by Frank Carulli
November 24, 2021
It's Black Friday and you can be in the black if you correctly pick five winners in the Stronach 5 cross-country wager. The average payout for a $1 play the first three Fridays of November was $40,650. Here's an early look at this week's Stronach 5 with an update to follow after scratches Friday morning.
LEG A // LAUREL, RACE 7 (3:22PM ET) // MAIDEN CLAIMING // 7 FURLONGS (DIRT)
HAND GESTURE pressed the 3-to-1 winner into the turn, then stayed on willingly for third in a well-bet debut. He is by Divining Rod, who was a Grade III winner and ran second in the Grade I Cigar Mile for the same barn. ONE TEN advanced inside to the quarter pole on the stretch-out from 6F to one mile, then swung 5-wide and closed with a rush to finish second to the favorite. The fourth-place finisher came back to win next out.
LEG B // LAUREL, RACE 8 (3:53PM ET) // HOWARD & SONDRA BENDER MEMORIAL S. // 7 FURLONGS (DIRT)
DOUBLE CROWN stumbled at the start in the 6F Maryland Million Sprint, trailed into the turn and gobbled up ground while 5-wide in the stretch on a day when the inside was the place to be. WHERESHETOLDMETOGO is 5-for-7 at Laurel Park and won stakes races the last three times he returned from a 2-month plus layoff.
LEG C // GOLDEN GATE, RACE 2 (4:18PM ET) // CLAIMING // 5 1/2 FURLONGS (ALL WEATHER)
MISS SKI sustained a 3- and 4-wide rally and lunged late while in tight between rivals to finish second as the 4-to-5 favorite. She was claimed by leading trainer Jonathan Wong and figures close up in a paceless race. LYRICALLY VIOLENT launched an inside rally on the final turn and caught the tiring co-favorites to win off an 11-month layoff. The extra half furlong suits her well.
LEG D // LAUREL, RACE 9 (4:25PM ET) // MAIDEN CLAIMING // 7 FURLONGS (DIRT)
Take a cue from HAND GESTURE'S performance in today's 7th race when assessing ROYAL SPY, who finished second in that heavily-bet debut and worked well since that start. RED MESA broke last, was held up in traffic to the quarter pole and raced very wide in the stretch. He could awaken for his new connections. BLO MY BUDGET shows a series of solid workouts for an 18-percent barn and brings Penn National's third-leading jockey to ride.
LEG E // GOLDEN GATE, RACE 3 (4:48PM ET) // MAIDEN CLAIMING // 6 FURLONGS (ALL WEATHER)
BETTER TOMORROW awakened with blinkers, shaking a duel with the 2-1 second favorite on the turn and leading clear until deep stretch before the 3-to-2 favorite and MR. BOTANICALS passed by. He's live 8-1 on the morning line with a duplicate effort but is too risky to single out in a crowded field with several class droppers and first-time starters. Go deep in the final leg of the Stronach 5.
STRONACH 5 TICKET
Leg A: 2, 11
Leg B: 3, 7
Leg C: 2, 6
Leg D: 3, 6, 11
Leg E: 1, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11
Cost for a $1 ticket: $144