by Jerry Shottenkirk
January 1, 2022
Ending the Late Pick 4 with a single can bring a high level of suspense if you are alive for that finale, and that’s the target strategy today at Gulfstream Park.
Royal Spirit will carry the weight as the favorite in the 10th. The Todd Pletcher charge comes off a fourth-place finish in the Awad Stakes at Belmont and prior to that he was second in the Nownownow Stakes at Monmouth.
Those are decent credentials for a stakes race, but he’s in a maiden race this time and has a good chance to dominate.
The suggested Late Pick 4 this week amounts to $63, and here’s a look at the players:
7th Race (3:37 p.m. ET, claiming)
SKYWALKING is the price choice in a wide-open race that could go any of six ways. The pick here has improved in his last three and was a closing third at this level two races ago.
Has enough speed to get into hunt earlier and has the late energy to pose a big threat at 10-1 on the line.
Also on the ticket: VINNY DREAM, CHROME FINISH, SWEENEY’S CAT, ASTROTURF, GONNA BE EPIC.
8th Race (4:11 p.m. ET, allowance optional claiming)
TOWN CLASSIC was along for second at Keeneland last out and was claimed by Saffie Joseph, Jr., who is hitting at 30 percent in his first race off the claim.
This one comes back for the same claiming price and has some nice efforts to his credit, including a third in the G3 Runhappy in June at Belmont, when he finished behind Firenze Fire. For this price, you have to think he has a decent chance at it, and the seven furlongs could help him.
He comes in with blinkers off, which also could work in his favor.
Also on the ticket: BAGBOSS, UPHOLD THE LAW.
9th Race (4:42 p.m. ET, allowance optional claiming)
The ALL button is utilized in this one, and of the seven in the race, SHORT CIRCUIT has a chance to record a win at a good price.
She’s been competitive at this level, moves over to the Tapeta and gets Paco Lopez in the saddle, which is often a good thing at Gulfstream, or anywhere for that matter.
She has lacked speed lately and does her best when she’s in a stalking position early. Lopez will probably have her in decent shape.
Also on the ticket: ALL.
10th Race (5:14 p.m. ET, claiming)
ROYAL SPIRIT sees maidens for the first time since he was third in his debut, and he became stakes-placed in his next start.
Pletcher has shown his dominance with a 12 of 26 record at Gulfstream, and he can bump it up even more here.
Also on the ticket; NONE (single).
Gulfstream Park 50-cent Late Pick 4:
Race 7) #4 Vinny Dream, #5 Chrome Finish, #7 Skywalking, #8 Sweeney’s Cat, #10 Astroturf, #11 Gonna Be Epic.
Race 8) #1 Bagboss, #4 Town Classic, #6 Uphold the Law.
Race 9) ALL (7 horses)
Race 10) #2 Royal Spirit.
The ticket: 4-5-7-8-10-11 with 1-4-6 with ALL with 2 ($63).