by Brian Nadeau
July 3, 2019
Let’s once again tackle the Stronach 5, which will have a 100k guarantee, though the pool has been easily surpassing that number each and every week. To refresh, the Stronach 5 is a Pk5 wager spread across as many as four tracks and up to three surfaces (dirt, Tapeta and turf), 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 R8 (4:50 ET) – 3up 16k N2L at 1-mile (turf)
The opener doesn’t look tough as nails, as it usually is, so hopefully we can get through without having to go too deep, and in this instance I’ll use three; #6 GUNSLINGER (4-1), #8 TEN EYCK (7-2), and #3 SEVILLE BARBER (9-2). The former should enjoy a soft pace (especially since #7 Panama Papers will scratch, having won at this condition Monday at Del Park), enabling him to get first run on him two main rivals, which could prove to be the difference, and a drop in class won’t hurt either. An inside post, class drop, and the addition of Lasix could all put ‘Barber over the top, and he’s tactical enough to sit a perfect trip too. The class is clearly ‘Eyck, who invades from NY having faced tons better, but a decided lack of speed may play against him here.
Pk5 A horses: 6,8,3
The post is the reason #11 NATIVE FLORA (6-1) isn’t an A, as it’s just brutal, plus he’s unproven going this far and Merryman is ice cold, though he fits nicely on paper and does have a lot of tactical sprint speed, so just maybe he can trip out. It’s not impossible that either #1 Been Redeemed or #2 Conquest Falcon make a dent, though they are definitely below the top quartet and look more like C-level contenders.
Pk5 B horses: 11
Leg 2: Laurel Park R9 (5:22 ET) –3upfm 5k N2L at 6 furlongs
We’ve got an absolutely inscrutable second leg, filled with lifetime 1L’s who aren’t interested in winning a race, so this one seems the definition of a mine field that will be tough to get through. Looking at it from a pace perspective, there doesn’t appear to be a ton of heat up front, and a drop in class while going second-off a somewhat unfathomable 32-month layoff says that #1 FANCY OUTFLANKER (12-1) should move up today, and that last-of-5 return for 8k wasn’t at all bad, since she was beaten just 8 1/2 lengths. I’m thinking #4 PARCHED GHOST (5-1) is the gal to beat, as she blitzed MCL foes two-back then was in against tougher in an odd spot on the turf last time, so a return to the main track should work. Aside from the top-2 I don’t have any real clue, but I want to use one more, and the dart lands on #5 PERFECT EXCHANGE (9-2), who starts for a sharp Jenkins barn and also goes turf-to-dirt and has hit the board behind three runaway winners in her last three main track runs.
Pk5 A horses: 1,4,5
There’s a chance that the turf is what has #2 DIXIE DO GOOD (10-1) running much higher figures, but she could also be a better horse since the layoff, and she drops in class from when last seen on dirt, so I’m going to use her as well, especially since she’s just 1-for-10 in a race filled with several who have countless more losses. Speaking of which, horses like #3 Majorie Mugs (6-1) and #6 Boom Boom Gone (5-1) both fit on paper, but when you’re 1-for-39 and 1-for-17, respectively, I don’t consider you win candidates and are quite comfortable letting you beat me. Conversely, both #8 Country Linebacker (5-1) and #9 Holy Freedom (6-1) don’t have as many losses, but wide draws and muddled form make them play-againsts too.
Pk5 B horses: 2
Leg 3: Gulfstream Park R7 (5:28 ET) – 3upfm 50k OC/SAL at 7 1/2 furlongs (turf)d
It looks like there’s plenty of speed here in the middle four slots (6-9), and that may be enough to tilt this to the off-the-pace types, so I’ll play it that way and side with #4 JUSTCALLMENORMAN (7-2), who really improved off the Joseph claim when a fast 3rd at the level in April and meets lesser today. The pace will also help #3 UNLOCKTHEPOTENTIAL (6-1) and #2 LIL COMMISSIONER (6-1), who have knocked heads twice of late and fit nicely on figures.
Pk5 A horses: 4,3,2
A drop in class from some tough CD races means you need to at least look at #1 PLEASE SIT DOWN (8-1), especially since he’ll be another who is flattered by the pace, even though he’s a bit slow on paper. You should get a fair price on the class-rising #5 FARLEY (8-1), who can trip out and has really picked up his game since stretching out in his last two on turf. I’ll side against #9 Buddy’s Run (5-1), who probably has more upside than the rest off just three starts, but drew terribly in his turf debut, and Nicks is just 8% with this move as well.
Pk5 B horses: 1,5
Leg 4: Gulfstream Park R8 (6:02 ET) – 3up 10k MCL at 5 furlongs
A lot of people might be singling #2 DRILL DOWN DUDE (8-5) off the Zerpa claim (45%), especially since he goes turf-to-dirt (5-for-7) and drops in class, but the fact that #9 BUFFON (9-5) ran huge when 2nd, beaten just a neck, in his debut for Vaccarezza, who at the time was winless at the meet and 0’fer with firsters, says he can run, and this outside attack post makes him even more attractive, so he actually gets the nod on top.
Pk5 A horses: 9,2
The hit-or-miss form of #7 Starship Taxi (5-1), and the fact he’s 0-for-9 with no upside, says he’s going to have trouble with the top pair, which is why I’m not going to use him, especially since I need to narrow somewhere after spreading a bit in the first three legs.
Pk5 B horses: NONE
Leg 5: Gulfstream Park R9 (6:34 ET) – 3up 10k MCL at 1-mile (turf)
The final leg is extremely weak, and though I have no idea what to make of #3 PEACE SPEAKER (4-1), who would win this in a gallop off his prior form but hasn’t been out in almost 17 months after he was claimed for 40k out of a disappointing 5th and now returns for 10k, he has worked well for this and 21% jock Rendon is here, so I’ll take the bait. Being a first-time starter in a field like this isn’t a bad thing either, and #6 CAN’T TRUMP KITTEN (3-1) starts for Maker, who is 15% on-debut, and with Zayas here, there figures to be some intent too. I’ll also use #9 ALPERES (7-2), who is best of the proven runners at the level, though running 2nd in three straight and drawing poorly are definite knocks.
Pk5 A horses: 3,6,9
The problem with the backups is that you could use several, yet have no guarantee at hitting, so I’m a little leery here and won’t use any, though #2 Barbie’s King (5-1) would be the logical choice, if you’re looking for more coverage.
Pk5 B horses: NONE
Main Ticket: 6,8,3 with 1,4,5 with 4,3,2 with 9,2 with 3,6,9 = $162
Leg 1 B Backup: 11 with 1,4,5 with 4,3,2 with 9,2 with 3,6,9 = $54
Leg 2 B Backup: 6,8,3 with 2 with 4,3,2 with 9,2 with 3,6,9 = $54
Leg 3 B Backup: 6,8,3 with 1,4,5 with 1,5 with 9,2 with 3,6,9 = $108