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Handicapping Gulfstream Park’s Friday Late Pick 5

by Brian Nadeau

December 14, 2017

With Gulfstream Park’s Championship Meet well underway, let’s delve into Friday late Pk5 and see if we can’t pad the bankroll and Christmas stockings with a score.

Race 6: 3upfm 6.25k claimer at 6 furlongs

If you’ve followed me in this space before you know I think one of the best times to single a heavy favorite is to start a Pk4 or Pk5, since the public usually doesn’t have the mental fortitude to do it because they “don’t want to be out after just one leg.” But, by doing so, you turn said solid favorite into a lot more value, all while allowing for more coverage in other legs. With that in mind, there’s little reason not to tie our rope to #5 FIRST DISTINCTION’S anchor, as she just lays over this field in terms of both class and figures and can seemingly name the score for a Zerpa barn that has the magic. If you’re looking for a backup, then #9 Silver Sashay seems second-best, though a long way behind ‘Distinction.

Pk5 horses (listed in order of preference): 5

Race 7: 2f 20k MCL going 1-mile on the turf

In a race where post position is at a premium, it looks like we have another single to kick things off, as #5 HERESURLAMAMAMA was a solid—and fast (for this group)—4th on debut, while being sent off at 2-1, should only improve off that run, drew well and meets a dreadful cast. The other big thing she has in her favor is that her two main rivals--#9 Cosita Rica and #10 Caitlin’satthebar—drew the parking lot and will lose a ton of ground into the first turn.

Pk5 horses: 5

Race 8: 3up AOC for Florida breds going 1-mile on the turf

Post position rules the day here too, but this is also the first race where we can spread and look to snag a price, as whoever you think is the top contender and whoever you think is the seventh-best contender, are really only separated by a length or two on paper. And that’s why I’ll use anyone with decent form and go with #1 JUST FOOLIN AROUND, #6 WITHOUT REMORSE, #4 TIPSY KITTEN, #9 HE’S THE ONE, #11 MATANZAS INLET, #3 VISION OF BLUE, #10 BOLD ANIMAUX, #5 MANOLETE and #8 MAI TY ONE ON.

Pk5 horses: 1-6-4-9-11-3-10-5-8

Race 9: 3upfm N1X going 7 furlongs

With Todd Pletcher’s horses often running with a rocket on their backs at Gulfstream, it’s tough to oppose #3 SPICE LADY, who could be the controlling speed in what looks like a paceless race. But, if there is a chink in her armor, it’s that she hasn’t been out since March and has never met older horses, which is why the 4yo #4 TAP TO IT gets equal play, as she has the benefit of a comeback run last time, should only improve second-off the long layoff, and once upon a time she was a GI-placed 2yo with a world of talent.

Pk5 horses: 3-4

Race 10: 3up MSW going 1-mile on the turf

Yet another 1-mile turf tilt where you want to be inside or you’re going to likely lose a lot of ground with such a quick run to the first turn, and take note of the also-rans too, as this has the look of a key race in the making and is by far the best MSW turf tilt of the meet so far. It’s tough to separate any of the main contenders, so I’ll be using #1 JAHAAFEL, #3 BATTLE OF BLENHEIM, #7 KULIN ROCK and #8 PLAYING HOOKY, as they all appear long on talent for top barns and figure to be able to get you through. If you need to narrow down, then Jahaafel and Battle of Blenheim drew best of all and both have tactical speed, which is a big asset over this turf course.

Pk5 horses: 1-3-8-7

The ticket:

Race 6: 5
Race 7: 5
Race 8: 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11
Race 9: 3, 4
Race 10: 1, 3, 7, 8

Ticket Cost: $36.00