by Dustin Fabian
January 18, 2018
Florida-breds are on display Saturday at Gulfstream Park as part of its popular Sunshine Millions card. Four stakes races, led by the $200K Sunshine Millions Classic, headline the card, and top names like Mr. Jordan, X Y Jet, Manchurian High, Enterprising and Bold Envoy are in action. First post is 12PM ET and you can bet the full card with Xpressbet.
Plus, we’re offering a 1 Million Point Split for customers who hit four Exactas ($2 base minimum) on the card. And when you win, you can cash in your Rewards Points on wagering credits, PPs, electronics and more!
Here are five horses we’ll be betting on Sunshine Millions Day – who are yours?
Race 4: Sunshine Millions Classic - #5 Richard the Great
For me, Mr. Jordan and Gulfstream Park just don’t go hand in hand. Maybe it’s that 0-for-9 record, or maybe it’s the fact that he just never seems to bring the same punch at Gulfstream that he has across town at Gulfstream Park West. He doesn’t seem best suited for the 1 1/8-mile distance of this race and I’m a little concerned that (on paper at least) he won’t be able to dictate the terms without facing pressure up front. Enter Richard the Great. I don’t think it’s coincidence that while Mr. Jordan is 0-for-9 here, Richard the Great is 4-for-10. And while Mr. Jordan’s mark would probably be better had he run in some of the same races as Richard the Great, I love this one’s ability to sit off the pace and come with a run. They were separated just a neck in the G3 Harlan’s Holiday last out, but this race is a 1/16 of a mile longer and with a patient ride, I think Richard the Great will spring the upset in the $200K Sunshine Millions Classic.
Race 5: #5 Harlan’s Hunch
It seems that the best way to get into Gulfstream’s Winner’s Circle after a turf race is to start that race on or near the lead. And where, exactly, is the speed in Gulfstream’s fifth, a 1 1/16-mile $30K claiming event? It looks like it should come from Harlan’s Hunch, whose last two Beyers (84, 81) are superior to anything else. Couple that with his advantageous running style and this is a horse you can’t afford to leave off any of your wagers.
Race 10: Sunshine Millions Filly & Mare Turf - #4 Starship Jubilee
I may be chasing with this filly a bit, as I loved her last out and she faltered late in the Claiming Crown Tiara Stakes. Nonetheless, she’s back again on a turf course she loves (6-for-11 at Gulfstream) and I think she’s going to get a dream trip from just behind Daddy’s Boo and Katinka. ‘Jubilee doesn’t need the lead, as evidenced by her closing win in Woodbine’s G2 Nassau and I’m excited to see where she’s able to do with what figures to be a perfect trip.
Race 11: Sunshine Millions Sprint - #1 X Y Jet
For a few months at the beginning of 2016, X Y Jet may have been North America’s premier sprinter. He blitzed through five straight wins, including the G3 Gulfstream Park Sprint, and was beaten just a neck in the G1 Dubai Golden Shaheen. Unfortunately, injury troubles curtailed his campaign, and ultimately he ran just twice between April 2016 and December 2017. He returned in the G3 Mr. Prospector and, despite some rust, got the job done in good time. I’d prefer this frontrunner have drawn anywhere else, but if Jorge Navarro has the screws tightened off that last effort, this one is going to be very tough to beat. He’ll be the logical single in most multi-race exotic bets.
Race 12: #5 Bernini
As a second time starter that was drubbed by 12-lengths on debut, there isn’t much to see on paper with this one. But it’s important to note that he was a) bet in that debut race (5/1 in a 7 horse field) and b) gets a significant jockey upgrade from Jose Batista to Javier Castellano. Trainer, Armando De la Cerda is off to a strong start at the meet (10-for-45) and a lot of factors point to an improved effort this time around.