by Brian Nadeau
October 31, 2018
We’re back to battle with the Stronach 5, with a tough sequence stretching four tracks. To refresh, the Stronach 5 is a Pk5 wager spread across as many as 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. The pools have been very healthy and interest seems to be building, so swing away!
*** 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 4pm Friday for an update. ***
Leg 1: Santa Anita R4 (4:53 ET) – 2yo Ca-bred 50k MCL at 5 ½ furlongs
The opener looks like a toughie, but one thing we can count on is a lot of speed, which is why I’ll play against two of the inside favorites and look a bit further out to #8 SPICY CURRY (6-1), who gets a bit of a pass for the no-show routing last time and figures off two stalking sprint runs to start her career. A stalking gear should also work for #9 DERBY ROYALTY (8-1), as she can see it all unfold to her inside and hopefully make a dent in the lane. The horse to beat may be #4 IMMINENT (4-1), as she drops after dueling and tiring in her MSW debut, is drawn outside her two main speed rivals, and should have more stretch focus with the blinkers being added.
Pk5 A horses (listed in order of preference): 8,9,4
I don’t think you can completely play against #3 SUPERHOTAMOLLY (3-1) and #2 GRACIE BELLE (7-2), as they’ve hit the board in half of their six combined lifetime starts and we know SA can play to speed, but their running styles seem destined to cancel each other out on the front end and set this up for someone late, so they are backups at best.
Pk5 B horses: 3,2
Leg 2: Gulfstream Park West R9 (5:02 ET) – 3up 30k N2L at 1-mile (turf)
I’ve talked a lot about the 1-mile turf races in South Florida in the past, and the absolute need to draw inside, and #1 HONEY DONT (7-2) fits the bill, as he’s on the rail, has by far the best form off several solid NY races, and looks too tough to handle on what is a steep, but far from worrisome drop in class from 40k to 30k.
Pk5 A horses (listed in order of preference): 1
There won’t be any backups here, as Honey Don’t looks much the best, but if you are looking to go a bit deeper then #7 Seattle Treasure (4-1) did wake up off the Kurtinecz claim last time, though his lack of speed is a worry, while #2 Something Bird (12-1) makes sense from close range, though he’s tough to trust at 1-for-17. If #12 Remember the Maine (6-1) is fortunate to draw in then he too figures, but this wide draw would be a real problem.
Pk5 B horses: NONE
Leg 3: Laurel Park R10 (5:16 ET) – 3upfm 5k at 1-mile
I’m not sure how bold it is to single a 5-2 ML favorite, but I’ll do it here, as #4 ANGELINTHEMORNING looks to be getting all the best of it off a sharp N3L win at Del Park, as she is draw outside some cheap speed (#3 Chapel Gap) and should get first run off the far turn for a 27% Gonzalez barn.
Pk5 A horses: 4
I’m not sure if I believe that big 2nd that #1 BOOSTING (6-1) had last time at Pen, as it was by far her best run in a while, but she drew well here, will be close to the soft pace, and figures if she can run back to it, so she’s has to be used. I also don’t really trust #2 E LIZZY (7-2), who couldn’t win at odds-on against four foes last time at Del Park, but she too is drawn well and goes for a 20% Lake-Cedeno team, and really won’t have to improve too much to threaten. The one I will play against is #8 Value Added (4-1), who seems to be at the mercy of the pace and is too slow on figures, save the win over nothing at Timonium three-back.
Pk5 B horses: 1,2
Leg 4: Santa Anita R5 (5:35 ET) – 3up 25k N2L at 1-mile (turf)
I don’t really have any strong opinions between favorites #1 MISS UNUSUAL (3-1), #2 QUINNIE (5-2), and #10 COPPER FEVER (8-5), but I do know the winner almost has to come from one of them, as they seem far too good for the rest, who are extremely weak on paper. The first two gals have a big edge over the latter, based on the post draw, with top honors going to ‘Miss due to her early speed, so that’s how I’ll play it, though all three have to be used.
Pk5 A horses: 1,2,10
None one else remotely comes close to consideration, so we’ll go it alone here.
Pk5 B horses: NONE
Leg 5: Golden Gate Fields R5 (5:50 ET) – 2yo 12.5k MCL at 5 ½ furlongs
Part of the reason for playing the first four a bit close to the vest is because the cashout leg seems like a total crapshoot, with any number of these lightly raced runners having a chance. I’m a sucker for MSW droppers in these spots, which is why I’ll go outside to #9 MY LUCKY MARK (8-1), who hasn’t been terrible against tons better and could wake up in a big way now that he’s in for a tag. Breaking last-of-10 did in #8 LUCKY GENERAL (8-1) in his local debut and first start for Specht, but he did run on late to be 5th and should improve off that, especially with an alert beginning. There’s little doubt the horse to beat is #5 LOUIS TWO TIMES (3-1), as he’s hit the board in both starts and run big figures (for these), so he’s a must-use, as is #6 CHANGING IMAGE (7-2), who has speed, drew a nice attack post, and has run well in all three lifetime starts.
Pk5 A horses: 9,8,5,6
Taking a firster might not be a terrible idea here, as those above are hardly imposing on paper, and McCanna is 16% on debut, so give a look to #2 TORPEDO AWAY (6-1), as he’s got plenty of solid works showing and could be a sleeper. The rail did no favors for #1 LAUCALA ISLAND (4-1) but if you toss the route try last time he’s faced better at LRC and could wake break through on the drop in his local debut.
Pk5 B horses: 2,1
Main Ticket: 8,9,4 with 1 with 4 with 1,2,10 with 9,8,5,6 = $36
Leg 1 B Backup: 3,2 with 1 with 4 with 1,2,10 with 9,8,5,6 = $24
Leg 3 B Backup: 8,9,4 with 1 with 1,2 with 1,2,10 with 9,8,5,6 = $72
Leg 5 B Backup: 8,9,4 with 1 with 4 with 1,2,10 with 2,1 = $18