So we come to another great Saturday of racing at Gulfstream Park with the Donn Handicap as the feature with 5 supporting stakes and some interesting maiden/allowance races sprinkled in. We will start Handicapping at race 4 today and skip some of the lower level races that starts the card off.
2 LADY SHIPMAN is going to be awfully tough to beat in this spot. Its a prep for Dubai but even at 85% she’s still better then these. No need to get cute.
4-3-1 Taking a shot here in the Fred Hooper with STANFORD(6-1), loads of potential early in his career, didn’t want to go two turns, I think a one turn mile is his best game and Pletcher is scary good with this type of layoff. Speaking of Pletcher, TOMMY MACHO(2-1), figures tough here, never had a chance last race chasing loose on lead horse. AMI’s FLATTER(3-1) ran huge off the layoff but I worry about a bounce off such a great effort, and the rail is a tough post for this trip.
1-5-8 TAMMY THE TORPEDO (7-2, best bet) looks awfully tough here, loved her last race where she was tons the best. Not a lot of speed and unlike her stablemate LIGHT IN PARIS(4-1), who I also like, she seems to be able to sit closer to a soft pace, and not leave herself to much to do. A LITTLE BIT SASSY will be flying late to get a piece, like the jock switch.
4-3-6 I think till be tough getting past the top 3 choices, 2 of which have already run which gives them a big advantage. Out of those, I do like MALIBU ACTION(7-2) who just missed in NY at this distance, got a little break and some good works for this. HECKUVASHOT(5-1) has a heck of a shot in my opinion, love the trappe shot and lionheart blood, which would suggest hell be ready to go. RIDDLER (4-1) also looks tough for team Pletcher.
13-10-6 INSPECTOR LYNLEY(5-2) just missed last time out from a horrible post, unfortunately he’s stuck back outside again today, if Rosario can save some ground going into the first turn, he will be tough to hold off down the stretch. Another closer who looks tough is BERLINER(9-2) for Clement whos always tough in maiden turf races. NINETY ONE ASSAULT(6-1) looks to have needed that last race and used the off the turf race as a prep for this one. His 2 turf starts fit well with this group.
4-3-11 Really loved DISSIDENT(4-1) maiden breaker at keeneland, which followed a sneaky good race in the Pilgrim at Belmont. Should be able to adapt to any pace scenario that unfolds. Last work shows me hes ready to fire. Chad Brown is always dangerous with his Euro transports, and ARTYTYPE (7-2) looks no different, steady works for a trainer who is 24% first time in this country, and 28% off the layoff. Dangerous. Logshot SCHOLAR ATHLETTE (12-1) might be the value play of the race even though you probably wont get those odds, Motion knows how to have these types ready and I can see a trip where he gets covered up in the back and makes one run.
13-10-4 In the turf sprint, I’m going way out wide to AMELIAS WILD RIDE (5-1) he won on here last out in a statebred stakes but has shown the ability to be competitive and win against top open company. Should be ideally placed at the tail of first pack and come running turning for home. POWER ALERT (4-1) and PURE SENSATION(3-1) are very similar on paper but I will give the edge to Power Alert having the race under his belt recently.
3-10-2 A maiden race that features a couple highly regarded, triple crown hopeful horses. Ill side with the favorite in this wide open race, which pains me to do, but WHEELS UP NOW, might have needed his last race where he got a little tired, and also got beat by a highly regarded horse who ran a huge race next out against a derby hopeful (shagaf). Should sit a good trip close to the pace, where you want to be on this track. No way yuou wikll get 12-1 on LOST IRON, but 2 bullet works after a sneaky good first time out race could have him sitting on go. I got burned last time MAJESTO(5-1) ran but I’m coming back his way as that race might have been a good one, from a competitiveness standpoint. Will be mid pack and his race 2 back should be tough here.
7-1-4 TAKEDOWN TARGET was super consistent all 2015, running high 90 beyers almost all year. Needed last where he ran agisnt the way the track was playing, should be tighterm and I think 1 1/8 is his ideal distance. Can sit closer to slow pace. The Ft Lauderdale stakes was an excellent race and ill take the second and third place finishers from there LUKES ALLEY(8-1) and ALL INCLUDED(12-1) for minor awards, as they should be closer to a soft pace. Heavy Favorite pizza man is the best horse in the race but will be severely over bet, I don’t think this distance suits him as his best races have been going longer, and gulfstream hasn’t played well to horses who drop way out of it. But he might just be that much better, not for me at 2/5 though.
1-3-8 Going outside the box here in the Donn Handicap. Loved MADEFROMLUCKY’S last race here, where he rallied to just miss Valid after he got loose on the lead that day. I see a little more pace in this race today which should set it up for a horse with his mid pack closing style. He is also 4-6 in the top 2 at this distance. Last 2 works were great, should be ready. Sticking with Pletcher in the place spot with MSHAWISH (7-2) who might be a better dirt horse then turf horse, which is hard to imagine. Ran a great race last time and got a good number. Long shot FINANCIAL MODELING(10-1) will be pressuring Valid early from his outside post, where I think valid will fold, I can see this guy hanging around for a share of the prize.
Good luck everyone today ill be sprinkling in some Aqueduct picks and more gulfstream thoughts on our twitter feed @quarterpoleblog as the day goes on.