by Brian Nadeau
February 7, 2019
Big doings in this week’s Stronach 5, as the pool is now guaranteed at $100,000, and players can expect it to easily surpass that and potentially approach $150,000. 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) – 4upfm 5k at 7 furlongs
The opening leg depends a lot about how you feel towards #9 PRESTONS PRINCESS (3-1), who has faced better in two starts off the Ness claim and has yet to run on a fast track; the drop will help a lot, and you have to think she might improve in a big way on dry land, so I’ll single her in a field that doesn’t have much.
Pk5 A horses (listed in order of preference): 9
The only other horse I’m interested in is #6 LETMESLIDEBYYOU (8-1), since she looked like a new horse with an easy win on the cutback last time and will be closing late at a nice price. Yes, #1 Holiday Magician (5-2), #3 Given Achance (4-1), and #4 Greasedlightning (5-1) are all viable alternatives, but seem to have a lot of knocks too.
Pk5 B horses: 6
Leg 2: Gulfstream Park R10 (4:40 ET) – 4up 6.25k N3L at 1-mile
This could be the most likely spot for budget players to single, as #1 KELLY TOUGH (9-5) is clearly the horse to beat off the Marcial Navarro claim after running a fast 2nd at the level last time, but I also don’t trust him, since there’s a lot of speed to his outside and he hasn’t won in eight starts, so I’m looking elsewhere, at least on top. Which brings me to #6 MANHATTAN PROJECT (8-1), who has run only 10 times and rises in class off a solid track and distance win in the N2L ranks last time, will get some pace to rally into, and will be a square price too, and I never think it’s a bad thing to take a class riser off a win in spots like these, as they are usually littered with a group of refusers.
Pk5 A horses: 6,1
I don’t love #8 HIGH FLYING GUY (9-2), or his 2-for-23 record with 15 underneath finishes, but he too will like the race flow after hitting the board in his last two at the level, and he does lure Saez, so just maybe that puts him over the hump.
Pk5 B horses: 8
Leg 3: Santa Anita R4 (5:00 ET) – 4upfm MSW at 6 1/2 furlongs (turf)
It sure looks like #7 FICANAS (6-1) is ready to roll off a May layoff, as her AM drills are off the charts, and with Rosario named, she figures to mean business from a perfect draw for going down the hill. The best of those with current form is #2 MAGICAL GRAY (5-2), but at 0-for-5 her chances are adding up, though this might be the type of vulnerable field she’ll finally break through against.
Pk5 A horses: 7,2
The wildcard is clearly #3 PERSEPOLIS (3-1), who didn’t do a lot of running over a bog going two turns at Keeneland for Chad Brown and now heads west and runs down the hill for Mandella; Prat is here and the works are solid, though this barn is 0-for-10 with newcomers, so she could need one (and longer too). You could go deeper here, though I’m not sure #1 Mela Jones (10-1) can wire from the inside, and there’s a ton of other speed here, which could also claim lightly raced dirt runner #6 Tivat (6-1), as well as #8 Storming Lady (4-1), who goes off the claim from McCarthy for Marquez and is another who has had her chances.
Pk5 B horses: 3
Leg 4: Gulfstream Park R11 (5:13 ET) – 4up 30k N3L* at 1-mile (turf)
Good luck here, as this looks like a toughie and rates as a spread, or at least as deep as your bankroll will allow you to go. My top pick—with little conviction—is #6 TIPSY KITTEN (9-2), who posted two big figures over the course this summer and now runs as a first-time gelding off a brief respite. If you toss out the yielding run without blinkers two-back then #3 MILES OF HUMOR (6-1) fits nicely from close range, at a price, from a ground-saving draw. The post really hurts the chances of #11 BLACK SEA, but his turf races are as good or better than anyone here and he was just a close 2nd against slightly better over the course and distance, so he’s tough not to include. And if you like ‘Sea then you have to like #8 BALTIC ART (8-1), since he wasn’t far behind in 3rd last time and drew a tad better too, and will be a much better price as well.
Pk5 A horses: 6,3,11,8
I’m going to leave it at the top quartet and call it a day, as they seem better than the rest and all have a stalking/closing in a race where it looks like there will be an energetic pace. It’s worth noting, however, that #13 Jojo’s Dream (4-1) and #15 Giant Run (5-2) have to be used in some way, shape, or form, terrible posts and all, should they draw in off the AE list.
Pk5 B horses: NONE
Leg 5: Golden Gate Fields R5 (5:45 ET) – 3yo 12.5k MCL at 5 1/2 furlongs
I’ll take a little stab in the finale with #3 BREAK THE LINE (8-1), who has been going two turns, drops in class, and should have plenty of foundation for this sprint, while making just his second start over the local Tapeta. The obvious horse to beat is #5 SIR LAUGHALOT (2-1), who goes turf-to-dirt, cuts back to one-turn, and has never been in this cheap, while holding his own against tons better.
Pk5 A horses: 3,5
The backups are a lot tougher to trust, but #8 FULL OF GOLD (15-1) outran his odds on debut and can move forward, while #1 LUCKY’S LAST SONG (3-1) is a big underlay and will have to wire from the rail, but could shake out as the speed of the speed.
Pk5 B horses: 8,1
Main Ticket: 9 with 6,1 with 7,2 with 6,3,11,8 with 3,5 = $32
Leg 1 B Backup: 6 with 6,1 with 7,2 with 6,3,11,8 with 3,5 = $32
Leg 2 B Backup: 9 with 8 with 7,2 with 6,3,11,8 with 3,5 = $16
Leg 3 B Backup: 9 with 6,1 with 3 with 6,3,11,8 with 3,5 = $16
Leg 5 B Backup: 9 with 6,1 with 7,2 with 6,3,11,8 with 8,1 = $32