HRN Saturday picks: Featuring the Harlan’s Holiday Stakes

HorseRacingNation.com
December 15, 2017 10:59am
Fear the Cowboy_Skip Away 2017_615x400
Photo: Kenny Martin

Former claimer Page McKenney’s matchup with Destin, a potential contender for the 2018 Pegasus World Cup, headlines Saturday’s action on track in the Grade 3 Harlan’s Holiday Stakes at Gulfstream Park. We asked our HRN contributors to handicap both that and the Fifth Avenue, a division of the New York Stallion Series at Aqueduct.

Now, on to the picks — and good luck!

$150,000 New York Stallion Series, Fifth Avenue Division (3:47 p.m. ET)

Nick Costa, Trackside with Trackman

Winner: #2 Pure Silver

On the board: #6 Wegetsdamunnys, #5 Miss Hot Stones

Longshot I like: #3 Aunt Babe

Analysis: Pure Silver has prior success in state-bred races. She also won the Grade 2 Adirondack Stakes. Miss Hot Stones broke her maiden in earnest over this track last month. She’s trending upward in the speed figure department, and her last is best of the group. Wegetdamunnys could very well get the money as her trainer excels with shippers. Aunt Babe looks best of the remaining three.

Jarrod Horak (@jchorak)

Winner: #6 Wegetsdamunnys

On the board: #5 Miss Hot Stones, #2 Pure Silver

Analysis: Wegetsdamunnys ran well in all three starts at Finger Lakes and can score with an outside stalking trip. Miss Hot Stones and Pure Silver are the logical favorites.

The Plays: #6 to win, Exacta 6/2-5, Exacta 2-5/6

Casey Laughter, The Tattooed Tracksider (@WritingCasey)

Winner: #2 Pure Silver

On the Board: #6 Wegetdamunnys, #5 Miss Hot Stones

Longshot: #4 Beaux Arts

Analysis: Pure Silver is a very nice young filly who is best sprinting and is now back to six furlongs, looking like a nice horse as she grows up. Wegetdamunnys has never been off the board in three starts and has a very nice pedigree. Miss Hot Stones also has never been off the board in three starts, so she warrants some attention. 

Jasen Mangrum, Handicapper’s Corner (@Cappercorner) 

Winner: #5 Miss Hot Stones

On the board: #2 Pure Silver, #6 Wegetsdamunnys 

Longshot I like: None

Analysis: Not much separates Miss Hot Stones and Pure Silver, as they tower over the field from a speed figure standpoint. A 2-5 exacta box should be one of the best bets of the day at any track.

Olivia Newman, The Final Stride (@barbaroloverrr)

Winner: #5 Miss Hot Stones

Across the board: #2 Pure Silver #6 Wegetsdamunnys 

Longshot: #1 Velvet Trinni

Analysis: I am very intrigued by Miss Hot Stones, as she’s coming off an impressive maiden win. She was at least three wide the whole race and came out even farther in the stretch to draw away clear. I think she’ll be more impressive with this win under her belt. Pure Silver is very talented as well and she will get some class relief this weekend. I look for a big effort from her. 

Grade 3, $100,000 Harlan’s Holiday Stakes (4:07 p.m. ET)

Nick Costa, Trackside with Trackman

Winner: #3 Destin

On the board: #5 Page McKenney, #7 Fear the Cowboy

Longshot I like: #8 Flatlined

Analysis: Destin drops down from the Grade 1 level. He has tactical speed, class and top-notch connections. Page McKenney is a former claimer that has won multiple stakes. Fear the Cowboy is well-traveled, and he seems to hold his form wherever he goes. Certainly loves this racetrack. Flatlined has spent much of his career on turf, but has dirt breeding. Registered sharp dirt works over the local strip getting ready for this.

Jarrod Horak (@jchorak)

Winner: #7 Fear the Cowboy

On the board: #5 Page McKenney, #2 Mr. Jordan

Longshot I Like: #4 Conquest Big E

Analysis: Fear the Cowboy likes Gulfstream (5-3-1-1) and can move up in his second start after a layoff under Javier Castellano. Conquest Big E is a 15-1 pace player.

The Plays: #7 to win, Exacta Box 5-7, Exacta 5-7/2-4, Trifecta 7/ALL/2-4-5

Casey Laughter, The Tattooed Tracksider (@WritingCasey)

Winner: #7 Fear the Cowboy

On the Board: #5 Page McKenney, #1 Richard the Great

Longshot: #8 Flatlined

Analysis: This race is so evenly matched. Fear the Cowboy is one of the most consistent horses in the field. Flatlined is an interesting play, with this being his first start on dirt in a very long time. Page McKenney is the old veteran here and demands respect.

Jasen Mangrum, Handicapper’s Corner (@Cappercorner)

Winner: #7 Fear the Cowboy

On the board: #5 Page McKinney, #2 Mr. Jordan

Longshot I like: #8 Flatlined

Analysis: Fear the Cowboy has never been off the board in five tries at Gulfstream Park and typically runs well second off the layoff. A rider switch to Javier Castellano doesn’t hurt either.

Olivia Newman, The Final Stride (@barbaroloverrr)

Winner: #3 Destin 

Across the board: #2 Mr. Jordan, #1 Richard The Great

Longshot: #6 Frammento 

Analysis: Destin is coming off a disappointing sixth-place finish in the Clark Handicap, but this weekend he will get some class relief. Mr. Jordan looks to be the biggest threat. He’s training well and coming off an impressive win. I look for a big effort. 

 

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