by Frank Carulli
January 6, 2022
A 29-1 winner in the first leg of last week's Stronach 5 triggered a $43,647 payout for a winning $1 ticket. The first 2022 installment of the popular cross-country wager is set for Friday, Jan 7, covering five races from four tracks, all in a one-hour window. Here's an early look at the action, with an update to follow after scraches Friday morning:
LEG A: (Laurel Park, race 9, 4:28 EST) -- Going six-deep in a wide open maiden claimer. Longshot TIPSY TOURIST is worth using after she made a middle move to lead at the stretch call before finishing third at 6F two back. ICY HARBOR, part of a formidable entry if runningmate CANDY CORNER draws into the race, disappeared on a muddy track in her last start after a solid route try in the race prior. BELLSWILLBERINGING raced evenly in the 2-path after a slightly troubled start against better, but she's no bargain from post 13. PEARLYVILLE sheds weight after three in-the-money finishes in a row. EL BOCHINCHE controlled a soft pace and held second in a shorter sprint.
LEG B: (Santa Anita, race 3, 4:35 EST) -- KEYSTONE FIELD, today's solo play in the Stronach 5, took command with a 3-wide bid on the final turn but tired in the final sixteenth to finish out of the money in a longer turf marathon. What's more, he was caught by multiple graded stakes-winning turfer Red King and by Midnight Tea Time (39/5-9-11 $612k), who overcame trouble to win an allowance next out.
LEG C: (Gulfstream Park, race 9, 4:42 EST) -- Hoping a pair of promising 4-year-olds are ready to go off long layoffs. MUTASAABEQ, last seen winning a one-mile stakes race at Gulfstream a year ago, is working forwardly for his 4yo debut and gets Lasix for the first time. COLLABORATE shows a series of bullet workouts for his first start in five months. He romped twice at one-mile and was stakes-placed at today's distance at Gulfstream.
LEG D: (Golden Gate, race 3, 4:50 EST) -- FOSTER BOI won his last three starts at Golden Gate by a combined 7-1/4 lengths, now goes an extra half-furlong. KNOCKOUT BERT is another horse for the course, with two wins and a near miss in his last three 6F tries. HANDSOME GARY is 0-11 on the synthetic track but warrants a second look with three seconds in his last four sprints. MOHAWK KING raced close-up a long way before the deep closers arrived in a turf allowance. He adds blinkers but will be an underlay after the race winner, Freeport Joe, came back to win a Grade III grass route.
LEG E: (Gulfstream Park, race 10, 5:14 EST) -- Going to try to beat morning-line favorite Eagle Chief, who bid 4-wide into a contested duel and was out-kicked in the stretch to fall to 0-10 on the turf. GOLDEN INDY was pressured from the outset and battled bravely until the deep closers passed by in deep stretch in a heavily-bet debut. TRUPIA raced wide as the beaten favorite in a MSW route on the Parx main track that produced a winner. He should like the change of surface because his dam, Social Queen, was a multiple Grade III winner on the grass.
Suggested $1 Ticket
Leg A: 1, 2, 5, 6, 13
Leg B: 9
Leg C: 5, 6
Leg D: 3, 5, 6, 7
Leg E: 2, 4
Ticket cost: $80