by Jeff Siegel
December 12, 2021
Jeff Siegel’s “What You Need to Know”
Gulfstream Park – December 12, 2021
FOURTH RACE – Juvenile maiden fillies sprint five furlongs on grass, and this course and distance should suit the first-time starter Bali Bay just fine. She was purchased for $46,000 at the OBS June Sale, where she smoked a furlong in a 10 seconds flat (fastest for the distance during the preview session) and looked terrific doing it. There is nothing in the first three generations of her pedigree – meaning no stakes winners - which we’ll assume contributed to her relatively modest final bid, but make no mistake, this filly has more than her fair share of speed and talent. Assuming she breaks well, the outside draw in an eight-runner field shouldn’t be an issue against a group that appears to contain no world beaters. The J. Pinchin barn is weak in the first-time starter category, but looking on the bright side, this negative factor may help keep her odds reasonable. At anywhere near her morning line of 6-1, she’s a win play and rolling exotic key.
NINTH RACE – At first glance, this first-level allowance/optional turf miler for older horses appears fairly wide open. But after diving into the Form and considering all of the relevant angles, Hurricane Hill looks enticing. A lightly-raced five-year-old with just 14 career starts that includes 12 in-the-money finishes with four victories, the son of Fed Biz has been freshened since mid-September and returns protected in a sign of confidence. Today’s two turn trip should bring out his best, as the W. Mott-trained gelding has routed only once in his career in a mile affair at Aqueduct almost a year that resulted in victory. Rising recent speed figures indicates he’s improving; his recent work tab over the deep Payson Park surface contains a bullet drill last month, and the presence of the barn’s “go-to” rider Junior Alvarado are other plus factors to consider. He’s worth a play at 8-1 on the morning line if you can get it.