by Brian Nadeau
April 3, 2019
We’re back to battle with another Stronach 5, with the guarantee once again at 100k, in what looks like a relatively formful sequence that won’t be too taxing on the bankroll. 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: Gulfstream Park R7 (4:19 ET) – 3up 35k N3L* at 5 Furlongs (turf)
I’m not going to try to make the opener look harder than it is, since, on paper, it looks like a toss between #2 BIG ROCK (3-1) and #5 MORNING BUZZ (7-2), as both look better than the rest and have stalking gears in a race loaded with the speed. I like the former a bit better, since he starts as a first-time gelding and has been facing better, while the latter goes away from Jason Servis, and while Delgado is one of the better claiming barns on the grounds, improving off a wizard is never easy.
Pk5 A horses (listed in order of preference): 2,5
Winning this on or near the lead will be tough, but at least #8 SHOSHONE BRAVE (8-1) drew best to be outside most of the other speed, and he sure improved a bunch in his first start for Rodriguez.
Pk5 B horses: 8
Leg 2: Laurel Park R9 (5:17 ET) – 3up 40k MCL at 5 furlongs
There’s little doubt that #8 DAY THE MUSIC DIED (3-1) will take some beating here off that fine speedy 4th on debut, after he dueled early, especially since the winner came right back to score. I’m also using #7 KICKSTARTER (6-1), since he’ll offer value and has worked very sharply for this, for an Eppler barn that knows what to do with a good horse.
Pk5 A horses: 8,7
Drawing outside ‘Died should help #12 FERNWOOD DRIVE (6-1), since he dueled to his inside on debut and paid the price late, and note he was 7-2 that day, so they seem to like him. The figures say #3 RAILMASTER (4-1) can win on the rise, but at 0-for-10 he’s also tough to trust and would be a big underlay at this ML.
Pk5 B horses: 12, 2
Leg 3: Gulfstream Park R9 (5:22 ET) – 3upfm 12.5k N2L at 7 furlongs (turf)
Let’s get aggressive here, for a few different reasons, most notably the tactical speed and inside draw that #3 DUBAIAN (7-2) has, as she was a good 3rd in her debut and first start on turf for Maker, and, unlike most in this weak field, has plenty of upside off just six lifetime starts, which is why she’ll be favored at post time, and nowhere near this ML.
Pk5 A horses: 3
The draw really hurts #9 SECRET O’LIFE (5-2), who ran well in her first start against winners but did so against only 3yos, and will need to improve to win this, though you should get better value than this incorrect ML. You could use others here, like #11 Sunny Sonata (10-1), #5 Diamond Love (9-2), and #12 Pointedlee (12-1), but none of them inspire and have more knocks that positive signs going for them.
Pk5 B horses: 9
Leg 4: Golden Gate Fields R5 (5:56 ET) – 3yo 50k starter-allowance at 5 furlongs
The universal single, and most likely winner of the sequence, is #3 DRILL TIME (7-5), who has been running much faster against much better, and has a rating gear in a race full of speed.
Pk5 A horses: 3
It looks like #2 Thisoneforjames (4-1) is a lesser version of ‘Time, as he too can settle early, but he may get run off his feet a bit more on the slight cutback, and even up to this point his best isn’t good enough, so we’ll play this sequence for what it is and not look for something that isn’t there.
Pk5 B horses: NONE
Leg 5: Santa Anita R5 (6:11 ET) – 3upfm MSW at 1 1/8 miles (turf)
If nothing else, we can probably spread a bit in the finale, especially since the horse to beat drew worst of all and could be wide the entire way, and the second favorite is 0-for-6 and seemingly stuck in neutral. Still, there’s little doubt you have to use both #10 CURLIN’S JOURNEY (7-2) and #3 DECORATING (4-1), but you also don’t have to be married to them, since we’ve talked about their merits before and they are still looking for their first win after 15 lifetime starts. I’ll try for the surprise from #1 FASHION ISLAND (6-1), who ran well on debut before regressing (with some trouble) last time, now goes to Baltas, and drew best of all. Obviously #6 OUT OF BALANCE (4-1) hits hard off those two 2nd-place runs of late and her tactical speed, which will get her first run on the closers. Lastly, let’s toss in #5 COLDWATER (10-1), who should be a fair price, has an improving form pattern, and might like the added distance today too.
Pk5 A horses: 1,10,6,3,5
A change of scenery might be a good thing for #4 SUNNY DALE (12-1), who didn’t show much in a pair of GP turf start for John Servis, but now goes to Hollendorfer, which is a huge upgrade on the grass, since her former barn has extremely poor turf numbers. I’ll also use #9 SURFACE (6-1), a McCarthy firster with a nice pedigree and a slew of works for a 14% debut barn.
Pk5 B horses: 4,9
Main Ticket: 2,5 with 8,7 with 3 with 3 with 1,10,6,3,5 = $20
Leg 1 B Backup: 8 with 8,7 with 3 with 3 with 1,10,6,3,5 = $10
Leg 2 B Backup: 2,5 with 12,2 with 3 with 3 with 1,10,6,3,5 = $20
Leg 3 B Backup: 2,5 with 8,7 with 9 with 3 with 1,10,6,3,5 = $20
Leg 5 B Backup: 2,5 with 8,7 with 3 with 3 with 4,9 = $8