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Handicapping Gulfstream's 4th of July Card

Gulfstream Park 615 X 400
Photo: Eclipse Spotswire
 
The $100K Armed Forces Stakes for Florida-breds traveling 1 1/16 miles over the turf is the first stake race of Gulfstream's shiny, new summer meet. Carded as the seventh race, a full field of eleven horses is set to enter the starting gate, with an additional three entered for MTO. Below are the best plays in the field.

The morning line favorite at 2-1 is Bad Debt (Grand Reward - Pleasant Ring, by Pleasant Tap). He's won/placed in six of ten starts over the Gulfstream lawn, but he hasn't won a race since last November. He's placed in about half of his nine starts, including a ½ length loss two races back.

Bad Debt's main competition appears to be Alley Oop Oop (Monsieur Cat - Nizy's Lizzie, by Wheaton) at 3/1. The bay horse has never raced at Gulfstream, however he's entering after a 1 ¾ length victory over the Calder turf. The five year old has some class, as he dead-heated for second in the Tampa Bay Derby (G-3), beaten only ½ length. Alley Oop Oop has met up with Bad Debt twice and was on the losing end both times, but only by two lengths and a neck.

Rule Number Six (Repent - Rikta, by Jade Hunter) comes back after a rare out of the money finish in the Memorial Handicap at Calder. Previously, he had a three-race win streak. The four year old has a decent 7-1-2-1 over the Gulfstream lawn. Trainer Ronald Gaffney is only 3% with the dirt to turf angle, but Rule Number Six fired a last-out bullet at Gulfstream and has some of the best works in the field. At 5-1 morning line, he's a must include on your tickets.

Jamie's Boy (Saint Anddan - A Lot of Drops, by Numerous) at 8-1 has won/placed in three of his last four starts. He's 0-2 on the Gulfstream green, however was beaten only a length in one of the starts. Although the Steve Towne barn has a 3% hit rate with dirt to turf, Jamie Boy owns the highest late-pace BRIS speed figure in the field. Jamie's Boy's jock Hugo Sanchez is on hot this summer, with a 17% win rate over the turf, which is the best in the field.

Summertime in Florida means rain most afternoons and evenings. If the race comes off of the turf, three colts are entered MTO, plus some of the turf runners have victories over sloppy tracks. Imperial Czar (10-1), Megamove (4-1), Notimetokill (4-1), and Majestic Express are the ones to look at.


Earlier in the day in the fourth race, two year old colts will travel 4 ½ F in a Maiden Special Weight.

Two sons of Wildcat Heir are entered. The Boot Wildcat (Wildcat Heir - Sally Got the Boot, by Storm Boot) (9-5) has two starts under his girth. He shortens in distance and adds blinkers. All four of his half siblings to race are winners, but only one showed any real precocity. Not much notable blacktype in the first two generations, but The Boot Wildcat can claim kinship to the multiple graded stakes winner and sire Blushing John.

At the other end of the odds spectrum is Green Diamond Cat (Wildcat Heir - Dance Forthe Green, by West by West) (20-1). There's decent class in this colt's immediate family. Four of five half siblings are winners and three, Distinctiv Passion, Italo and Dance So Sweet are stakes horses. Larry Bates is 23% with first time starters at at these odds, Green Diamond Cat is worth strong consideration.

A lot of attention will be paid to Unleash the Talent (Talent Search - Bambolina, by War Chant) (2-1). His first crop sire stands for the bargain price of $2,500. Half of his six offspring to race have won and one, Hollywood Talent, was second in the Bashford Manor. Unleash the Talent is the first foal to race for his dam. Not much blacktype in the first two generations, but the Jerome Handicap (G-1) hero Furiously and the graded stakes winning turf router Brilliant are part of this female line. So what's so great about Unleash the Talent? That would be his connections. Trainer Wesley Ward is the most recognized trainer of early juvenile winners in the country. Owner/breeder Ramsey is on a hot streak this year and set an all time record for most wins during the Churchill meet.

Joe's Wildcat (Margie's Wildcat - Esthers Ball, by Party Manners) (5-1) owns a strong last work. Three of his four full siblings are winners, but from a combined 70 starts, have five wins between them. Their dam is a half to two stakes horses and the second dam is a stakes winner. Trainer Jose Pinchin is 4% with debut maidens.

Quay to Heaven (Circular Quay - Divine Shadow, by Capote) (8-1) is the only colt in the field with breezes over the Gulfstream surface. His works are strong, consistent and he zipped 3F in :36 2/5 in his last breeze. Only one of his lightly raced half siblings are winners, but this colt's third dam is Sharon Brown, better known as the dam of Horse of the Year and sire Holy Bull. Sound too good to be true? Probably is. Trainer Greg Griffith is 0-17 with first time maidens.

Hearty Congrats (Congrats - Evil Eyed Czarina, by Carson City) (10-1) is a half to Miami Mile (G-3) winner Imperial Czar. Their dam is a half to a stakes winner and her half sisters foaled Met Mile hero Divine Park and Queen's Plate champ T J's Lucky Moon. Hearty Congrats owns a last out bullet at Calder. The drawback? Trainer Henry Collazo is 0 – 12 with first time maidens

Not a whole lot to say about Sea Zar Run (Burning Roma - Loen Salt, by Salt Lake) (12-1) He's a full brother to juvenile stakes placed Roma's Gal. Six of seven foals out of this dam have won. Other than Roma's Gal, you'll have to go back three generations to find blacktype. Trainer Robert Smith is 0-42 with two year olds.

The most expensive auction purchase in the field at $80K (KEESEP'12), King Tesa (Unbridled's Song - Awesome Chic, by Awesome Again) will likely find this distance too short, especially with only two recorded works under his girth. The well bred colt is a son of Florida Oaks (G-3) heroine Awesome Chic. King Tesa descends from the female family of multiple graded stakes winner and sire Seeking the Gold. Keep an eye on this colt as he stretches out. He should love going a mile or farther and should improve with maturity.

When The Boot Wildcat enters the starting gate, he's the only one who will have an idea of what he's doing. He can scoot out of the one post, take command, and it's all over. But not so fast. There's a few colts in here that will have a say in the matter. Unleash the Talent is from a high % winning barn. Quay to Heaven owns a bullet breeze at Gulfstream. Hearty Congrats owns one at Calder. Green Diamond Cat at 20-1 could upset the applecart. He has the classiest female family and a barn with a high percentage win rate with maidens.



 

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Older Comments about Handicapping Gulfstream's 4th of July Card...

Very nice analysis on the turf race. Top picks ran one two in tight finish. Exacta $15.20.

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