by Brian Nadeau
August 8, 2019
Let’s once again tackle a Laurel-Gulfstream edition of 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), 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 R8 (5:05 ET) – 3up 5k N2L at 6 furlongs
The opener revolves around your opinion of the expected heavy favorite, #6 QUIT YOUR MOANIN (6-1; I have to think there is a typo on the original ML and this should read 6-5), who looks a lot better than a very modest bunch and starts for a white-hot DePaz barn; simply put, if he runs back to any of his last five efforts, he wins comfortably. However, he could do no better than a distant 2nd last time at 9-10 off the claim/drop, so he’s a little tough to trust as well. The problem is that, if not him, then who, as the rest all look the same on paper and have had a lot more chances too. I’m (somewhat begrudgingly) going to single the favorite and call it a day, since, as a rule, I’m not in the business of trying to get lifetime N2L’s to the winner’s circle, and that’s what the majority of his competition is. And also, if you’ve followed me in this space before, you know I often advocate singling a heavy favorite (if you love them) in the opening leg of a sequence, as you get a lot of added value, since mentally the betting public just hates doing so, since they don’t want to be out after just one race.
Pk5 A horses: 6
I guess #1 The Mason Factor (5-1) would be the most likely upsetter, but at 1-for-17 with a lack of early speed, and several failures at the level, there’s just no reason to think today is the day. The rest of the logical usurpers have a ton of losses piling up, but they also start for trainers who need a GPS to find the winner’s circle, since #4 Quickhatch (8-1) is 1 for-25 lifetime and goes for a Davis barn that is 1-for-62 on the year, and the class-dropping #5 Mr. Cheasapeakcity (6-1) is 1-for-12 and looks to be going the wrong way in his last two since being claimed by Souder (2-for-39) away from a very sharp D’Angelo. Toss in #10 Captain Trips (15-1) at 1-for-34 for Davis as well, and you get the picture.
Pk5 B horses: NONE
Leg 2: Gulfstream Park R7 (5:38 ET) –3up AOC (25k/N1X) at 5 furlongs (turf)
Arguably the deepest race of the sequence has six that could win, and it’s tough to separate any of them, especially because I believe that runners with sharp dirt form can have a big impact turf sprinting, even with a lack of pedigree and/or experience. I’m going to use #7 I’M CARDINAL (5-2), #5 ZORB (6-1), #2 CASH CALL KITTEN (4-1), and #3 SARASOTA COUNTY (6-1), as they have either proven turf form or sharp dirt form, and show several races in their PPs that could win this.
Pk5 A horses: 7,5,2,6
As for the other two I alluded to, #1 MR. EDGAR (3-1) will need some pace help but has shown he can rally in his turf races, while #6 SLEEPING GIANT (6-1) has the form and figures to win this, but rises in class and goes off the claim from Zerpa for Marcondes, and the former is as potent a barn as there is on the grounds, while the latter is 1-for-29 on the year, so it’s tough to think this one goes anywhere but down off that sharp win for 10k last time.
Pk5 B horses: 1,6
Leg 3: Laurel Park R9 (5:57 ET) – 3up 16k at 1-mile (turf)
In a race with no real speed, I’ll try for the upset with #8 BAY BRIDGE (5-1), who showed three solid runs before catching yielding ground last time, and might be able to shake loose here and surprise, as long as the course if firm. The horse to beat is clearly #6 FRONT LINE PAIGE (5-2), since he’s been running well against better, but his decided lack of early speed might leave him with too much to do in the lane, especially since the prospective race flow won’t flatter his style. If I like ‘Bridge then I have to like #1 UHWARRIE SKY (6-1) too, since he drew best and figures closest to the pick early, and getting out of the N1X ranks and back with friends should help a lot too. You have to use #3 KID JETER (7-2) as well, since he wasn’t far behind ‘Sky two-back off the long layoff then really looked good winning in fast time in his last and looks on the improve. Lastly, I’ll toss in #4 AIRE BUENO (6-1), who beat a deep field at Suffolk and was a good 2nd two-back to ‘Bridge.
