by Brian Nadeau
January 3, 2019
We ring in the New Year with another go at the Stronach 5. 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 R9 (4:35 ET) – 3f starter-optional claimer at 6 furlongs
It sure looks like #7 NINE MARTINIS is going to be tough in the opening leg, as she drops in class off a good 5th in the Maryland Juvenile Fillies Championship last time, in what was her first start against winners after a fast debut win, and her first start off the claim for Lauer, who obviously liked what he had to move her up that much. Yes, she’s in against open foes here, but there’s really no one to fear and she can probably regress and still win. I contemplated using #6 ZIRA on the B-line, but she really impressed in her debut win for Lawrence, figures to improve off that and has a world of upside too, so just in case the chalk stubs her toe, we’ll have another waiting in the wings.
Pk5 A horses (listed in order of preference): 7,6
The two gals above are clearly the two to beat, and have the biggest room for improvement too, so there will be no backups. If you’re on a deeper budget or looking for a few others prices, then you could also give a look to #3 Yesterdaysplan and #4 Past Perfect, though they seem a cut below.
Pk5 B horses: NONE
Leg 2: Gulfstream Park R9 (4:41 ET) – 4up 6.25k claimer at 1-mile
While this heat may look a bit inscrutable on paper there does seem to be a ton of speed, which is why I’ll side with the stalker/closers who have shown the ability to pass horses in the lane. I’ll start with a bit of an unknown in #2 CONGRUITY, who has done all his good work on turf but can rate, has been in solid form, and looked good winning last time too. My next two won last time but now go off the claim for lesser connections—#5 OVER PROMISED and #8 EXCLUSIVE ZIP—though they both fit the race profile and the former is a re-claim, while the latter has won three straight with ease for two different barns.
Pk5 A horses: 2,5,8
The rest seem a bit of a mixed bag that could very well compromise each other’s chances on or just off the early lead, so tread lightly here. the only one I’ll use is #7 CHOVANES, since he drops in class and did well to draw outside a lot of the other speed.
Pk5 B horses: 7
Leg 3: Santa Anita R4 (5:03 ET) – 4upfm 50k starter-allowance at 1-mile (turf)
With several of these coming out of the same 11/9 race at this level it might not be a bad idea to go elsewhere, and #6 DRIFT AWAY should trip out beautifully off the inside speed if #3 Untouched Elegance, so she gets the call off a decent 6th against a nice prospect in Amandine last time in an AOC. It’s tough to separate #2 FOXTAIL and #8 TAKE A LEAP, as the latter beat the former by a half-length 11/9, though I’ll swap them in order of preference here, since ‘Tail drew better and has more tactical speed too.
Pk5 A horses: 6,2,8
I’d like to think I can get through this race with the trio above, so I’ll call it a day, though obviously Untouched Elegance is a speed danger, while #4 Trust Fund Kitty wasn’t far behind in the 11/9 race.
Pk5 B horses: NONE
Leg 4: Gulfstream Park R10 (5:12 ET) – 3f 25k MCL at 5 furlongs (turf)
Normally I find turf sprints next to impossible, but in this one I’m going to be aggressive and single #1 LILLIE’S HEAT, who has worked big for Norm Casse, who has proven to be sharp with firsters (14%) and lures Jose Ortiz to ride, so there’s some intent here too—there’s also a weak group ready to oppose her, so I’m thinking she’s in a good spot, rail and all. It’s noteworthy that Pompay tried to get #7 TRACY ANN’S LEGACY on the turf last time, and even more noteworthy she puts her back on it today after she ran so big to be 2nd to a romping winner on the dirt, so you have to think she fits nicely here, from a perfect attack post too.
Pk5 A horses: 1,7
De La Cerda does the same as Pompay with #10 SALSITA ROJA, though she was 2 ¾ lengths behind that miss last time, so I’ll use her as a backup, while admitting she would be no surprise.
Pk5 B horses: 10
Leg 5: Golden Gate Fields R5 (5:47 ET) – 3yo MSW at 1-mile (turf)
There’s little doubt that #4 SHADRACK will be tough, as he already won on the turf in his debut here, only to be DQ’d, and while this is a tougher race, he showed last time when he was a fast 2nd on the Tapeta that he can contend in the MSW ranks too. It will be interesting to see if the money comes in on #9 ATMOSPHERIC, since he cost 650k as a yearling, a giant price for a son of Orb, and will be wearing the Godolphin blue, though his morning works are very slow and the fact he’s with Harty and not McLaughlin or someone else, says he may be slow in the afternoon as well; I’m going to use him and hope like heck he’s not 11-1 or so after the first toe flash.
Pk5 A horses: 4,9
The So Cal form of #6 CARBON ZERO has me a bit intrigued, even though his figures are slow and he lacks early speed, but this isn’t much of a class rise, so he’ll stand alone as a backup.
Pk5 B horses: 6
Main Ticket: 7,6 with 2,5,8 with 6,2,8 with 1,7 with 4,9 = $72
Leg 2 B Backup: 7,6 with 7 with 6,2,8 with 1,7 with 4,9 = $24
Leg 4 B Backup: 7,6 with 2,5,8 with 6,2,8 with 10 with 4,9 = $36
Leg 5 B Backup: 7,6 with 2,5,8 with 6,2,8 with 1,7 with 6 = $36