by Brian Nadeau
April 24, 2019
Back to battle with another tough Stronach 5. 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 5 furlongs (turf)
The opener could be a little tricky, as it’s on the turf and most of these are dirt horses, and bad dirt horses at that. At least we know #7 KITTEN’S FRIEND (4-1) can run on the grass, and her dirt runs this winter weren’t horrible, so she should take some beating. I’ll also use #9 FRIESING WATERS (3-1), who is the best horse, has been in good form of late, was a decent enough 7th in her lone start on turf, and is clearly a better horse now than she was then.
Pk5 A horses (listed in order of preference): 7,9
Neither of the top pair are that imposing, so let’s also use the firster, #8 LITTLE SKIFF (8-1), who debuts for a crafty Merryman barn, along with #5 ALONG CAME MIZZY (15-1), who is bred for the grass, was a wake-up 2nd in her return 12 days ago, and has a ton of upside, and also #14 SUNDAY RED (6-1), who has speed and goes for a Salzman barn that is 2-for-4 off 61-180 day layoffs.
Pk5 B horses: 8,5,14
Leg 2: Gulfstream Park R9 (5:18 ET) – 3up 12.5k claimer at 1 1/16 miles (turf)
A beast of a race here, so spreading seems the way to go, and I’ll also take a line on the sand on a few too, since you could literally make a case for most of the 12 entered. The rise in class is a significant one for #9 NAUTI BUOY (8-1), but he sure looked good winning off the Natalie Fawkes claim last time, and taking a horse off a win in a race where nine of the others enter off a loss can’t be a bad thing. A better post will go a long way in helping #2 CUT TO ORDER (8-1), who had no chance breaking wide going a mile last time against better but had solid form leading up to that and may appreciate the brief freshening too. It doesn’t look it on paper, but this is a steep drop in class for #5 LEWIS VALE (4-1), who caught a stellar field Florida Derby Day and didn’t fire, but is another who has plenty of back to form to lean on.
pk5 A horses: 9,2,5
A big price, drop in class, and more ground could help #8 BILLY BIG (15-1) blow this up, and he shows plenty of races this winter that would put him right in the mix here. A better draw makes #6 COULD BE (6-1) a player as well, and he wasn’t far off in his last two from brutal posts, so don’t be surprised if he wakes up here. The aforementioned line in the sand applies to #4 My Point Exactly (5-1) and #7 Grand Nenunco (9-2), who look like major underlays with more questions than answers while rising in class.
Pk5 B horses: 8,6
Leg 3: Gulfstream Park R10 (5:50 ET) – 2y MSW at 4 furlongs
A 2yo MSW in late-April isn’t ideal for a Pk5, but this one might be the easiest race of the sequence, as it looks like #8 ABSOLUTE GRIT (1-1) figures to be a handful off a bullet work 4/19 for Plesa, and while this is an 0-for-17 debut barn, you can’t figure he’s had too many that cost 300k less than a month before at a local 2yo in training sale, which means it’s go-time today.
Pk5 A horses: 8
There will be no backups, as the rest of these look a bit behind on their development, and intent to win today, when compared to ‘Grit, though if you are looking, then #5 Let’s Rumble (6-1) would top the list for Nicks, and #4 Poe (9-2) has a solid homebred pedigree and Gold knows how to win these early dashes. Also, take note that if #9 Viper (3-1) draws in, he probably goes to the top of the list, if you’re looking for a B.
Pk5 B horses: NONE
Leg 4: Golden Gate Fields R5 (5:58 ET) – 3upfm 50k Starter at 1-mile (turf)
I’m going to try and blow this up with #8 FLASHY HERO (15-1), who will like the expected honest pace and has some underrated turf runs here last year going two turns, which helps alleviate her bad runs sprinting here on the Tapeta in her last two. It looks like SA shipper #5 ATINA (4-1) holds the aces on the return to turf, as her nose 2nd two-back down south was better than anything anyone has done here, she drew well, and is another who will like the pace too. The price looks false, but getting back to the turf could put #9 OFFICE CHICKS (3-1) over the hump after seven straight losses, as her two turf runs here last summer were sharp, and she’ll also get first run on the top-2 as well.
Pk5 A horses: 8,5,9
Getting back over the local Tapeta and stretching out to two turns for the first time woke up #6 BIG BASE (6-1), who was a good 2nd at the level last time, and while she’s never tried turf, her big move forward going long last time says this might be right up her alley, at a nice price too.
Pk5 B horses: 6
Leg 5: Santa Anita R5 (6:15 ET) – 3up Cal-bred 50k MCL at 6 furlongs
There’s a lot to like about #4 DON’TTEASETHETIGER (4-1), who took a hint of money when a decent 7th on debut here in February, then bombed on the Tapeta at GG last time, but now takes the steep drop, adds blinkers, and won’t have to improve a ton off his unveiling to have a say here. There’s little doubt #7 SEA’S JOURNEY (5-2) is the one to beat, but how many chances do we want to give him, after he’s run in the money without winning in his last three and is now 0-for-6 lifetime? An outside attack post makes #5 TAK’IN THE RED EYE (4-1) a huge threat, especially since he was a much-improved 4th behind ‘Journey last time and now makes the pivotal third start of his career, which means he could be in line for a career-best run.
Pk5 A horses: 4,7,5
Wiring from the inside won’t be easy, especially stretching out an extra half-furlong, but #3 PIG IRON (3-1) fits, though he has lost ground going shorter in all three starts this year and ‘Journey will be pressing him the entire way. If you like MSW drop angle then #8 KING CHARLIE (10-1) is worth a look, since he was a solid 6th in his lone start when last seen in July and has worked well for this, and should be a bit closer early with blinkers going on today.
Pk5 B horses: 3,8
Main Ticket: 7,9 with 9,2,5 with 8 with 8,5,9 with 4,7,5 = $54
Leg 1 B Backup: 8,5,14 with 9,2,5 with 8 with 8,5,9 with 4,7,5 = $81
Leg 2 B Backup: 7,9 with 8,6 with 8 with 8,5,9 with 4,7,5 = $36
Leg 4 B Backup: 7,9 with 9,2,5 with 8 with 6 with 4,7,5 = $18
Leg 5 B Backup: 7,9 with 9,2,5 with 8 with 8,5,9 with 3,8 = $36