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HRN Original Blog:
Across the Board with Mike B

Gulfstream Park: Some Pick 5 Thoughts

Gulfstream Park 615 X 400
Photo: Eclipse Spotswire

Gulfstream Park is offering us a very thorny sequence for Saturday’s Pick 5. We have a turf sprint, a couple of jam packed turf routes, a 2 year old maiden route, and a tricky stakes sprint to navigate through. I chose to go light on my ticket and take a few shots with a couple of singles to cut down the cost of my play. I could definitely understand if you want to go deep here, as it is a very tough series of races. I just could not find any rock solid opinions so I stepped lightly. The action kicks off with a 5 panel turf sprint, let’s start there…..


Race 6: I always find these short turf sprints especially tough. It seems to me these types of races or either won by a blazing front runner or someone closing like a freight train after a pace collapse. The hard part is figuring out which scenario will happen. I played it safe in this case and went with what I believe is the speed of the speed, and also used a pair I think will be coming from off of it. I went with the trio of Cavetto, Perfect Package, and Subtle. If Subtle is able to secure the lead rather easily he could be long gone. But, if he is bothered up front, and there are other speeds in here, he may get nipped at the wire. The 2 I thought had the best shot at doing the nipping are Cavetto and Perfect Package. Cavetto is coming in off of a layoff after breaking his maiden at Saratoga at first asking and Christophe Clement should have him ready to roll. As for Perfect Package, he is facing winners for the 1st time as well and I like the fact Paco Lopez stays on. He is cutting back from a route for this and I think he will be coming late.  


Race 7: I looked at this maiden route 2 ways, either single or go deep. I chose to single Todd Pletcher’s Palace Gate. At 8/1 on the morning line, I don’t think we will get that, he has a big shot. You have to trust Todd in here. If he sees fit to throw this guy back on dirt and move him up in class, I have to believe he is going to run well. There are a lot of contenders in here with potential upside, I just felt by singling this one it may give me an edge going deeper in other legs.


Race 8: I whittled this N1X/OC75k turf route down to 3 contenders, and I am just hoping to stay alive. I will use Camden Street, The Battle Is On, and School On a Hill. Camden Street is facing winners for the 1st time while getting a best last out Beyer of 82 while breaking his maiden at first asking. If he runs back to that, he will be tough. The Battle Is On is dropping out of a restricted stakes race for this. He gets a better post than his last, he broke widest of all, and gets the services of Javier Castellano. I expect him to run well. School On a Hill goes out 2nd off the layoff for Wayne Catalano. He will add blinkers for this and I expect an improved effort.


Race 9: The main event of the day, the Grade 3 Sugar Swirl for fillies and mares going 6 furlongs, I saw as a tough race. In my opinion, it boiled down to the 2 morning line favorites, but I wouldn’t be too shocked if someone pulled an upset. With that being said though, I am going to single Heart Stealer. I just think R Free Roll will not have it easy up front. Crazy About Me and Classic Point should be gunning for the lead and I think Heart Stealer may get the perfect trip. If one of the other speeds should scratch though, I would either include R Free Roll or possibly even end up singling her. As is though, I like the trip Heart Stealer should get and I love Javier Castellano jumping aboard. If anyone upsets this, I believe it will be Munnings Sister. She is dropping out of a couple of Grade 2’s in New York and may be able to work out a nice trip herself. I just don’t trust her and that’s why I ended up where I did. In interesting one to include underneath I believe is Twice Told Tale. She had some trouble in her last and I think she may run better today.


Race 10: I went 4 deep here, using 2 logical choices and 2 bombs, in this claiming turf route. I will use Target Sighted, Favorite Ketch, Northwood Bully, and Exeter Road. Target Sighted is coming in off a big drop from a N2X and its now or never time for him. He must be included, but I do not trust him completely. Favorite Ketch is going 2nd off the layoff with Paco Lopez staying aboard. He has a money burning tendency, but I will include him defensively. Northwood Bully is a very interesting long shot in my opinion. He goes out for a new barn today and he brings some back class to the table. At 30/1 on the morning line, I will take my chances and have him on my ticket. Exeter Road, who gets back on the turf for this, has a shot as well if he can run back to his start at Delaware Park. At 15/1 on the morning line, I believe he is worth including.


The Play: I will step lightly while playing an $18 dollar ticket for fifty cents. I will go 5-6-11 with 5 with 3-6-9 with 3 with 1-4-9-10.


As always, I hope I helped shore up your own opinions, or turned you onto something you may not have originally seen. Best of luck, everyone. I wish you all a winning day.      



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Older Comments about Gulfstream Park: Some Pick 5 Thoughts...

Nice call on Heart Stealer. The Sugar Swirl was a tough one. Any of those 6 fillies, well probably just 5 of them, could have won it. The top 3 all ran winning races.

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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.

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