by Frank Carulli
October 14, 2021
Big fields, big payoffs. That seems to be the norm for the Stronach 5 national Pick 5 wager, with an industry low 12 percent takeout. The action is fast, spanning three tracks in 75 minutes, so here's an early look at this week's lineup. Be sure to check for updates after scratch time Friday.
LEG A // LAUREL PARK, RACE 8 (4:27PM ET) // ALLOWANCE // 1 1/8 MILES (TURF)
RUNAWAY MONET, her rider content to save ground and track the clear leader, angled out at the 1/4-mile pole, quickly widened on the field and kept going strong on the gallop out. She was entered three times on turf in the two months leading to her maiden-breaking score and projects an ideal stalking trip with more speed types in front of her. MO NORMAL stalked 4-wide, advanced on the final turn and settled for third after repeat winner Dream About Me passed by in a crowded 7-1/2F turf race at Delaware Park.
LEG B // GULFSTREAM PARK, RACE 8 (4:38PM ET) // OPTIONAL CLAIMING // 6 FURLONGS (DIRT)
VINNIE VAN GO, first or second in 12 of 22 starts at the distance, was re-claimed by Joseph off a near miss against hard hitting Mister Luigi (3-6, $104k) in 1:09.4 last out. ROYAL SQUEEZE, idle since an August 20 claim by Walder, finished in the money in four consecutive starts at four distances with about a month off between starts.
LEG C // LAUREL PARK, RACE 9 (4:59PM ET) // MAIDEN CLAIMING // 6 FURLONGS (DIRT)
DIVINING STONE shows a solid work tab in his debut for a good first-out barn. His dam was unraced but his sire, Divining Rod was 5-17, an $882k earner and 11/1-4-3 in graded stakes races. BUST 'EM KURT just missed in his 6F debut after a stretch-long duel with a rival who tested stakes company next out. He led to the stretch and held second at one mile last out and runs first time for a claiming price today.
LEG D // SANTA ANITA PARK, RACE 3 (5:05PM ET) // CLAIMING // 6 FURLONGS (TURF)
REV RITA was 'confidently handled on the turn' in a smashing maiden win at Del Mar two starts ago but faded behind Miss Fia (4-11, $137k) in a follow-up try at Los Alamitos. She tries turf for the first time, but her dam, Grassy Nellie, was a maiden special weight and allowance victor on the lawn and a $100k earner. NEW DRAMA blew stretch leads in 5 of her last 7 starts on the turf but could go the distance in a field that is a combined 4-44 on the lawn.
LEG E // SANTA ANITA PARK, RACE 4 (5:35PM ET) // MAIDEN CLAIMING // 6 FURLONGS (DIRT)
FENESTRA debuted as a 4-year-old, led to the stretch at 6-1/2F at 44-1 and tired in MSW company. But that was 15 months ago at Gulfstream Park. He returns for a barn that is going well and is eligible for the ship-and-win bonus. He is the top pick, but if he doesn't win, the possibilities abound, so I'm going eight deep in hopes that the Stronach 5 ticket is still alive.
STRONACH 5 TICKET
Leg A: 1, 3
Leg B: 2, 8
Leg C: 5, 9
Leg D: 1, 5
Leg E: 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 10, 12
Cost for a $1 ticket: $128