by Brian Nadeau
April 18, 2019
Pk5’s are not made to be easy, so let’s try and shake a frustrating 4-out-of-5 streak and forge on in the Stronach 5, with the guarantee once again at 100k. 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 (5:09 ET) – 3upfm 25k MCL at 1-mile (turf)
This looks like the time to be thin, as most of these have wretched dirt form and are hoping to improve on the turf, while the ones with turf form seem to tower over the rest. It sure looks like Dickinson got the prep he wanted with #2 SHE’SLIKETHEWIND (5-2) last time, as she now goes second-off the layoff and back to the turf, where she ran well against better in a handful of spots last year; if you’re on a budget, you could do worse than singling here and not using any backups.
Pk5 A horses (listed in order of preference): 2
I’m not sold on #4 BURAK (7-2), even though her best turf race wins this, simply because she’s bred to run on the main track and was just awful on it in NY last year and now returns off the break, so sure, getting back to the green may help, but she just may be damaged goods too. The same can be said for #6 AFLEET FAIRY (7-2), and maybe even more so, because she had run well on the dirt before bombing in her seasonal finale, so a return to the green may not help. If lifetime maiden #10 Wolverette (5-1) feels like making her 17th start a winning one, she can do it without me, as this post is a rough one and there’s just no reason to think she breaks through here.
Pk5 B horses: 4,6 (please note that we’ll use on 5,3 in Leg 2 for this backup ticket)
Leg 2: Gulfstream Park R9 (5:18 ET) – 3f Starter/OC (35k) at 6 furlongs
It’s tough to get a real feel here, as several have similar form and profiles, so it looks like a spread, though I’ll lean with those who have speed, since it doesn’t look overly heated earlier. An outside attack post should work for #5 NONCENTS (6-1), who rises in class off a pressing win for 25k and will get first run on the stalkers down inside. I don’t know what to make of #3 DREAM ON JILLY (7-5), who hasn’t been out since running 2nd in a local turf stakes in September and now goes for Fisher, but she did win on works in her debut (for Nicks), could be the controlling speed here, and seeing Zayas ride is a good sign. You have to use the class, #1 DANA GRACE (8-1), as she’s been facing better of late, but she may also be at the mercy of the pace, so standing alone at an underlaid price isn’t ideal. I’m going to also toss in #6 SUBSIDIARY (8-1), since she’s been working well and won her debut, even though it came on the Tapeta at WO in June and she has never been on dirt, and hasn’t run since July, though Casse is a solid 17% off this type of extended layoff.
Pk5 A horses: 5,3,1,6
Improving off Navarro isn’t easy, so while Joseph is aces in the claiming game, I’ll use #2 ELISSAS SECRET (7-2) underneath only, especially since she couldn’t get to Noncents last time and might regress here. The wildcard is #4 CHARMAINE’S MIA (9-2), who has run exclusively on turf/Tapeta in her five starts but is bred for the main and has some speed, and is another who has been facing better, so she has to be included in some way. You could also use #7 Papa’s Little Girl (12-1), but she seems like a bounce candidate off a distant 5th against better, in what was far and away better than she’s ever done on figures.
Pk5 B horses: 2,4
Leg 3: Gulfstream Park R10 (5:50 ET) – 3up 20k MCL at 5 furlongs (turf)
Upside and a clean beginning should do wonders for #6 ELUSIVE RO (12-1), who was a good 4th last time on the return to turf after a tough start cost him his desired stalking spot just off the early lead. Today could be the day for #4 COME ON VENEZUELA (3-1) after he just-missed last time when beating ‘Ro and has hit the board in four straight, though we’ve said that before and he’s now 0-for-10. I’m not sure #1 LUCKYTOBEINAMERICA (6-1) will have to duel on the lead through torrid splits like he did last time when 4th behind the top pair, so if he breaks running they might not catch him.
Pk5 A horses: 6,4,1
There’s a lot of dirt form with #9 FRANKIE APPS (5-2), he’s bred for turf, and could improve off his return from a five-month layoff, so let’s toss him in, though this wide draw did him no favors. It’s interesting that Iwinksi immediately goes to the turf off the claim with #2 TAYLORSINITIATION (4-1) after he was a disappointing 4th at odds-on for Joseph, though improving off this barn isn’t easy.
Pk5 B horses: 9,2
Leg 4: Golden Gate Fields R5 (5:58 ET) – 3up 50k Starter at 1-mile (turf)
By far the trickiest race of the sequence sees a mixed bag of 11 entered, several who have been running on the local Tapeta, as opposed to the turf, which further clouds things. Looking for a price seems to be a good idea, and you’ll get it with #7 UPO (5-1), who had good turf form against better at Del Mar and SA last year and got his tightener out of the way sprinting here off the long layoff last time. Clearly #8 GEORGIE HYPHEN (5-2) hits hard off his SA 2nd last time, and a repeat makes him tough, though he’ll be overbet and doesn’t have a lot of margin for error. The bomb here is #11 UNLAWFUL ACT (15-1), who has some solid turf form showing, should trip out nicely off what looks like a moderate pace, and could get completely overlooked in the sequence.
Pk5 A horses: 7,8,11
There’s only some cheap speed inside, so the speed of #6 SHIFTY DANCER (4-1) makes him a player off his turf runs at SA, but it’s a little odd to see him get dangled for 12.5k off the layoff and barn change last time. Getting back to the turf could also move up #10 ARCH ANTHEM (6-1), who ran well on the Tapeta in his local bow and faced better on the lawn in So. Cal.
Pk5 B horses: 6,10
Leg 5: Santa Anita R5 (6:15 ET) – 3f MSW at 6 furlongs
We’ve gone deep leading up to this, so I’m going to lean on #1 MALIBU MUSIC (8-1) on the steep drop, as he drew perfectly, and catches a field loaded with speed and a slew of favorites that could get caught up in it, and #4 ARTIE B GOOD (5-2), who also can close and should like the stretch back out to two turns, after he ran credibly against tons better going long two-back.
Pk5 A horses: 1,4
There will be no backups here, as I’ve got a lot of coverage leading up to this and love the race flow for my top-2, though obviously #7 Encumbered (2-1) is a big player, but I just don’t see him pressing things early and holding them off late.
Pk5 B horses: NONE
Main Ticket: 2 with 5,3,1,6 with 6,4,1 with 7,8,11 with 1,4 = $72
Leg 1 B Backup: 4,6 with 5,3 with 6,4,1 with 7,8,11 with 1,4 = $72
Leg 2 B Backup: 2 with 2,4 with 6,4,1 with 7,8,11 with 1,4 = $36
Leg 3 B Backup: 2 with 5,3,1,6 with 9,2 with 7,8,11 with 1,4 = $48
Leg 4 B Backup: 2 with 5,3,1,6 with 6,4,1 with 6,10 with 1,4 = $48