Dickey: Betting Friday night's Turfway Park Pick 5 on a budget

December 06, 2019 11:56am
Every Friday during Turfway Park's winter and spring meets, I’ll be offering up a Pick 5 ticket for readers to contemplate, analyze and hopefully integrate into their own wagers. The Northern Kentucky track, now under Churchill Downs Inc. ownership, is offering larger purses, and more quality horses should follow in the coming months.

I’ll try to keep the investment under $100 and will also strive to use at least one single. The first leg is off at 6:15 p.m. ET, and you can see Turfway Park entries and results here.

Race 1

I'll start with a stand right away, playing  against two horses that should take plenty of money at the windows. I don’t want them on my ticket, and as long as we can get out of the first leg alive, it’ll get easier from here.

Commissario, a 4-1 shot for trainer Brad Cox, is dropping from a $30,000 maiden claiming race at Churchill Downs eight days ago into this $7,500 flight. He was beaten by 20 lengths a week and a day ago and has not shown any signs of being competitive. People will be betting on the trainer name and the morning line favoritism. A toss for me.

I’m also against the second choice on the morning line Love My Boss. I generally don’t back Minnesota-breds racing in Kentucky, and while I see the perceived benefit of using an apprentice jockey, Isaiah Wiseman doesn’t instill enough confidence in me to add him to my ticket. Horse looks good on form, but there are enough reasons to kick off the ticket for me.

I will be using trainer Larry Rivelli’s No. 2 Sofia’s Slugger, who is dropping in class, cutting back a bit, and has experience on synthetic turf -- something I like to see in Turfway runners. He may be close to the lead early, as there doesn’t appear to be a lot of speed in this race. If he stays near the 6-1 on his morning line, it would be a good start for the sequence.

No. 4 Baron It All for perennial Turfway Park upper-echelon trainer Michael Maker is a must use in the pick 5. While he hasn’t shown much in his three previous starts, he’s run against some pretty good company for the level of races he’s been in. He could be one where the drop in class really turns the light on and he’s one I’d hate to see beat me.

Speaking of horses you don’t want to see knock you out in the first leg, No. 8 Trust Me Now is a first time starter for trainer John Ortiz, who is 2-for-6 saddling debut maiden claimers at Turfway. I’m not too fond of the published workouts, and if you’re planning of tossing any of my selections from this race, I’d understand it being this one.

Race 2

The sailing should get smoother if we're still alive here. I thought about singling No.  7 Floroplus, but there’s actually one I like almost as much as this 5-2 morning line favorite. The knocks I have on this one are the jockey and that this is a 5 ½-furlong sprint. He has no real gate speed. But he’s still going to be the favorite and is a must-use.

I also like No. 2 Ambidextrous Alex for trainer Don Combs and jockey John McKee, who is a solid Turfway Park rider every year. While this one has been on the shelf, he’ll be more forwardly placed than the favorite, and I’ll let McKee take it from there. Ambidextrous Alex also has the best synthetic form in this race.

Race 3

We’ll have to go deep for the next two races, as they appear pretty contentious. But I'm confident I’ve narrowed down the most-likely winners.

I'm starting the third leg with No. 1 Aqualityindividual and jockey Fernando De La Cruz. He's a solid rider, and this horse does better going about a mile. A contender in a race that may feature a brisk early pace--this one can sit just off it and strike late.

No. 5 Darkness Beauty would really give this ticket a boost with a win. At 10-1 on the morning line, I don’t see him being well-backed at the windows, but his turf form is better than his dirt form. I expect synthetic won't be an issue. This overlay which could reward us handsomely.

The 3-1 morning line favorite, No. 8 Tidal Effect is a horse that must be used in this sequence. On paper, he’s clearly the best, and jockey Malcom Franklin is a top-tier Turfway jockey. This one will be the big favorite come post time.

No. 11 Sea Shark tried to cut back in distance last out, but other speed horses got the jump on him, and it tired him out. He’s returning to a mile distance here, where he broke his maiden three back. His class drop, speed and return to a mile distance make him a player here.

Race 4

I will be using the expected favorite and second choice, as both are logical. It’s my hope that at some point in the sequence we catch a decent price, because it may chalk out in the last two legs.

Both No. 7 American Mandate and No. 6 Bizzee Channel should be used here.

Bizzee Channel, for the Rivelli barn, has won and finished second in two starts on synthetic; is heavily dropping in class in this allowance race; and has performed better at shorter distances. This 6 ½-furlong sprint should be in the gelding’s wheelhouse.

American Mandate, for trainer Steve Asmussen, is also precipitously dropping in class and prefers a shorter distance. These two are the top horses of the race.

But wait, there’s more: Consider two longshots as well.

No. 4 Sterling Hope has an excuse in his last non-effort, as he broke awkwardly and was wide in a starter allowance sprint at Churchill Downs on Nov. 15. Other than that race, he’s been right in the thick of things since the end of August. An overlay that would tremendously add to the payout of this ticket.

Also add No. 10 Odie, who will be forwardly placed, won last out and has tried Turfway Park once before. At 10-1 on the morning line and with two solid favorites here, he could also be the value multi-race bettors need in a Pick 5 sequence.

I'm going four deep here with hopes I didn't just need to use two.

Race 5

A Friday night stakes race at Turfway Park rounds out the sequence, and it's here where I'll single.

No. 9 Jean Elizabeth goes to the gate for Rivelli, who I think is going to have a monster night in Florence. Albin Jiminez is aboard for the $75,000 Holiday Inaugural Stakes going six furlongs for fillies and mares 3 years old and upward.

She comes in on a three-race winning streak, having won Woodbine's Ontario Fashion (G3) sandwiched between the Powerless Handicap at Hawthorne and the Sweet Briar Too Stakes at Woodbine. She is a synthetic master, having won seven times while hitting the board all 11 times she’s run on the fake stuff.

She’s easily the best horse in the race, comes in in nice form, and four horses have scratched out of the main body of the race in efforts to avoid her. A single if there ever has been one.

The ticket

50-cent pick 5: 2,4,8 with 2,7 with 1,5,8,11 with 4,6,7,10 with 9

Cost: $48


comments powered by Disqus

Top Stories