Photo: Eclipse Sportswire
If marathon turf races are the type of thing that you are into, boy, are you going to love the late Pick 4 and Pick 5 at Gulfstream Park this Saturday. I will be focusing my attention on the Pick 5 which features three races at, or over, 1 3/8th miles. The action will be highlighted by a pair of graded stakes going long on the turf in The Very One (Gr.3), and the Mac Diarmida (Gr.2). I found the sequence pretty challenging as a whole, and I believe you are going to have to take a stand somewhere along the line. Here are some quick thoughts on the Pick 5…
Race 7 - I found this Maiden Special Weight to be a tricky way to kick things off. It is the only race on dirt, and also the only sprint in the sequence. I am going to go three deep here using Highrate, Victory Nor Defeat, and Athens. If Highrate drew a better post, instead on the rail, I may have singled him. He flashed some sub-22 speed in his debut and he should improve in his second start today. I added Victory Nor Defeat, a first time starter from Ralph E. Nicks’ barn, because of his sharp works, his trainer’s stats with firsters, and Johnny V. saw fit to climb aboard. And lastly, Athens made the cut because this is his second start, he is adding blinkers, and Rosario stays aboard. I think that should be enough to get through this leg, but I will be keeping my eye on the tote and watching the post parade closely. As crazy as this may sound, I wouldn’t be afraid to either drop one off the ticket I didn’t like visually, or add one that looked fantastic. This is a tricky leg in my opinion so step lightly.
Race 8 – The Very One stakes come up tough I thought. None of the contestants are win machines by any means and they are all pretty evenly matched. I am going four deep, but I wouldn’t talk you off anyone. I will use Aigue Marine, Left a Message, Seanchai, and Preferential. I won’t go into too much detail, as my opinion is not that strong, but I will explain the choice of Seanchai. In a race seemingly devoid of pace, I believe the addition of Paco Lopez on Seanchai may place him on a lone lead. A place he is comfortable. If you look back in his PP’s to last January here at Gulfstream Park, she wired an N1X field on the turf at today’s distance. I know this field is tougher, but if he can secure a similar trip today, she may be able to pull of the heist again. She should be a nice price, too. For that, I am willing to take a shot with him.
Race 9 – Here is the race I am going to take a shot and single. I will be rooting for Hurricane Elvis to storm home late to keep me alive in this Pick 5. He goes out second off the layoff today, keeps jock Luis Contreras in the irons, and owns a win at the trip. I am hoping he improves off his last and relishes the added distance. If I were to add another one it would have been Big N Perfect who goes out for Christophe Clement with Joel Rosario up. This is his first start under Clement’s care and also his first start verses winners. I will be scared of him, but I hope Hurricane Elvis’ experience will prevail. I am totally against Wings of Fortune, as I feel he is a complete money incinerator, but I must admit I am a little nervous about him. Lumberyard Jack and Gold Former are a couple more I think have a shot to win, but ultimately I expect improvement from my choice and I am hoping that is enough to get the job done today.
Race 10 – In the main event, the Mac Diarmida, I am going to use a pair horses that I believe are the class of the field, and who I also believe may have big years in 2014. I went with Slumber for Bill Mott, and Twilight Eclipse for Tom Albertrani. Slumber goes out second off the layoff and I am expecting him to run a huge race. I thought his last race was the perfect prep for today’s assignment. As for Twilight Eclipse, he finished less than three lengths behind the winner of the BC Turf after a tough trip. I will lean on those two to get through this leg.
Race 11 – I feel there are two ways to go here in the nightcap. I think you may be able to get through this leg using only two, Legenda Aurea and Charade. But, these aren’t the most reliable types and if that does not make you feel comfortable I would suggest going five deep with the pair just mentioned, as well as Maydell, Concierto Imperial, and Windsor Garden. I am against Henin, I just have not been impressed with his last two runs. I think that he will take money do to the fact he has Rosario in the irons and he is coming out of Jonathan Sheppard’s barn. At a short price, I do not feel he is worth the risk.
The Play – I am going to play a fifty cent Pick 5 for 60 dollars using 1-2-3 with 1-2-3-5 with 6 with 4-6 with 4-5-7-8-11.
As always, I hope I helped you guys construct your own tickets by solidifying your own choices, or by turning you onto something you may not have thought of. I wish you all the best of luck. Have a winning day, everyone.