by Jerry Shottenkirk
August 18, 2018
The Barely Even is one of those solid summertime stakes races for fillies and mares that will prepare them nicely for the fall and winter seasons at Gulfstream Park.
It’s a good test, and those that run well will stamp themselves as quality runners, as this one is a nice spot at a mile on the main track. Sprinters will stretch out and distaffers that have been on turf will try to transfer talents to the dirt. All in all, it’s one worth watching and is part of a highly playable late Pick 4. The 12th and final race is the most difficult as maiden claimers go long on the turf. The first three in the sequence, however, are good ones, especially the feature.
The Pick 4 starts off with optional claimers of the female variety in a good mile turf race, and Aquemini and Vendita likely will get most of the support, but La Vie Ross is also included on this suggested Pick 4 ticket and has a legit upset chance. Aquemini rallied for 2nd off slow fractions last out and makes her 2nd start after a claim. Vendita has a class edge as she won at this level two race and ran a credible 5th in a stakes race last out. La Vie Ross stretches out from five furlongs and should be in close attendance of the pace for her 2nd start after a 10-month layoff. She could be stronger in her return and the distance probably won’t hurt.
Florida Two Step and Homeboy look like the two to contend with in a good Florida-bred maiden race for 2-year-olds. Florida Two Step has had the lead in all three of his starts and was 2nd two races backs. He has speed and experience and likely will be strong today. Homeboy makes his 4th start and has been 3rd once. All three of his races were against open company and he moves over to a restricted race today.
Heading into the Barely Even, Weekend Mischief seems to have found her niche in one-turn dirt mile races and goes for her 3rd straight win. She was unsuccessful in a pair of stakes races last year and looks ready to make the step back up. Oola Gal is in good form with wins in two of her last three and stretches after winning at six furlongs last time. Spanish Harlem has been in tougher races than any of these and is the morning line favorite. She fits well here and will have to overcome the outside post.
The last race is the maiden-claiming event and a half-dozen are in play on this ticket.
Here’s the suggested ticket for the late pick 4 at Gulfstream Park:
9) #8 Aquemini, #10 La Vie Ross, #11 Vendita.
10) #1 Florida Two Step, #6 Homeboy.
11) #6 Oola Gal, #7 Weekend Mischief, #9 Spanish Harlem.
12) #4 Peggity, #5 Rigel’s Halo, #6 Three Questions, #7 Winnie, #10 Not Nice, #11 Rate of Return.
50-cent Late Pick 4: 8-10-11 with 1-6 with 6-7-9 with 4-5-6-7-10-11. ($54).