by Jerry Shottenkirk
May 10, 2019
The $100,000 Big Drama Stakes for older Florida-breds is the main offering and the second leg of a tough Pick 4 on Saturday, and coming up with a winner in the headliner is anything but a simple task.
Four horses are considered for this suggested Pick 4, and there are a couple that didn’t make the cut that at least warranted attention.
Here’s a look at the contenders:
Royal Squeeze: Looks like a tremendous $25,000 claim by the Elizabeth Dobles barn three races back. She took him out of a turf races and promptly won an optional claimer in 1:10 2-5 for six furlongs and came back three weeks later with a sharp five-length tally in 1:22 2-5 for seven furlongs. That too came against optional claimers and this 7-year-old clearly has found a second wind his career.
Front Loaded: Came off the bench after a six-month vacation and all he did was run down the speedy Harryhee in an optional claimer in 1:10 4-5 for six furlongs. It was his 1st start for trainer Ralph Nicks and there’s no doubt he belongs with these.
Garter and Tie: Also from the Nicks barn, Garter and Tie comes off a heartbreaking nose loss to Gladiator King in the open Roar Stakes. Efforts in the Holy Bull and Florida Derby didn’t pan out, but a return to Florida-bred company should make him a strong player. A fast pace likely will set him up for a big late move.
Kroy: Here’s another who has tried open company and has been very salty vs. state-breds. Georgina Baxter took over his training and he was 5th in a five-furlong turf race in his only start of the year. He has excellent early foot and held on for 2nd behind Mr Jordan in last year’s edition of this race.
Others of note include defending champ Mr Jordan and Three Rules. Mr Jordan has not been his mostly reliable self this year and was badly beaten in al three starts. He turns back from two-turn races and could turn around his form in this sprint.
Three Rules never got involved in his only start of the year and races on three times last year. He was a successful 2-year-old in 2016 as he earned a trip to the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and hit the board in the Swale and Fountain of Youth the following year. His last win came in the Carry Back here in July 2017. He started only twice in 2018 with no good results and was badly outrun in his comeback three weeks ago.
Here’s the suggested late Pick 4 ticket for Gulfstream Park on Saturday:
Race 9) #7 Masterofintention, #8 Run Rite, #10 Chandler’s Drama.
Race 10) #1 Royal Squeeze, #6 Front Loaded, #8 Garter and Tie, #10 Kroy.
Race 11) #5 Colormepompom, #6 Polar Jet, #7 Gnarly.
Race 12) #3 Drill Down Dude, #10 Buttonhook, #11 Friend Plaintaine.
Total Ticket Cost) 7,8,10/1,6,8,10/5,6,7/3,10,11 = $54 for $0.50