by Brian Nadeau
September 27, 2018
Friday marks the first of several consecutive “Stronach 5’s,” (the bet is scheduled to run through November 2) a Pk5 wager spread across four tracks and three surfaces (dirt, Tapeta and turf), inside of 45 minutes, with a $1 minimum and ridiculously low 12% takeout. I’ll be putting together some prospective tickets in this space each week for a wager that is undoubtedly as good as it gets for the bettors.
*** Please take note that this analysis is done upwards of 48 hours in advance, so obviously weather, track conditions and especially late scratches can and will have an effect. Please check back around 12pm Friday for an update. ***
To Learn More about the Stronach 5 and for FREE Stronach 5 Past Performances, please visit https://www.xpressbet.com/bet-the-stronach-5.
Leg 1: Laurel Park R9 (5:10 ET) – 2yo 16k MCL at 5 furlongs
Nothing’s easy in the opening leg, as most of these have proven to be slow on paper and untrustworthy too, though first-time Lasix and an outside attack post could work for #7 BAY OF ROCKS (6-1), who has run decent enough in both Maryland starts and could be poised for a breakthrough with the big equipment change. The rail is a worry for #1 TOP HAT TUNE (4-1), but if nothing else, he got accustomed to it in a useful debut and if he improves just an inch or two, he’s probably winning this. The drop in class (again) could finally wake up #4 UNEQUIVOCAL (3-1), and running with blinkers for the second time can sometimes signal a big move forward, but yikes, he’s been nowhere close and you’ll have to taken an underlaid price.
Pk5 A horses (listed in order of preference): 7,1,4
A troubled start didn’t help #5 SHELBY ISLAND (9-2) last time, and that 3rd two-back makes her a player here, but at 0-for-5 it’s tough to think there’s a big breakthrough coming, so he’s a B, at best. Getting back to a solid debut two-back would put #6 RAPIDASHCAT (8-1) in the mix as well, and you can surmise he didn’t like the slop and maybe even the ship to Delaware Park last time, so he’s worth inclusion too. Tab the tote on firsters #3 Aces and Faces (6-1) and #8 Spanish Skies (10-1), as any action would be noteworthy, but while they won’t have to be monsters to play with these, I’ll make them prove it before backing, as both Smith and Keefe are 7% debut barns.
Pk5 B horses: 5,6
Leg 2: Santa Anita R4 (5:30 ET) – 3upfm AOC at 1-mile on the turf
Clearly the toughest race of the sequence has a group of 11 that predominantly look the same on paper, so finding the winner won’t be easy. The interesting thing is that there is no speed at all, aside from dirt sprinter #10 HOT AUTUMN (5-1), who makes her turf debut with a solid Tomlinson (3-5), so here’s hoping she opens up and forgets to stop. A lack of speed should also help #4 DON’T BLAME JUDY 10-1), who looked good breaking her maiden last time, and has plenty of upside after just three lifetime starts. Her lack of speed aside, #1 MOVIE MOMENT (6-1) has been facing eons better in three of her last four and she will save all the ground, so she’s got to be used off the drop from the GI Del Mar Oaks. It looks like #11 MIRACULOUSLY (7-2) is going in the right direction, though I will caution this wide draw and underlaid price don’t make her appealing if you’re playing her in the win pool. Smith got on #3 STREAK OF LUCK (8-1) last time and won, and she drew well here and has some tactical speed, so that’s definitely worth inclusion in a field like this, especially since she’ll offer some value too.
Pk5 A horses: 10,4,1,11,3
Sometimes you just have to be OK with who you’re using and be willing to call it a day if you can’t get through, and that’s why I don’t have any B-level horses. And frankly, I could literally use the other six gals here, and that’s just not happening with the budget I’m using, so here’s hoping my top-5 above get me through.
Pk5 B horses: NONE
Leg 3: Gulfstream Park R8 (5:32 ET) – 3up AOC at 6 furlongs
A positive race flow that figures to see his two main rivals dueling early and often makes #5 SCAM (3-1) a much needed single, and his stalking gear, consistent form, and big speed figures in three starts since the Walder claim mean he’s going to be a handful.
Pk5 A horses: 5
The aforementioned two mains rivals are #3 Take Notice (9-2) and #9 Field Trip (7-2), who both can win, but look destined to ruin each other’s chances because they want to hear their feet rattle early. The former steps up and goes off the Vitali claim (10%) off a N2L win at Saratoga, while the latter won his second straight with a huge figure in the slop last time, but with a negative pace scenario staring at them, I’m siding with Scam and Scam alone, unless one of the two speeds scratches out.
Pk5 B horses: NONE
Leg 4: Golden Gate Fields R4 (5:45 ET) – 3upfm 40k claimer at 6 furlongs
It certainly looks like #10 SNOW CLOUD (5-2) is going to be tough to beat off the Wong claim (28%), especially since she goes from 8% trainer Cassidy to a potent local barn, but a wide draw, short price, and 0-for-3 local mark give at least a little cause for pause. My other horse is an admitted stab, but it does look like #8 IMPECUNIOUS (12-1) in a Lone F and won’t have to work as hard on the lead as she did last time, when she lost to a few of these, and the drop in class will help too.
Pk5 A horses: 10,8
That same drop in class and a better start will be a big boost for #3 TOOMUCHISNOTENOUGH (5-1), who was 2nd and ahead of the 8 last time, has some tactical speed and will be in the right spot off the far turn, and take note she’s been in the exacta in 17 of 25 local starts. Obviously you can use #6 Deb’s Wildcard (6-1) too, since she was 3rd and just a half-length behind the 3 last time, but all things being equal, I think the gap will be a bit bigger this time.
Pk5 B horses: 3
Leg 5: Gulfstream Park R9 (6:02 ET) – 3upfm 10k N2L at 1-mile on the turf
If she drew better I’d advocate singling #10 SOLDIERS PRIDE (2-1), since she’s simply better than a really average bunch, but you can’t make up how bad this post position is, so with a ridiculously short run to the first turn, I’ll play against her on top, though she’s a must-use A. My top pick should be no surprise off the introduction to this race, as #1 S S ILLUMINATI (9-2) drew best of all, can save all the ground, and has two solid runs since returning to the local turf course.
Pk5 A horses: 1,10
Aside from the top pair, anyone else would seem like a real reach, especially when I prefaced my comments above and talked about ‘Pride being a potential single, so there will be no backups in the final leg. If you are on a bigger budget, then #3 Glamorous Thunder (15-1) and #6 Stormy Arabella (6-1) aren’t impossible if they can get back to their runs two-back and put the no-shows of last time behind them.
Pk5 B horses: NONE
Main Ticket: 7,1,4 with 10,4,1,11,3 with 5 with 10,8 with 1,10 = $60
R1 B Backup: 5,6 with 10,4,1,11,3 with 5 with 10,8 with 1,10 = $40
R4 B Backup: 7,1,4 with 10,4,1,11,3 with 5 with 3 with 1,10 = $30