by Jerry Shottenkirk
February 9, 2018
The Grade I Gulfstream Park Turf Stakes on Saturday requires a difficult and important decision right off the bat in the track’s late Pick 4.
There’s a field of eight, and you have to decide whether to utilize the ALL button, or whittle down. Even if you do the latter, it won’t be as if you need a virtual chainsaw. There just aren’t many throw-outs, which makes this as competitive of a race as any we’ve seen this season.
The nine-furlong journey over the Hallandale Beach green is rather short for a lot of these. Distances of 1 1-4 miles to 1 3-4 miles are in the wheel house of many, and pace will be important.
This is a great opportunity for highly regarded Heart to Heart to make some serious amends. He is more of the middle-distance variety and most recently failed as the 7-to-10 choice in the Grade 2 Fort Lauderdale. The Brian Lynch-trained 7-year-old English Channel horse has had trouble staying since a gate-to-wire score in the G2 Bernard Baruch at Saratoga. The closest he came since was a second in the G1 Shadwell at Keeneland when beaten 1/2-lengths by Suedois. His best offering is on the front end and this is a great opportunity for him to carve out the fractions without having to expend a lot of energy.
However, due to that recent propensity of giving way (10th in the Breeders’ Cup Mile and 7th in the Fort Lauderdale), there is a question whether his best days are behind him. A favorable pace against mega-routers gives him a shot to get back to top form.
One Go All Go is as interesting as any competitor in the Gulfstream Turf Stakes. The 6-year-old Fairbanks horse has shown dramatic important since moves into the Scooter Dickey barn late last year. He just missed by a head in the Fort Lauderdale. He was 30-to-1 that day, but there’s little chance of seeing that kind of price today.
Among the races with the Gulfstream Turf Stakes in the late Pick 4 is the Grade 3 Suwannee River Stakes for distaffers, and it, too, is a spread race on the suggested ticket.
Here’s my Late Pick 4:
Race 9: #1 Heart to Heart, #2 One Go All Go, #3 Kurilov, #4 Hi Happy, #5 Money Multiplier
Race 10: #3 Midnight Crossing, #5 Dream Dancing, #6 Uncle Brat, #8 Elysea’s World, #9 Kitten’s Roar
Race 11: #3 Year of the Kitten, #5 Mojovation
Race 12: #8 Laythatpistoldown, #12 Sportscaster
50-cent P4: 1-2-3-4-5 with 3-5-6-8-9 with 3-5 with 8-12 ($50)