes off anything near that 15-1 morning line I will be ecstatic. Two back he ran a really nice race while getting a big fig for his efforts. He has a few wins at GP and has also done well at the trip. Last out, while in stakes company, he was bumped at the start and lost interest. I love the price and his chances today. As for Point Finish, he is just as solid as a racehorse can be. He has hit the board 19/24 starts with 9 wins. Paco Lopez will be aboard and I have a feeling he will run a nice one.

 

Race 9: I am using four to get through this leg and I still don’t feel that great about it. I just couldn’t get a handle on this race. I will use North Star Boy, Alley Oop Oop, Major Marvel, and Blameshifter. The reason I found this race so hard is I couldn’t get a good feel for the pace. I have a feeling this will be won by a stalker, but I’m just not 100% sure. Those are my quad, good luck to you guys on this one. If anyone has any solid ideas, let me know. I’d love to feel better about this race.

 

Race 10: I will be alive to two if I am smart enough, and lucky enough to get here. I will use Nevada and Sinorice this leg. Both are getting back to two turn routes and own wins at the trip today. I expect both of them to run well. The one I will be scared of is Voodoo Storm. He is coming into this very sharp. In the end though, I excluded on the basis of he has never tried this distance before, and that his two big wins that jump off the page at you have been at Mountaineer. Maybe he just loves it there. I can’t fault you for using him, but I do believe you can knock him.


The Play: Fifty cent Pick 5 will cost you $24. I will go 5-6-7 with 6 with 7-9 with 5-7-8-12 with 3-4.


As always, best of luck everyone. I wish you all a winning day. I hope I was of some assistance in either turning you on, or off, a horse. Enjoy the races, folks.

 

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 Meet Michael Barry   

 

 It all started 5 years ago for me after a spur of the moment trip to Saratoga Springs with my future wife.  I had always bet on the Triple Crown races, and made a few trips to Suffolk Downs annually, but not until that journey to The Spa did things get serious for me.  I fell in love with horse racing right then and there and I haven’t looked back since.  The following year I read every handicapping book I could get my hands on.  I became, and still am, a very passionate student of the game. 

 

Through this blog I hope to take you guys through my favorite aspect of the game, which is breaking down races and doping out winners.  I focus my attention between the NYRA circuit (mostly), Gulfstream Park, and Keeneland.  I also plan to provide very thorough coverage leading up to the Kentucky Derby and Breeders Cup.  I love analyzing the prep races leading up to both of those grand events. 

 

Wagering wise, I love playing pick 4’s and 5’s, and I have enjoyed some success in the past playing those types of exotics.  In any given race, I try to attack based on strength of opinion and value.  That may be in the form of an exacta, trifecta, superfecta, daily double, pick 3, or by laddering my choice across the board.  Every race is its own animal and must be played accordingly.

 

Personally, I am a graduate of Boston University and reside on the South Shore of Massachusetts with my beautiful wife Tara and wonderful son Finn.  I work as a technician for a communications company by day. 

 

I can be found on Twitter @mbarry24 and I’m always up to discuss anything horse racing related.