by Jerry Shottenkirk
July 12, 2019
Some of the most evenly matched stakes at Gulfstream Park occur in the summer months and Saturday’s $75,000 Treasure Coast Stakes is another to add to the list.
The Treasure Coast, a mile turf race for fillies and mares, is the ninth on the card and opening leg of the late Pick 4. Lafta, a 5-year-old Kitten’s Joy mare trained by Patrick Biancone, tried Grade 3 company in her last two and is even-money on the morning line. A scan through the field indicates that it might not be that easy. In fact, there’s plenty of quality and Lafta should have a fight on her hands.
Lafta’s last win came I the Monroe Stakes, a Gulfstream race similar to this one. There are a lot of $75,000 stakes races that was just below the graded level, and her win was in gate-to-wire fashion and through pedestrian fractions. Lafta most recently was sixth in the G3 Very One, and after running second for about a mile faded to sixth in the 1 3-16th-mile race.
Una Luna is seeking her 3rd straight win and steps up from the optional claiming $25,000 ranks. While she lacks stakes experience, she’s won three of her last four and her times have been good.
Also considered, and used, on the suggested Pick 4 ticket are Midnight Soiree and Birdie Gold. Midnight Soiree was second in the Ginger Punch Stakes, a race that came off the turf, and won the Martha Washington Stakes on turf at GP last year, and Birdie Gold invades from California. She began her career in Peru and her first U.S. start was a doozy, as she was 12ths in the Breeders Cup Fillies and Mare Turf at Del Mar in 2017.
The 10th race could be the easiest on the card as Jettin Out and Gangly are the two on the suggested ticket (which totals $48), but the 11th and 12th races aren’t easy and will likely require multiple selections.
Race 9) #1 Una Luna, #2 Lafta, #4 Midnight Soiree, #5 Birdie Gold
Race 10) #3 Jettin Out, #9 Gangly
Race 11) #2 Best Thunder, #10 El Corazon, #11 Dynamic Dancer
Race 12) #2 Northbrook, #4 El Duque, #7 Mr. Cesco, #8 Can’t Have Enough
Total Ticket Cost) = $48 for $0.50