by Brian Nadeau
December 13, 2018
We forge on with this week’s Stronach 5, which appears to be one of the tougher sequences to date, which is why I’ll expand the bankroll a bit (note the earlier post time as well).
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.
*** 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, as well as on Twitter. ***
Leg 1: Laurel Park R8 (3:50 ET) – 3up 5k N2L at 5 ½ furlongs
I love the aggressiveness Potts showed off the claim last time with #9 JONATHAN MCD (8-1), and though he didn’t fire in the AOC, it has to set him up well here on the drop. Taking on winners for the first time is never easy, which is why #11 GORBACHOV (3-1) isn’t on top off a dominant MCL win, even though Magee is 20% off the claim. A wide draw and short price says you better tread lightly with #13 GREAT ADVENTURER (5-2), who seemed to move too early last time before getting engulfed and running 2nd to a romping winner.
Pk5 A horses (listed in order of preference): 9,11,13
We’ll go it alone with the top trio, since there are a ton of 30-1 types in here and the only other runner with any decent form is #10 Pro Riot (8-1), but he has no speed and improved a ton when breaking his maiden in the slop last time, so he likely needs some help from Mother Nature to have any chance.
Pk5 B horses: NONE
Leg 2: Gulfstream Park R8 (4:05 ET) – 3up 25k MCL at 5 furlongs (turf)
*** We have a major upheaval here, as Grandmas Favorite is scratched. Let's slot #7 CAPE DESIDERATO (10-1) and #9 DYNAMIC DANCER (5-1), the best of the proven runners, in as A's. ***
Pk5 A horses: 7, 9
A year-long layoff isn't ideal but #4 STUCK WITH YOU (9-2) did run well in his lone turf start and won't have to be a monster to beat these, if he's ready.
Pk5 B horses: 4
Leg 3: Laurel Park R9 (4:21 ET) – 3up 5k N3L* at 5 ½ furlongs
I’m looking for a price in a race where the two favorites hit hard but don’t have to win, and I get it #11 UNCLE BILLY (12-1), who was in over his head, and routing, last time but was a close 2nd at the level last time and doesn’t need to be too far off the pace. Speaking of pace, I was all set to play against #13 MIDNIGHT CRY (7-2) on the rise and wide draw, but when you look through the field you see there’s not a lot of speed here, which means he could catch a flier and pop them, much like he did last time. You have to think #4 BEST SURPRISE (3-1) will be the post-time favorite off the steep drop from the NYRA circuit, but just the fact he’s here and in for 5k says he’s going the wrong way fast, so while he’s an A, you better tread lightly too.
Pk5 A horses: 11,13,4
With two deserving favorites who win this with their best, and with a price alternative, I’ll tap out with my three A’s and move on. If you’re looking for a few others then #5 Road Guard Post (6-1) isn’t impossible, though he also wasn’t close to ‘Cry last time. The drop will help #8 Eightyeightymph (8-1), but he looks more accustomed to the shorter bullring races at Charles Town, so he can beat me if he can handle this tougher circuit.
Pk5 B horses: NONE
Leg 4: Gulfstream Park R9 (4:36 ET) – 3up 6.25k N3L at 1-mile
You clearly have to use stiff ML favorite #2 PASS THE BUTTER (9-5), as his form is best and he plummets in class, but he’s also a closer and it seems all too often we see his kind get left with way too much to do in these gapped out dirt routes at GP. So, with that in mind, let’s go with the more tactical #5 OVER PROMISED (6-1), who adds blinkers off the Delgado claim, which is a ridiculous 6-for-13 move, so you have to figure he can potentially get back to his best races, which would win this. I’m also using #9 PARK RIDGE BENNY (6-1), who popped then stopped against better last time and now returns with Lasix, and a nice outside attack post too.
Pk5 A horses: 5,2
There’s a pretty good chance that the above trio will get us through, but in case they stumble my backup is #8 IL FARONE (6-1), since he’s been in good form, was just a solid 2nd in his first try at the level, has plenty of tactical speed, and will offer fair value too.
Pk5 B horses: 8
Leg 5: Gulfstream Park R10 (5:06 ET) – 2yo 25k MCL at 5 furlongs (turf)
Good luck in the finale, as it looks pretty inscrutable and has several trying turf for the first time. For starters, you have to use #4 COME ON VENEZUELA (7-2) and #1 THAT SCOUNDREL (4-1), as they have by far the best turf form of anyone here, but they are also tough to trust too, as the former has burned a ton of money and the latter breaks from the rail. I’m going split them with #8 KNOWLEDGE (10-1), if for no other reason that Pilotti reaches for Irad, something he’s never done before, and I also don’t think it’s a bad thing to be a firster in a field like this. Along those same lines, seeing Saez jump on #11 JAMMIN JIMTOWN (10-1) for Wismer is a good sign too, and take note Lasix goes on here and this guy took a hint of money (13-1 in an 11-horse field) in his debut at Kee, which was a no-show in the slop.
Pk5 A horses: 4,8,1,11
Since I want as much coverage as I can get, I’m tossing in #10 BARBIE’S KING (5-1), as he’s taken a lot of money in two poor dirt runs, but they did come in some key races and Broome tried to get him on the grass last time. Lastly, #6 WINE AT THE BEACH (8-1) debuts for a crafty Iwinski barn that has had success with Lopez up.
Pk5 B horses: 10,6
*** UPDATED TICKETS ***
Main Ticket: 9,11,13 with 7,9 with 11,13,4 with 5,2 with 4,8,1,11 = $144
Leg 2 B Backup: 9,11,13 with 4 with 11,13,4 with 5,2 with 4,8,1,11 = $72
Leg 4 B Backup: 9,11,13 with 7,9 with 11,13,4 with 8 with 4,8,1,11 = $72
Leg 5 B Backup: 9,11,13 with 7,9 with 11,13,4 with 5,2 with 10,6 = $72