Race of the Week 2017

HRN Original Blog:
Across the Board with Mike B

Gulfstream Park: Pick 5 Action

Gulfstream Park 615 X 400
Photo: Eclipse Spotswire

As per usual, Gulfstream Park has offered up a fantastic card for this Saturday. It is highlighted by 3 stakes races, 2 of which I will discuss as part of the Pick 5 analysis. I think there are quite a few square priced horses that have a chance in the sequence. And although the Pick 5 came up tough, it seems to be manageable if you are willing to take a few shots. I put together a modest ticket that I think we have a nice shot at cashing. Let’s dive into this thing. The action kicks off with a non-winners of 2 in for a claiming tag of 35k on the green, let’s see if we can get hot…


Race 7 – Not a lot of trustworthy contenders in this affair, that is for sure. I elected to go 4 deep with the likes of Legenda Aurea, Tie Dye, Starship Pegasus, and Sands of Humor. Tie Dye and Starship are my pace plays, there does not seem to be a lot of early lick in here. I am thinking one of these gals may be able to pull a robbery if left unattended up front. If they are unable to hold on though, I think either Legenda Aurea or Sands of Humor will be the ones finishing best late. Sands of Humor should secure a nice pressing trip. He has won by being able to get that trip in the past. As for Legenda Aurea, she is taking a huge class drop. That may be a negative, but I will take a shot and include her. She has fired fresh in the past and receives Lasix for the 1st time today. I think she is a must use, but if your worried about the drop, I understand. One that I left off my ticket that may have a shot is Zipso Facto. She has run well recently, I just thought she needed a little more pace to close into than she will get today. If you have the cash, she may be worth adding.


Race 8 – In leg 2, we have a nice maiden special weight for 3 year olds going a 1 turn mile on the main. Again, I will go 4 deep. I will use Vinceremos, My Storm Trooper, Four More, and Buck Magic. I am against the Todd Pletcher 1st time starter breaking from the rail. As I’ve said in the past, in 1 turn events out of a chute, I am almost always against these horses. That goes double for a 1st time starter. So with that said, here’s why I landed on who I did. I think Vinceremos and Four more have a right to improve 2nd time out. Vinceremos’ 1st race was in slop and I expect improvement this time out over dry dirt. Four More tried turf in his debut and showed nothing after steadying around the 1st turn. He is a bit of a long shot, but Joel Rosario saw fit to ride so I will take a chance with him. My Storm Trooper was included based off his last race. He ran well while pressing a quick pace and held on for the place in the 1 1/16th contest. I like that he shortens up a bit today and the fact he is back to 1 turn. He has a legit shot in my eyes. Lastly, Buck Magic is dropping out of the Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club at Churchill. He didn’t run that well that day, although he did show brief speed. His race 2 back though is what really got my attention. He broke from the rail going 7 furlongs and had to steady a bit in the backstretch. He did race a bit green, but hopefully he has matured since. He goes out for the 1st time off the trainer switch to David Fawkes and keeps Joe Rocco in the saddle. He definitely has a shot.


Race 9 – The Grade 3 Marshua’s River came up pretty interesting and is a fantastic better race. It is loaded with speed and I believe it will be won from off the pace. I went with 3 stalkers in hopes they get a jump on the dead closers that I am against. I went with Floral Romance, Naples Bay, and Somali Lemonade. I almost singled Somali Lemonade in here, I really like her chances. She adds blinkers for this and has a best of 54 bullet work on the tab. I’m thinking that blazing work came after the shades were added. She has a huge shot in my eyes and I think now is the time to have her. As for Floral Romance, I am taking a stab with her. She runs well fresh and gets the services of Joel Rosario. She owns a win over the track and should sit a nice trip. Naples Bay was the last one I added. She loves Gulfstream and is another that I think should get a nice stalking trip. You can make a case for a lot of these. I could of added another 3 contenders if I wanted to spend more money. I will say this though, I would demand a price this race. There are a lot of evenly matched horses in here.


Race 10 – I am going to single in the main event of the day, The Spectacular Bid stakes. Giancarlo has a huge shot to win I believe. He drew well for this as he has a ton of speed to his inside. He should be able to sit a nice pressing trip and then pounce in the lane. He owns the top Beyer fig in the field with a 98 in his maiden breaker. At 8/1 on the morning line, I think I’m all in. The only knock I have about him, he switched leads late in his last after pressing a really fast pace. I think that is just a lack of seasoning. He possesses raw, natural speed. And if he learns how to harness it, look out.    


Race 11 – In the nightcap, I saw this as a one horse race. If I’m alive it will be to Principessa Gina. She is a 2nd time starter for Todd Pletcher with Javier Castellano in the irons. She takes a slight drop in class and gets a much better post for this. The rest of the field is very questionable. If she improves even in the slightest, she should cruise. And that’s all I have to say about that.


The Play – I am going to play a fifty cent Pick 5 costing 24 dollars. I will go 1-3-4-8 with 3-4-8-9 with 1-6-10 with 6 with 5.


As Always folks, I wish all of you a winning day at the windows. I hope I helped strengthen your own opinions or turned you onto something you may not have thought of. Best of luck everyone, have a great day at the 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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