Photo: Eclipse Sportswire
This Saturday at Gulfstream Park the Pick 5 is
highlighted by the Grade 2 Holy Bull Stakes. The 2014 Kentucky Derby Trail will
kick off with a bang down in Florida
as this year’s edition is absolutely stacked. I am anticipating this should be
an awesome rendition of one of my favorite stops on the Derby Trail. The field
is loaded with talent and I am almost positive we will see a few of today’s
entrants in the starting gate at Churchill Downs come the first Saturday in
May. As for the sequence as a whole I thought it was pretty manageable. There
are a few tough turf races that I plan on spreading, but other than that I
believe I have a few solid opinions. The action kicks off with the Grade 2
Forward Gal for 3 year old filly sprinters going seven panels on the main. Let’s
dig into this thing…
Race 7 – The Forward
Gal – I think this
is a one horse race. I will be singling Todd Pletcher’s filly Onlyforyou. I
just feel that she is on the improve and that no one else in here really scares
me. She has done everything right in her first two starts and she should get
the seven furlongs just fine. I expect her to sit a real nice pressing trip and
I predict she will advance her record to three for three. As for the rest of
the field, I think they will really have to improve to beat her. I think she is
a pretty safe single.
Race 8 – I found this to be a pretty tough
race. There are not a lot of trustworthy individuals in here. So, with that
said, I ended up going five deep. I will use Apologize, Forget That Gal,
Wholelottashakin, Kipling’s Joy, and First Acquital. My top pick in here is Wholelottashakin, but she
can’t be trusted. She has burned money lately while settling for minor awards.
The reason I like her so much though is because she is getting the shades off
for this, and also getting a much better post. She broke from the twelve hole last
time, in a field of twelve, going today’s same trip of 7 ½ furlongs. With the
short run up to the first turn, that is not the post you would like to have. I
also like that Jose Lezcano is
staying aboard. I hope the blinkers off angle will wake her up a little and she
can finally cross that line first.
As for the others, I used Kipling’s Joy due to the fact she
gets a trainer change and the services of Javier
Castellano. She is coming in off of a layoff and trainer Martin Wolfson has excellent stats for
both new acquisitions, and with horses coming back off of a vacation. I expect
she will run well. I am taking a shot with both Apologize and Forget That Gal.
The former is trained by Michael Matz,
goes second off the layoff after a return sprint on the dirt, and is trying the
green again. As for the latter, this four time winner goes out third from the
layoff following a pair of sprints. He is coming back off a short rest of six
days, a move trainer Tevis McCauley
has pulled off well recently. It may be a bit of a reach, but she does own a
win at today’s trip and distance. And lastly, First Acquital, she is a nine
time winner who is coming in off of a win against 30k claimers. I think she
must be left in the discussion. If I had to trim it down, I would use only
Wholelottashakin and Kipling’s Joy. Like I said in the beginning though, this
is a tricky race. Good luck.
* One I think could hit the board at a huge price is Negrita Tata. She gets a major post position upgrade for this. I know her last was against lesser,
that’s why I didn’t include her on the win end, but she may run well enough to
fill out a Tri or Super.
Race 9 – I went deep in this maiden turf
route. I will use five of them to survive. I couldn’t get a handle on this one
at all. I will use Hunting Hill, Archangelus, Calm Water, Guard the Lines,
and All Star Kitten. If All Star
Kitten had drawn well, and not last of twelve, I might have singled her. But,
she didn’t, and that’s why I loaded up this race. As for the other contenders I
used, I won’t go into too much detail, but I used angles that have the tendency
to produce improvement. Calm Water and Guard the Lines were included because
they are getting Lasix for the first time. I went with Hunting Hill with the
hope that going long on the turf will wake him up after having a couple of
sprints on the poly at Keeneland. And as for Archangelus, you must respect any Graham Motion starter going long on the
turf. He is the master at this.
Race 10 – The Holy Bull
– What a fantastic
way to kick off the Derby Trail down at Gulfstream. This is, at this moment, by
far the most talented field we have seen assembled in a prep race to date. This
is a very exciting bunch that has a lot of potential. With that said, I am
going to single here with Wicked Strong.
I have a feeling that he is going to run a very nice race. He is coming into
this off of a layoff and I absolutely love his workout pattern. In his last
three works, he has a pair of quick five furlong drills and another stamina
building drill at a mile. After watching The Remsen, which was a very weirdly
run race, I felt he was moving best at the end. He gets the services of Javier
Castellano in this spot, and if he is anywhere near that 8/1 morning line, I am
going to hammer him at the windows seven ways to Sunday. If I had to add another
it would be Cairo Prince, followed
by Coup De Grace. I cannot wait to
see this race.
Race 11 – In the night cap, a turf route for
16k claimers who have never won two races lifetime, I will single Charade. He is coming in off of a
layoff and has proven in the past that he can fire fresh. He has been working
fine for his return and I believe Jason Servis should have him ready to roll at first asking. I expect him to
either be on the lead, or just off of it, in a race with very little pace. I
expect a very nice effort from him today.
The Play – I am going to play a fifty cent Pick
5 for $12.50. I know that is on the cheap side, but the biggest score of my
life did come on a $12 Pick 5 at Gulfstream a couple of years back. I will go 3
with 3-6-7-8-9 with 4-5-7-8-12 with 8 with 10.
As always, I hope I gave you some confidence in your own
selections, or turned you onto something you may not have thought of. Enjoy The
Holy Bull everybody and have a winning day. Good luck!