by Johnny D
December 23, 2021
Looking for great Christmas Eve equine wagering entertainment?
You’ve come to the right place. Gulfstream’s Friday first post is noon and the show continues through the 10th and final heat at 4:32 pm ET. Which, conveniently, still leaves plenty of time to arrange cookies and milk for the guy in the red suit.
In this space we usually examine the GP Late Pick 4 in pursuit of a $2,000 bonus offered to registered account holders. This week the ‘suits’ suggested (read ‘told’) an examination of GP’s Christmas Eve Rainbow Six sequence.
Wouldn’t you know it, there just happens to be a promotion in conjunction with that wager, so you’re in luck. Register for the offer and play Gulfstream’s Rainbow Six on Christmas Eve and you’ll get a $10 free roll. Now, no one expects you hit the Rainbow Six on a $10 ticket. In fact, no one expects you to hit the Rainbow Six at all. Picking 6 consecutive winners is difficult…check that…it’s extremely difficult. That’s why Xpressbet and 1/ST BET will reward registered players a $10 Rainbow Six kiss on tickets for that amount or even less of a smooch on smaller investments.
Heck, if you’re going to play the Rainbow Six (take a swing at it Friday just in case karma’s got something exciting under the tree for you), you might as well stop and register for the $10 Rainbow Six offer to pick up a maximum $10 refund.
We won’t suggest an actual ticket below because winning Pick Six formulas are more art than science—one color here, another there and a slash of whatever wherever you like and Presto! A masterpiece. We do offer analysis of all 6 races, including pros and cons of major players in order to help you to construct a winning sheet.
One holiday gift you may find interesting and helpful this season is to visit Thoro-Graph.com to sample the free product through the New Year. Basically, Thoro-Graph includes finely tuned speed figures that incorporate factors like ground loss, weight carried, wind direction and velocity, track variant and more. Figures are plotted on a graph so handicappers can monitor individual peaks and valleys associated with form cycles. Thoro-Graph also includes trainer, jockey and sire stats, plus much more. It’s one of the most useful handicapping products available.
Before you dig into solving the Christmas Eve Pick 6, please let me thank you for playing with Xpressbet. When it comes to online wagering, we know you have choices and we’re grateful you select us. In return, we promise to do our best to make your wagering experience the best possible.
We wish you a very Happy Holiday Season filled with health, joy and love.
Analysis of Gulfstream Park Friday Rainbow Six races:
This one mile and one-sixteenth Tapeta maiden $25k claiming race for 2-year-olds has some wrinkles to it. There are 2 first time starters, at least 4 runners trying two turns for the first time and at least 5 making an initial synthetic surface appearance. Minus a real standout, there are reasons to consider several of these.
#2 Tang makes a first start for hot trainer Christophe Clement. Jaramillo is not one of his usual ‘go to’ riders but the trainer is 22% first out and 28% with 2-year-olds. Steady 7-to-8 day work pattern encourages.
#3 Negligence makes a first start for a tag after two maiden special weight tries. Negative is that those starts came at Delaware and Penn National, respectively.
#4 Flatbush arrives from the Big Apple and drops in class from a state-bred $40k maiden. His first start was a turf route, the next a sloppy main track sprint. Neither was very good, but there might be better coming with the change of scenery and class tumble. Local star Paco Lopez rides.
#5 Cupid’s Dude has some things to like. His last race included a wide trip and wasn’t as poor as it looks. Sire Cupid is better with offspring going long and has 23% synthetic winners. Demand a decent price but in a race where there are lots of question marks this one has a longshot look.
#7 Tempestuous has positives and negatives. He makes a second start for trainer Carlos David, who is 32% with 2nd time maiden starters but a hard luck 1-27 at the current meeting with 8 seconds. According to Thoro-Graph stats, David is an amazing 38% with 24 previous claimers up in class. Red-hot, top jock Luis Saez rides. Why? This colt was whipped by more than 32 lengths in his initial outing for maiden $16k! No reason for the leading jock to ride a hopeless longshot. Or is there? Expect this one to run better than he did in his first start.
#8 Boggiemiester had trouble last out Dec. 5 and was favored in both previous sprint starts where the gelding was beaten by more than double digits in each. He’s not impossible. Money in those first two starts came from somewhere.
#10 Euphoria Star has been second at the level and distance, but he’s had 6 attempts overall at breaking maiden. He’s got the best Beyer speed figures in the field but must break from a disadvantageous outside post position. Blinkers, worn twice before, are off again. Trainer seeks first win of the year (0-13).
Tops: #2, #4
More: #5, #7, #8, #10
State-bred fillies and mares meet in a one mile and one-sixteenth turf event. Course rails are set at 65 feet, according to DRF, so speed ought to have an advantage over closers around wider turns. That should favor #4 Yolanda’s Pride. Two classier foes in #6 Baseline Drive and #7 Double Blessed will need to rally wide to score. They could do it.
#4 Yolanda’s Pride, a front-runner and winner at the level, has speed but the 4-year-old filly has no recorded works since Dec. 3 and that’s a negative. She does love Gulfstream turf (won 5 of 12 and 6 of 15 on turf overall). Jockey Paco Lopez departs for #5 Lookinlikeaqueen.
#5 Lookinlikeaqueen is a 5-year-old mare that has been close at the level. Her last 3 tries were all on synthetic against much tougher. Look for her to attempt a rally from mid-pack.
