by Brian Nadeau
February 27, 2019
Another 100k guarantee in this week’s Stronach 5, which figures to generate a pool well in excess of that number. 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 (5:00 ET) – 4up 5k claimer at 1 1/16 miles
We kick off the sequence with what looks like a spread race, so I’ll use more than a few in the hopes of unearthing a price. And, under that premise, let’s see if #1 SMART TWO A T (12-1) can surprise on the class drop and a perfect draw, as he was in over his head last time behind a next-out winner but looked good winning twice at Penn National, and has run relatively well here against similar in the past. Dropping out of that 2/1 race will also help #6 PROMOTE (5-2), who was well ahead of the pick when 5th, while also seeing a modest two-race winning streak get snapped. It’s a little odd to see Potts add blinkers to #8 MUCHO MAS GRANDE (4-1) after a winning run last time, but there’s some solid form here, and he fits nicely on paper too, so while this group is a bit tougher, he merits inclusion at what should be a decent price. You also have to use #5 TOP PROSPECT (2-1) in some regard, but note he was awful last time and all his recent runs have been at one-turn, so even though his best wins this, you’re allowed to wonder if he can still deliver it.
Pk5 A horses (listed in order of preference): 1,6,4,5
There will be no B’s, since I’d like to think the winner is somewhere up above, but the logicals here would be #3 Flashy Jewel (8-1) and #7 Runaway Bull (6-1), though both have questions to answer and need to prove it.
Pk5 B horses: NONE
Leg 2: Gulfstream Park R10 (5:17 ET) – 4upfm 50k starter-allowance at 1-mile (turf)
A tough race here, and it’s no surprise that post positions are paramount in this 1-mile turf race, so let’s take the well-drawn #5 BELLA’S GAME (9-2), who exploded to beat lesser last time and is in career-best form for Reynolds. When the pink and yellow silks of Mike Dubb go on you better take notice, which is what you get with #8 CLASSIC LADY (12-1), who goes off the Abreu claim after a troubled trip last time when 6th behind a few of these here, but with a clean run for a sharp new barn, and a jock switch to Saez, she looks like a major player here. Normally facing winners is a tough task, but #2 JOY OF TREASURE (6-1) is lightly raced with a ton of upside and look good winning in her first start for Kenneally last time, will offer value, and is another who got the best of the draw. There’s little doubt #12 AMAZING AUDREY (4-1) is the gal to beat after just missing when 2nd at the level last time, but she gets brutalized by this draw and will need to be sent hard not avoid losing a ton of ground into the first turn, which may make it hard on her to last late. The draw also hurts 11 SCATNAP (6-1), another who will need to be used early to get some position, but she has been in sharp form of late and rates a long look.
Pk5 A horses: 5,8,2,12,11
Please note that in the Leg 5 backup ticket we’ll lop off #12 and #11.
The two B’s have to step it up, but both #4 POUND NOTE (10-1) and #6 CALL ME KAYLA (5-1) are lightly raced with plenty of upside, and ran relatively well when behind some of these last time while both trying winners, so there’s reason to think both can improve today.
Pk5 B horses: 4,6
Leg 3: Gulfstream Park R11 (5:47 ET) – 3f 20k MCL at 1 1/16 miles (turf)
The universal single in the sequence is #7 IT’S COMPLICATED (8-5), who looks better than this extremely weak bunch, but #4 ABJURE (3-1) has run decent enough in both starts, has plenty of upside, and adds blinkers, which is an untested but solid 2-for-8 move for young trainer Norm Casse, so just maybe she can pull off the mild surprise and knock a lot of tickets out in the process.
Pk5 A horses: 4,7
No one else with proven form is remotely close to the top pair, so unless firster #6 Let’s Go Baby (9-2) can run, and Kenneally has extremely poor stats with this kind, you don’t need to use anyone else.
Pk5 B horses: NONE
Leg 4: Golden Gate Fields R5 (6:00 ET) – 4up N1X* at 5 furlongs
Arguably the deepest race of the sequence, but one with a ton of speed, so if it all stays intact this one could fall apart in the lane, which leads me to key on a pair of stalkers, #3 SEQUENTIALLY (6-1) and #1 TOMAHAWK TUESDAY (8-1), who both fit on paper, will offer plenty of value, and should love the race flow. I don’t know what to make of Southern California shipper #7 GOREN (7-2), who tries the Tapeta for the first time, but he is trained by Hollendorfer and ha rated in the past, so let’s use him. Lastly, I’m going to use a price in #9 HE’S A HABANERO (10-1), since he was visually impressive closing to beat maidens last time, in what was his first start in 370 days, and though he does step up, the pace and price make him playable.
Pk5 A horses: 3,1,7,9
A hint of a rating gear will help #10 AMERICAN CURRENCY (9-2), who beat starter-allowance foes with a good figure last time, so he’s worth inclusion, though pressing/chasing and holding late won’t be easy. I’m against the ML favorite, #8 Mikes Tiznow (3-1), who just-missed when 2nd at the level last time while beating ‘Tuesday, but I just think he regresses today off such a hard run, while taking all the worst of it as a likely dueling leader.
Pk5 B horses: 10
Leg 5: Santa Anita R5 (6:15 ET) – 4up Cal-bred AOC (20k/N1X*) at 6 furlongs (turf)
Somehow, in a race down the hill, there’s not a ton of speed here, which means #8 LIL MILO (3-1), who won his only start over the course, gets all the best of it, especially with this perfect outside attack post to aid his speedy style.
Pk5 A horses: 8
Knapp hits at a big 25% off the claim and #6 RINCE AND REPEAT (7-2) looked good rolling home against lesser down the hill last time, though his lack of early speed won’t help his chances behind the pick, so he’s relegated to the B line. The rest seem a cut below the top pair, so we’ll go it alone with just a single A and single B.
Pk5 B horses: 6
Main Ticket: 1,6,4,5 with 5,8,2,12,11 with 4,7 with 3,1,7,9 with 8 = $160
Leg 2 B Backup: 1,6,4,5 with 4,6 with 4,7 with 3,1,7,9 with 8 = $64
Leg 4 B Backup: 1,6,4,5 with 5,8,2,12,11 with 4,7 with 10 with 8 = $40
Leg 5 B Backup: 1,6,4,5 with 5,8,2 with 4,7 with 3,1,7,9 with 6 = $96