Pk5 A horses: 8,6,1,3,4
*** Please note for the B tickets involving Leg 4 and 5, I’ll only be using 8,6,1. ***
If I can’t get one of the five above home then I don’t deserve to move on, so there will be no backups, though neither #5 Beltway Bob (10-1) or #7 Electro (6-1) would make anyone fall over with surprise if they won, especially the latter, who had a bit of a trip last time and still got there first.
Pk5 B horses: NONE
Leg 4: Gulfstream Park R8 (5:38 ET) –3upfm 16k N2L* at 6 1/2 furlongs
Tough sledding here, as no one stands out, but a return to the main track and the addition of blinkers might enable #5 PURPLE GIRL (7-2) to pop this field on the front end, as she looks like she’ll be able to control the tempo up front with an aggressive ride. The best of the proven runners at the level is #1 LIL B QUICK (5-2), who exits some fast races where she’s been cashing a solid check, albeit without threatening the winner. I’ll also use #2 HELEN (9-2) on the drop and cutback, though she’s admittedly a bit of a reach off a complete no-show last time.
Pk5 A horses: 5,1,2
You have to think #3 ARTS AND CRAFTS (12-1) will run better off her return, as she chased and then tired for 25k off an October break, though that sharp MCL win in August seems more the exception than the rule, which is why she’s a supporting actress only here. The wildcard is #4 ON WITH GOD (3-1), who has really improved in two starts for David, but those were on turf, and her dirt form (for O’Connell) was abysmal, but there’s a chance she’s also a better horse now then she was then, and against a group like this, that’s enough to get some kind of inclusion. Recent sharp MCL winner #8 Wine Bottle (10-1) takes the logical next step and looks to have some talent, but her win was in extremely slow time and taking on winners is never easy, so let’s watch one first before backing.
Pk5 B horses: 3,4
Leg 5: Gulfstream Park R9 (6:10 ET) – 3upfm 12.5k MCL at 7 1/2 furlongs (turf)
This one is a bit of a puzzle, as several look like they can’t possibly win, but when you look at the entire field, you see it’s made up primarily of those types, so obviously someone could surprise. If you really want to be bold you can single #2 BIG ANNIE (9-2), as her two turf races for Black are better than what anyone else has done, but I’m not that brave, while also readily admitting she’s best here. (At the risk of going off on too big of a tangent, it’s also very important to realize how consistently incorrect the GP morning line is, and this is a perfect example, as Big Annie should be favored, and heavily so, as she may be as low as 8-5 come post time. Unfortunately, this is the 5th leg in the sequence, so a lot of people may not realize that and take her 9-2 at face value and think she’s just one of many contenders, though, that does give those in the know a big leg up on the rest of the betting public.) I have no idea what #1 GREY MANNERS (8-1) was running against in Mexico when she sprinted and hit the board three times on the dirt, and she also hasn’t run since 8/17, but Loza is 27% on the year and 2-for-3 off 180+-day layoffs, she drew perfectly, and adds Lasix, so all of that is good enough for me, against a group like this.
Pk5 A horses: 2,1
It’s an indictment of what kind of race we are dealing with when #8 TAPIZAR GIRL (7-2) is a heavy hitter, as she’s 0-for-11 lifetime and has never been close to the winner, but her turf races play with these, she wasn’t far behind ‘Annie two-back, and they all have to win sometimes, so I’ve got to use her. The other gal that will take some action is #5 Arbolada (2-1), since she starts for a potent Barboza barn, but she didn’t run an inch on debut sprinting on the dirt, and a barn that is basically 20% across the board is just 1-for-26 first-turf and 1-for-23 with second-time maidens, so I’m not taking the bait. You could also make a case for #9 Tiny Turbo (10-1), since she has some speed and has run just five times, but her form of late has been dreadful, and Harris is just 1-for-31 on the year, so I’m fine if she wants to beat me.
Pk5 B horses: 8
Main Ticket: 6 with 7,5,2,6 with 8,6,1,3,4 with 5,1,2 with 2,1 = $120
Leg 2 B Backup: 6 with 1,6 with 8,6,1,3,4 with 5,1,2 with 2,1 = $60
Leg 4 B Backup: 6 with 7,5,2,6 with 8,6,1, with 3,4 with 2,1 = $48
Leg 5 B Backup: 6 with 7,5,2,6 with 8,6,1 with 5,1,2 with 8 = $36