by Jerry Shottenkirk
December 5, 2021
Gulfstream Park’s Championship Meet began this week, and what a perfect time to set our sights on south Florida for Sunday’s Late Pick 4.
The sequence runs from races 8-11 and shows that the big stables are back and will make for a good show on a daily basis.
Here’s a look at the suggested play, which amounts to $75 on 50-cent tickets, and the main combatants:
8th Race (3:23 p.m. ET, claiming)
EXPRESS PHAROAH comes off his first try over the all-weather surface and ran fairly well considering there was absolutely no pace in the race. He was part of the lead and finished fourth.
He’s more comfortable from just off the pace, will have a better pace setup here and can improve in his second attempt over the Tapeta.
It’s a contentious crew in this one and is a ‘spread’ race with five legit candidates.
Also on the ticket: MR. AXEL, MARISA’S MISSION, BUFFALO MAX, PAPA HONOR.
9th Race (3:53 p.m. ET, allowance optional claiming)
MISS AURAMET is always in the hunt going five furlongs on turf and has a class edge here as most of her past performances are in stakes races.
She hasn’t won since a stakes score at Monmouth in May and hasn’t run since August. She is back in the Edward Plesa, Jr., barn after four in the Kathleen O’Connell barn on the Jersey shore and in the Kathleen O’Connell barn. She has some good works and is in a good spot for her return.
Also on the ticket: MUMBAI.
10th Race (4:23 p.m. ET, allowance optional claiming)
SKIPPYLONGSTOCKING weakened to fourth going two turns in the Street Sense at Churchill Downs, and is back to where he broke his maiden.
In September, he got that maiden score when he put away an early challenger and ran off to a 10-length win. He’s built for the one-turn mile and rates an edge in his return to Gulfstream.
This is a wide-open race and it’s another where you’d probably need plenty of backup on the ticket.
Also on the ticket: SO DETERMINED, LUNI SIMA, A.P.’S SECRET, STRIKE HARD.
11th Race (4:53 p.m. ET, maiden claiming)
Ran a solid second in his second attempt over the Tapeta. He made a strong run off the pace and lost by a neck last out and looks like he’s found a running style to his liking. Look for another big run from him here.
Also on the ticket:
Race 8) #4 Mr. Axel, #6 Express Pharoah, #9 Marisa’s Mission, #10 Buffalo Max, #11 Papa Honor.
Race 9) #2 Mumbai, #6 Miss Auramet.
Race 10) #1 So Determined, #2 Luni Sima, #6 A.P.’s Secret, #8 Skippylongstocking, #9 Strike Hard.
Race 11) #1 Winter’s Ghost, #7 Euphoria Star, #9 War Strategy.
Total Ticket Cost) 4,6,9,10,11/2,6/1,2,6,8,9/1,7,9 ($75) for $0.50