by Frank Carulli
January 21, 2022
Take a one-hour tour of the exciting Stronach 5, covering four tracks from coast to coast and offering an industry-low 12 percent takeout for a $1 base wager. The fate of our suggested ticket below could be determined early with a solo play in Laurel Park's ninth race, or it could be taken to the limit with another solo play in Golden Gate's third race to cap the sequence. Here's a look at the action, with an update to follow Friday after scratches:
LEG A: (Laurel Park, race 9, 3:55 EST) -- MARKET OF STOCKS trailed early in a 12-horse field, sustained a 4- and 5-wide rally to finish third, now returns for a 34-percent barn with 60-day layoff types. A $25,000 claim was dropped on her in that race but she runs for $40,000 today after the claim was voided.
LEG B: (Laurel Park, race 10, 4:24 EST) -- Horses trained by Jose Corrales often appear on our Stronach 5 tickets as longshot plays, but morning-line favorite JUNGLE WARRIOR, idle 11 months since he won a $5,000/nw2 claimer, will try to end the barn's 0-for-17 slump with returnees of 180-plus days. HAYNE'S FEVER hails from a hot barn and gets the slight nod, but hit the 'ALL' button in Leg B nonetheless.
LEG C: (Santa Anita, race 3, 4:33 EST) -- CAT LADY BLUES was cut off at the start, advanced inside into prime striking range, but finished evenly in her 5-1/2F debut at Los Alamitos. She earned the best speed figure in today's field and was passed late by Chao Mar, who came back to win a one mile maiden claimer by 4 lengths. LOOKIN AT SWEETIE, troubled in two starts as a 2-year-old and unraced at 3, gets Lasix for her first start in 15 months and shows a steady work tab for Baltas.
LEG D: (Gulfstream Park, race 9, 4:42 EST) -- SISTER NELL is clearly the one to beat after she rallied in a 12-horse field to win her debut on turf. She gets Lasix for her second go-round, is by a proven synthetic track sire and hails from the Pletcher barn, whose runners 'repeat' 27 percent of the time over the past year. If she doesn't fire on the surface switch, PALMACH and FISH MOONEY are viable price options on the Stronach 5 ticket. Both broke their maiden impressively at this distance on Gulfstream's synthetic surface. Don't rule out SUNSTRIKE, a beaten stakes favorite in her U.S. debut for a solid barn that excels on the turf-to-synthetic angle.
LEG E: (Golden Gate, race 3, 4:49 EST) -- SHANGHAI MIST broke her maiden at this distance three starts back and pressed the winning favorite to the far turn last out before fading for a higher claiming tag. She is much improved since adding blinkers, gets in light-weighted and draws a favorable post.
Suggested $1 Ticket
Leg A: 8
Leg B: ALL
Leg C: 1, 4
Leg D: 2, 3, 4, 7
Leg E: 7