by Jerry Shottenkirk
December 29, 2018
It’s about the turf and distance in the Pick 4 Saturday at Gulfstream Park. It some cases, it’s lots and lots of distance.
All four races (Races 8-11) in the sequence are on the turf and range from two at 1 1-16th miles to one at 1 3-16th miles and the featured H. Allen Jerkens Stakes at a challenging two miles.
The Jerkens – carded as the 10th race – has a lot of legit options, as do the first two races of the Pick 4. Anyone looking to trim the ticket could find the Tropical Park Derby (11th) as the best opportunity. Sniper Kitten and Breaking the Rules look like the most qualified to get it done.
The Tropical Park Oaks starts it off in the 8th with a solid group of fillies. Too Cool to Dance is a lukewarm 7-2 morning line choice – a higher-than usual price for a Chad Brown favorite. A field of 14 is set, leaving a lot of options. Along with Too Cool to Dance, the suggested ticket includes Hogans Holiday, Andina Del Sur and Angel of Mischief.
The millionaire Holy Helena is due to get back to good form, and after a long string of graded stakes appearances, she seems well suited for the Via Borghese Stakes. The 1 3-16th-mile distance is not a problem for the 2017 Queens Plate winner. She began 2018 with three straight wins – two over the Gulfstream turf – and lost her next four. While she has a class advantage, she was a distant third in two of those four and was the off-the-board in the other two. She has company on this ticket as Tricky Escape, Si Que Es Buena and Danceland are capable of getting the trip.
The Jerkens has 14 runners going the 16 furlongs and Soglio is the 9-5 favorite off a nose loss to Village King in the Red Smith. Soglio is clearly worthy of inclusion on the ticket, but several in here are good turf routers. Archer Road has won four of his last six and paid $27.20 and $34 in two of those. He won a 1 1-2-mile stakes race at GP and looks like he only gets better with distance. Like Archer Road, Camp Creek is a price play in this marathon. He won going 2 1-4 miles at Woodbine and that is an eye-opener when you’re poring through past performances looking at prime candidates in a two-mile race. Nessy is the fourth on the card in the Jerkens. He’s been out of form in graded races and is likely to improve in this journey.
Here’s the suggested ticket for the late Pick 4 at Gulfstream Park:
Race 8) #1 Too Cool to Dance, #3 Hogans Holiday, #7 Andina Del Sur, #13 Angel of Mischief.
Race 9) #3 Holy Helena, #4 Tricky Escape, #6 Si Que Es Buena., #7 Danceland.
Race 10) #3 Soglio, #6 Archer Road, #8 Camp Creek, #11 Nessy.
Race 11) #1 Sniper Kitten, #4 Breaking the Rules.
50-cent Pick 4: 1-3-7-13 with 3-4-6-7 with 3-6-8-11 with 1-4 ($64).