by Brian Nadeau
January 9, 2019
It’s time to continue our weekly look 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) – 3upfm 5k at 1-mile
The opener leg may have 10 horses but it doesn’t have a lot of quality, which is why I only need stiff dropper #8 GREASEDLIGHTNING (3-1), who has been facing much better and holding her own, and #10 SPLENDOR GAL (5-2), who dropped and aired for 5k last time and hits hard right back.
Pk5 A horses (listed in order of preference): 8,10
No one else seems qualified to win and the top pair may be in the 8-5 and 9-5 range, so there will be no backups, though #9 Beatubyachubinose (8-1) does enter off a win, if nothing else.
Pk5 B horses: NONE
Leg 2: Gulfstream Park R9 (4:41 ET) – 4up 30k claimer at 6 furlongs
“Pace makes the race” comes to mind here, so I’ll be looking for the stalker/closers who have shown they can sit and pass horses late, as this one seems destined to fall apart in the lane. The list starts with #5 STORMING MY WAY (6-1), who was a distant 2nd to a romping winner but ahead of several of these in a local 12/19 race at the level and gets a huge jock switch to Irad. He may have been just 5th to the top pick last time, but #5 SPRINGMEIER (12-1) was making his first start in 15 months and surely needed the run, so he can move up here. Lastly, #8 FRENCH QUARTER (12-1) was 4th in the 12/19 race and is another who should relish all the heat up front. The rail draw really hurts #1 UNBRIDLED OUTLAW (4-1), who is the class but might be forced to go early, but if he can settle some then he’s got a huge chance at this reduced level, and if you toss the sloppy run last time, his form really points to him as the one to beat.
Pk5 A horses: 5,6,8,1
There are several others in here with the form to win this but they all seem destined to cancel each other out on the front end, which is why I’m OK leaving them off any tickets.
Pk5 B horses: NONE
Leg 3: Santa Anita R4 (5:00 ET) – 4upfm MSW at 1 1/8 miles (turf)
I have a hard time trusting #5 SUTRO (5-2), who is certainly a must-use and the gal to beat but always seems to find one better, as evidenced by her three straight 2nd-place runs. My top pick is the new shooter, #10 MINUTE MILE (6-1), which doesn’t seem a bad angle in this spot, and with Van Dyke aboard and a good 2nd showing on the synthetic at Lingfield, and the fact Gallagher adds Lasix for her US debut, you have to think she’s ready for a biggie. I’ll also use #9 THE NINE O (10-1), who was a close 5th to Sutro on 11/23, which was her turf debut, and the fact it came off a 10-month layoff says to expect better today.
Pk5 A horses: 10,5,9
The backups offer a mixed bag, as #6 DECORATING (4-1) wasn’t far behind Sutro when 3rd on 11/23 but may not have another forward move in her, while #4 KAYDETRE (8-1) really regressed when 6th on 11/23, but the former does still have a bit of upside and the latter was a fast 3rd two-back, so there are a few positives, wich warrant inclusion.
Pk5 B horses: 6,4
Leg 4: Gulfstream Park R10 (5:12 ET) – 4up 50k MCL at 1 1/16 miles (turf)
This looks impossible on paper but there are a lot of cracks in several would-be contenders, so I’m going to be bold and go relatively short, with just #8 A I INITIATIVE (6-1) and #3 TERYN IT UP (4-1), as the former has a ton of upside off just three starts and goes off the Reynolds claim (26%), while the latter has been facing better in a slew of MSW starts, is clearly best on figures too, and drew well on the drop.
Pk5 A horses: 8,3
The lone backup is #11 HEZA KITTEN (10-1), who ran better than it looked from an impossible draw going a mile last time and could be a bit sharper late with blinkers added today for a Serpe barn that is off to a great start to its meet. You could go a lot deeper than I did, but there are issues too, as #1 Confidence Level (9-2) is a 4yo debuting for a tag for Brown, #9 Crime Lab (8-1) drops from the MSW ranks off the break and Shug rides Hernandez, which is a bit disconcerting, and #6 Mjolnir (5-1) would be a huge underlay at this price and wasn’t impressing anyone in his turf starts.
Pk5 B horses: 11
Leg 5: Golden Gate Fields R5 (5:47 ET) – 4up 20k N2L at 1-mile
The finale is all about what you want to do with #1 DEFIANTLY (5-2), who is the best horse but was just 2nd at odds-on last time and now meets a slew who are close to him on paper. You have to use him but you don’t have to love him. I’ll also use #8 MAXINAMILLION (4-1), who was a close 4th to the pick last time and seemingly benefits today since the pace looks slow and he’ll sit a nice outside pressing trip.
Pk5 A horses: 1,8
The rest here all look the same on paper and I don’t want to go too deep with a heavy favorite in the mix, who I’m already not even singling, so we’ll stand alone. Obviously #2 Six Cider (8-1) figures, as he split my top pair last time, but his lack of speed will hurt him here. The same can be said for #4 Aztec Warrior (3-1), who ran in place last time on the turf and didn’t have any late kick, and that figures the same again today in what looks like a slow-paced heat.
Pk5 B horses: NONE
Main Ticket: 8,10 with 5,6,8,1 with 10,5,9 with 8,3 with 1,8 = $96
Leg 3 B Backup: 8,10 with 5,6,8,1 with 6,4 with 8,3 with 1,8 = $64
Leg 4 B Backup: 8,10 with 5,6,8,1 with 10,5,9 with 11 with 1,8 = $48