Saturday at Gulfstream Park is highlighted by the Grade 3 Dania Beach for 2-year-olds going 1 mile on the green. A competitive field of 9 juveniles will take center stage, in what I believe, may be a nice betting race. The Pick 5 sequence, as usual, came up pretty tough. According to the morning line, there is only one favorite I have included on my ticket. In fact, I found all the morning line favorites vulnerable. I did fancy a lot of the 2nd and 3rd choices, but maybe this thing has a chance to pay alright if we can get a few of our long shots home. Let’s delve into this, shall we??
Race 6: What a way to kick things off, it is very hard to exude any confidence in this one. I am, however, going to single here with Wayne Catalano’s charge Guava Girl. If you read the race conditions, this race was made for her. This is a non-winners of 3 lifetime, or for those that have not won since August 20th, 2013. Look at her last win, August 18th, she fits like a glove. I like the fact that a bug jumps aboard for the weight break and I believe she may have a serious pace advantage as a possible lone speed. She takes a slight drop in class which I also think may help. The only worry is the distance, but if she can secure a nice easy lead, she may just wire the field. No one else in here really scares me, but you never do know with these low level claimer types. They are very hard to trust. I cannot argue if you go deep in here, but I will live and die with Guava Girl.
Race 7: This is a very dicey maiden turf dash. I ended up going 4 deep in here and I still don’t feel that comfortable. I went with 3 horses cutting back from routes, and 1 speedball that Javier Castellano saw fit to ride. I will use Camryn’s Gem, Slews Golden Rule, More Than a Party, and Chief Dante. Camryn’s Gem goes out for Bill Mott, she adds Lasix for the 1st time today, which I am hoping will help, and cuts back from a route. Joe Bravo climbs aboard and I believe she is worth a look at 15/1 on the morning line. Slews Golden Rule is going 2nd off a layoff while cutting back to a sprint. Paco Lopez stays on and should have her within striking distance. More Than a Party gets the services of Javier Castellano while coming in off of a vacation. His first 2 starts have been in state-bred company, but she has flashed some early foot in both of those starts. Maybe today she can take them all they way up front. And lastly, Chief Dante cuts back from a mile while adding Lasix for Thomas Albertrani. Jose Lezcano will ride and I believe this one may be overlooked. As for the ML favorite, Yemanja, I am just not sold. I understand if you want to use her, but I will take my chances.
Race 8: I saw this as Martin Wolfson’s race to lose. I will use Pixie Devil and Arriba Anna. Pixie Devil is a new acquisition to the Wolfson barn, gets the services of Joel Rosario, and has been working nice in the morning. She has a huge shot in my opinion. My only worry, there is a lot of speed in here and this one does like to race on the pace. That is why I will also use Arriba Anna. She likes to stalk the pace and she should be able to get a nice trip. The fact Javier Castellano jumps on only sweetened the deal. I believe one of these two should get it done.
Race 9: In the main event of the afternoon, the Grade 3 Dania Beach, I am going to use Chad Brown’s pair of Pleuven and Request. Pleuven is making his 1st start for Chad’s barn and also his 1st start in the States. If you look at Mr. Brown’s stats on such maneuvers, it’s plain to see he is deadly. As for Request, he is coming in off of a layoff after a nice maiden win in his 1st start over at Belmont. He didn’t have much pace to run at that day and he still rallied from a stalking position to take the cash. I like the fact Castellano opted to stay put on this one. I also like his ML price of 8/1.
Race 10: In the nightcap, if I am alive it will be to Twigazuri Strait, Aripeka, and Middleburg. Twigazuri Strait goes out for the very sharp Michelle Nihei. I believe this one is going to sit a nice trip and should be ready to fire fresh off the bench. Aripeka, for Kellyn Gorder, gets back on the turf after breaking from the rail last out on the dirt at Churchill. He owns a nice maiden win over the poly at Keeneland. If he can run back to that, he has a nice shot at a nice price. And as for Middleburg, you must respect anything Christophe Clement sends out. He is super dangerous on the turf, and with his main man Jose Lezcano jumping back aboard this one, I am assuming they mean business. This one should be ready to roll off the bench.
The Play: I will spend $24 on a fifty cent Pick 5 play. I will go, 5 with 2-8-9-11 with 4-6 with 2-3 with 2-4-13.
As always, I hope I helped solidify your own opinions, or turned you onto something you might not have thought of. I wish everyone a great day of racing, cashing tickets, and good times. I probably will not have another post until next weekend, so I’d like to take this time to wish everyone out there a very merry Christmas. Take care, folks. Have a winning day.