#6 Baseline Drive gets top jockey Saez as she tumbles in class from the first-level allowance crew at Belmont and Aqueduct. This is a significantly less challenging group. The 4-year-old filly was second twice at this level last season and ought to fit in here again.
#7 Double Blessed doesn’t win often (1-13) but she’s faced fellow 3-year-olds in stakes races three times and 2-year-olds in an added-money event once. She’s never run for a tag, always a plus. She will need to come from off the pace to do damage and that’s against the rail position bias, but she might be good enough. She’s made just one start on GP turf but is just 1-12 overall on the green stuff.
It appears that trainer Jose Delgado may have been keen on getting this race to go. There are only 7 entered in this 2-year-old $20k maiden claiming sprint and he’s entered 2, possibly to make the race go. That suggests #4 Yes I’m a Beast is ready to fire one of his better races. He’s got two efforts that would be good enough to win this.
#4 Yes I’m a Beast merely needs to fire one of his better races and he should handle this group. Jockey Sutherland is 27% with the trainer but is struggling at 2-for-65 this meeting. She’s already won with this gelding.
#6 Luni Sima drops in for a tag for the first time off only races at one mile or over. He’s faced much better, including stakes foes at Churchill once. He broke maiden going one mile at Indiana and set the pace in a Spa route race before that. He cuts back from a one-turn one-mile try against much better.
This seven-furlongs $6,250 claiming race for 3-year-olds and upward is pretty much a mess. The toteboard might offer clues but those playing Late Pick N wagers won’t get to see racing’s version of the green monster beforehand. We’ll take a look at a few of the contenders in a heat where one will be crowned ‘king for a day.’
#1 Bimini makes first start for trainer Gilberto Zerpa, a splendid 29% with new runners and 29% with top jock Luis Saez. Those are strong numbers. He’s also 24% with sprinters. This 5-year-old takes a significant drop in class, too. One of many with credentials and question marks.
#7 Rain just won at this level and would need to improve a bit more for new trainer D’Angelo. That’s not impossible as the trainer is 25% with runners first time out under his care.
#8 Yes I’m Evil has been fast enough to win this, but not lately. A substantial drop in class for a potent outfit and a solid 21% jockey trainer combo suggests a good effort could be coming. Trainer Walder hits at 21% overall and is 27% going route to sprint. Those are some decent stats to support this one and the class drop should help.
#10 Pretty Rachel took a huge step forward this 3-year-old season and fired two big shots before failing in a Claiming Crown stakes race. She had won six in a row before that last race disappointment, her first for new trainer Kent Sweezey. Can she immediately bounce back to one of her best efforts in her second start for the new barn? Tough to go against a filly with 6 wins in 9 starts over the track breaking from an advantageous outside post, but there are reasons to go against.
Spread the Net: #1, #7, #8, #10
On paper it appears they don’t have a prayer of beating Woodbine invader #1 Churchtown (pun intended) in this one mile and seventy yards Tapeta allowance test. A maiden winner first time out, the 2-year-old gelding hit the gate at the start of the Gr. 3 Grey Stakes, rushed to the lead, pressed the pace and gave way late. #6 Lament also invades from the north and has one race that nearly fits. Both runners have synthetic experience. #4 Kitodan has some things to like.
#1 Churchtown is the one to beat in here, especially if he duplicated either of his first two races. Jockey Emma Jayne Wilson returns in the saddle for trainer Roger Attfield and they are 22% together. This colt should show speed. Contrarians may point to the lack of a published workout since the last race Nov. 28 as a negative.
#4 Kitodan gets a significant jockey switch from Sutherland to Saez. He’s trying two turns on synthetic for the first time and he’s shown some ability going shorter. Connections thought enough of him to ship him to Saratoga to try the Gr. 1 Hopeful in September. This isn’t nearly as tough a task as that was. Trainer Delgado hits at 21% overall and is 23% with Saez, according to Thoro-Graph stats. Sire Point of Entry is a sparkling 18% with runners over synthetic surfaces.
#6 Lament fired a decent shot second time out when winning a two-turn maiden race and then was nowhere from a tough post going one mile and one-eighth in a restricted stakes race. If the top one stubs his toe, this guy could have something to say in here.
One to Beat: #1
Upset Signs: #4
Two-mile turf races aren’t commonplace. That leaves handicappers making some educated guesses as we close out a Christmas Eve card. Just two of those entered have even tried the distance before: #4 Ajourneytofreedom and #9 Fantasioso. Both finished in the money. Runners with proven talent and breeding to suggests they might appreciate the extra distance must be considered in lieu of concrete info.
#3 Abaan is a 4-year-old who will need to use his early speed to take this group wire-to-wire. He’s likely to attempt to do just that under top jock Luis Saez for trainer Todd Pletcher. He’s lightly raced, so improvement is possible. Rails at 65 feet should help his cause. Catch him and win it.
#4 Ajourneytofreedom is the most likely winner of this race. He’s posted the best races against the best competition and is one of 4 runners in here trained by Mike Maker, who is great at winning these marathon events. Relief from facing graded stakes foes and a third in one try at the distance add to this one’s credentials. Jockey Paco Lopez wins at 16% with Maker. He has no early speed and that’s a negative. He’s also just 3-21 and only 1-14 on turf.
#9 Fantasioso finished second the only time he tried the distance and that’s notable because his sire is much more effective with runners racing at less than one mile. This 6-year-old has races that fit with this group, including tests against graded stakes foes. Like #4 Ajourneytofreedom he has no speed and this outside post won’t be a help.
Catch to Win: #3
Next: #4, #9