by Brian Nadeau
February 21, 2019
Big doings in this week’s Stronach 5, as there’s a $169,000 carryover after a pair of unfathomable results to end last week’s sequence. With the pool guaranteed last week at $150,000, interest was amped up quite a bit, and seeing this week’s pool close in on $1 million is definitely a possibility, which is why the suggested tickets are bigger than normal. 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.
*** Updated picks via Twitter. ***
Leg 1: Laurel Park R9 (4:35 ET) – 4upfm 5k claimer at 6 furlongs
I’ll admit up front that this is an extremely difficult quintet of races, and therefore I’m going to play them in somewhat of an odd fashion, since the second leg looks beyond impossible, and it’s the type where a $16 winner could play like a 20-1 in the sequence, and so I want to be able to spread as deep as I can. With that being said, I’ll use three on the A-line in the opener and call it a day, since they seem a decided cut above the rest. The potential for an energetic pace makes me think #8 TRUFFLESBERG (5-2) is going to prove a shrewd claim for Farrior (13% off the claim), since she just missed for 8k last time and seems to fit nicely with this group. The race flow will also suit #1 SPECIAL RISK (5-1), who has been in good form of late and will get first run on the pick too. The class is #3 MY CHESA CHARM (2-1), but she drops stiffly in her first start off the Ness claim (22%) after a no-show last time and catches speed to her inside and outside, so there’s a chance she quits abruptly again.
Pk5 A horses (listed in order of preference): 8,1,3
It’s tough to think anyone else could spoil the party, without improving open lengths for no real reason, though #5 Bib Momma (15-1) and #7 Splendor Gal (12-1) do fit the race profile.
Pk5 B horses: 5,3,8
Leg 2: Gulfstream Park R10 (5:12 ET) – 4up AOC (62.5k/N2X) at 1 1/16 miles (turf)
In what is a vintage GP turf allowance for older horses, there are countless different ways you could go and the favorites are barely a length or two better than some 15-1 longshots, so I want a lot of coverage, especially since it’s a big field where racing luck will also play a big roll. A good price and much better post says #2 SPACE MOUNTAIN (15-1) could upset here, and there’s no doubt this is an easier group than the field he faced last time, as winner Bricks and Mortar came back to win the $7 million Pegasus Turf World Cup (GI). After that I’ll use logicals like #8 DR. EDGAR (4-1) and #5 BATTLE OF BLENHEIM (7-2), though neither has any margin for error and will be underlays off a bad run (the former) and a long layoff and trainer change (the latter). I’m also using #10 MEDAL OF HONOR (6-1), though he doesn’t look like the typical Brown first-time US tiger, #12 LUNAIRE, who will run on late, #11 SIDING SPRING (5-1), who would be a huge underlay at this ML, though we know not to pay any attention to the GP ML and can expect 8 or 10-1, potential Lone F #9 CEEVEE (10-1), and lastly #6 IM THE CAPTAIN NOW, who seems like he’s prepping for longer, but did end 2018 with some good form.
PLEASE NOTE that for backup ticket purposes I’ll only use 2,8,5,10 as A’s.
Pk5 A horses: 2,8,5,10,12,11,9,6
I’ve got eight of them listed above, so if that can’t get it done, then I’ll simply hit happy hour a little earlier.
Pk5 B horses: 4
Leg 3: Gulfstream Park R11 (5:42 ET) – 3yo 20k MCL at 1-mile (turf)
A weak race where the proven runners don’t inspire prompts me to look towards #4 MO’S RIDE (10-1), a Weaver firster (14%) with a slew of works and Irad named, so there figures to be some intent here; as an aside, when he’s 4-1 don’t go screaming to the window “Look how live he is on the board,” as there’s no plausible reason he’s 7-2 in a race like this or these connections. The best turf firm/numbers belongs to #10 WINE AT THE BEACH (6-1), though this is a tough post and he was 25-1 last time, so you know he’s a bit tough to trust.
Pk5 A horses: 4,10
Why anyone would want 2-1 on #2 INDISPUTABLYLINKED is a mystery to me, but his turf race in September wins this and Margotta did seem fit to claim him off him out of his return and getting back to the turf may help too. Dropping out of the MSW ranks when he had an impossible post could help wake up #8 PESCECANE (9-2), so I’ll use him too, though he was 71-1 that day and was beaten a furlong, so tread lightly here.
Pk5 B horses: 2,8
Leg 4: Golden Gate Fields R5 (5:54 ET) – 3f 8k MCL at 5 furlongs
No strong opinion here, though I think using #9 PRINCESS RUN IT (4-1), #8 BEHOLD THE GOLD (3-1), and #6 TWICE AS WINDY (5-1), and #10 FLAT OUT FINE should get me through, as the first three just look better than an average bunch of locals and the latter makes her local debut for a sharp Lucarelli barn.
Pk5 A horses: 9,8,6,10
We won’t be able to view the tote so it’s a guessing game on firster #7 CHAMBOOZEL (10-1), but Delia is 6-for-30 with firsters, so you’d think she’s ready to fire.
Pk5 B horses: 7
Leg 5: Santa Anita R5 (6:07 ET) – 4upfm AOC (40k/N1X) at 6 furlongs (turf)
We find our single in the finale, as #10 SPECIAL PURPOSE (4-1) drew best of all and seems primed for a big move up second-off a long layoff, especially since that close 6th in her return last time was very encouraging return.
Pk5 A horses: 10
A sharp return means #1 SPY RING (7-2), who beat the pick last time, is the main danger and another who can improve in a big way, but the rail down the hill is not a good thing, so let’s relegate her to second-best. If you want some additional coverage then #5 Batiquitos (6-1) and #7 Animosity (5-1) both have their merits, though also look like underneath players, in lieu of the top pair.
Pk5 B horses: 1
Main Ticket: 8,1,3 with 2,8,5,10,12,11,9,6 with 4,10 with 9,8,6,10 with 10 = $192
Leg 3 B Backup: 8,1,3 with 2,8,5,10 with 2,8 with 9,8,6,10 with 10 = $96
Leg 4 B Backup: 8,1,3 with 2,8,5,10 with 4,10 with 7 with 10 = $24
Leg 5 B Backup: 8,1,3 with 2,8,5,10 with 4,10 with 9,8,6,10 with 1 = $96