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Morticia returns at Gulfstream, heads Captiva Island

by Jerry Shottenkirk

March 10, 2018

Everyone has their favorite types of races, but even if five-furlong turf races are not at top your list, you can’t have them too far down on your list.

Some of the more exciting races at Gulfstream Park have been at five panels over the greensward, and another if about to join the mix. The Captiva Island Stakes anchors the late Pick 4 today and features fillies and mares at the don’t-blink-you’ll-miss-it distance of five panels.

Had she not been off since Oct. 13, Morticia would be a single. She won the Grade 3 Buffalo Trace Franklin County Stakes at 5.5 furlongs, leaving 12 fillies and mares behind her. The Twirling Candy filly has won six of eight on grass and only bad effort she had was in a race that came off the turf. Trainer Rusty Arnold has not been shy in shipping G. Watts Humphrey Jr.’s filly has been at Gulfstream (two for two), Keeneland, Belmont, Laurel, Saratoga and Kentucky Downs. She doesn’t have to take her turf course with her and has responded well at today’s distance and has finished on the board in races up to a mile.

She’s amassed $366,475 and is the one to beat, but she’s against a capable field and if there’s a good time to face her, it might be in her first off a layoff.

Perhaps her top foe is the upstart Girls Know Best, who won the Ladies’ Turf Sprint Stakes at Gulfstream in her last start and has panned out to be a sharp claim for $40,000 by co-owner Brian Chenvert and co-owner and trainer Eddie Kenneally. They haltered her in October at Keeneland, and the daughter of Breeders’ Cup Mile winner Caleb’s Posse, while good on the main track, has turned into a serious stakes runner in her two starts on turf. She was second in the Abundantia Stakes at Gulfstream on New Year’s Day and could improve on her 7 of 12 record.

The Captiva Island is the final event on the 13-race card and heads a solid Pick 4. 

Here’s the suggested Pick 4 ticket:

Race 10: #4 Paco Ensaco, #6 Going to the Beach, #7 Particularity.

Race 11: #4 Runaway Bull, #6 Journey’s End, #7 Promete, #9 Mitos Y Leyendas, #12 Insum Money.

Race 12: #7 Determinant, #8 Mathematician, #9 Sargeant Drive.

Race 13: #8 Morticia, #10 Girls Know Best.

50-cent Pick 4: 4-6-7 with 4-5-7-9-12 with 7-8-9 with 8-10 ($45).