by Jerry Shottenkirk
December 9, 2017
It didn’t take long to load the big guns for Gulfstream Park’s Championship Meet, which began just a week ago.
Perhaps the loudest gun of them all, strictly as far as winning races goes, is Todd Pletcher, and he has a legit chance to sweep the Pick 5, which is nothing but stakes races for 2-year-olds. There are plenty of other heavy hitters in those races, so these aren’t by any means walkovers.
Race 1 - Hut Hut Stakes
Miss Mo Mentum, My Favorite Gift and Bernadetta seem the best in the opening of the Pick 5 the Hut Hut Stakes. Miss Mo Momentum (Mark Casse) is the favorite off an allowance win at Churchill and victories in two of her last three.
Race 2 - Wait a While Stakes
The Wait A While Stakes (2nd race) will really depends on the weather. It’s scheduled for the turf but likely will move to the main track if there’s heavy rain, which is a good possibility, according to our friends at the National Weather Service. Stainless, Subtle Step and Golden Orb each has a decent chance to get to the winner’s circle. Stainless, trained by Pletcher, is the morning line favorite and will make her 1st start since a 10th-place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies.
Race 3 - Buffalo Man Stakes
The Buffalo Man Stakes drew a short field of six, mainly due to the presence of Pletcher trainee Mojovation and Diamond Oops, who won two races here in June and July for trainer Patrick Biancone. Mojovation was 3rd in the Futurity at Belmont last start and fits very favorably here. Diamond Oops never got involved much in the Saratoga Special and has worked well for his 1st since that August test.
Race 4 - House Party Stakes
Sprint fillies will go in the House Party (4th) and Florida Fuego, Courageous Queen and Take Charge Paula have shown enough promise for serious consideration. Florida Fuego and Courageous Queen were impressive maiden winners in their debut appearances. Florida Fuego was terrific in that only start and the David Fawkes trainee could be any kind. Courageous Queen – the 4th legit shot for Pletcher – was an easy maiden winner last month at Aqueduct and looks very ready to take on this level. Take Charge Paula has won three of five for Kelly Breen and will have her share of support.
Race 5 - Smooth Air Stakes
The colts breaking from the outside in the mile Smooth Air (5th) warrant most of the attention, including Bal Harbour (Pletcher’s chance for a 5th) and the Fawkes trainee Renaissance Frolic. Bal Harbour scored well in the Sapling at Monmouth and gets Javier Castellano up, and Renaissance Frolic won at this distance in a race that came off the turf, and he followed with a 4th in the Street Sense at Churchill. He could have the best closing move in here and is worth using.
Here’s the suggested Pick 5 ticket:
Race 1: #2 Miss Mo Mentum, #3 My Favorite Gift, #4 Bernadetta
Race 2: #6 Stainless, #10 Subtle Step, #11 Golden Orb
Race 3:#4 Diamond Oops, #5 Mojovation
Race 4: #4 Florida Fuego, #8 Courageous Queen, #9 Take Charge Paula
Race 5: #9 Bal Harbour, #10 Renaissance Frolic
50-cent Pick 5: 2-3-4 with 6-10-11 with 4-5 with 4-8-9 with 9-10 ($54)