by Brian Nadeau
November 14, 2019
Big doing in this week’s Stronach 5, as there is an over $91,081 carryover, which means the pool should swell to well over $500,000, if not $750,000. 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: Gulfstream Park West R6 (3:51 ET) – 2f 35k starter-optional claimer at 7 1/2 furlongs (turf)
The opening leg is a real puzzle, so spreading as deep as possible seems like a prudent move, since no one stands out and several are slow on figures. I think you have to start with the “fast” MCL winners #3 BEASAICHI (8-1) and #2 TEACHER DRAMA (9-2), especially since they are drew perfectly, but contention certainly doesn’t end there. A drop in class and good post should agree with #1 LITTLE MARIA (10-1), while getting to the turf and dropping in class might help to wake #5 LUCKY MILADY (8-1) up, especially since she has shown she can pass horses and there looks to be a lot of speed in here. The wildcard is #10 RAIN (5-1), who is the class and has been facing tons better, but has never run on turf and drew poorly, but, in a spot like this, she has to be used.
Pk5 A horses: 3,2,1,5,10 (listed in order of preference)
The rest are up for debate, but winning on debut from the outside draw at this trip isn’t easy, so I think you need to include #6 LA VENEZOLANA (6-1), who closed nicely too, while two turns seemed to agree to #7 BABYBEL (12-1), who is another who should be flying late. There’s a chance that #8 PRINCESS CARRIGAN (8-1) is the speed of the speed, so I’ll toss her in, since she wired sprinting two-back and was in way over her head in a stakes last time.
Pk5 B horses: 6,7,8
Leg 2: Laurel Park R8 (4:10 ET) – 3upfm N1X at 1-mile
In a race where there’s not much, it looks like #3 WARM (5-2) is a single, as she enters off three straight, showed she can beat allowance foes last time, and has a big tactical edge over her main (and seemingly only) rival, #1 Indy Union (2-1); yes she rises in class, but there’s just not much here to oppose here and she looks like the “now” horse and then some.
Pk5 A horses: 3
I have to admit I’ve never thought much of Indy Union, who I’ve used on several occasions only to be disappointed. No one has more respect for Jeremiah Englehart than I do, but ‘Union looks to be pace compromised, will be overbet, and just doesn’t look all that good, plus, her only good run this year came in the mud at the Spa. So in a sequence where I want a lot of coverage in some of the races I think can be chaotic, I’ll be a bit bold and go it alone with Warm.
Pk5 B horses: NONE
Leg 3: Laurel Park R9 (4:40 ET) – 3up 25k MCL at 1-mile
A tricky race, as some of the better runners are turfers, which makes it a bit tougher to decipher. I know #4 BOLD TREK (6-1) didn’t fire in his lone dirt start, but that was early in his career and it was a very fast race won by an easy winner, and he seems a better horse now, so I’m going to put him on top, albeit with little conviction. A slight drop in class and a clean trip might be all #3 GALERIO (3-1) needs, as he was in good form before being blocked and stymied last time, though he was also never close to the winner in that trio of 2nd-place finishes.
Pk5 A horses: 4,3
What you see is what you get from #1 JUNIOR SENATOR (5-2), who is 0-for-5 and has basically run the same race every time, so there’s no reason to think he’ll improve here, but that also doesn’t make him impossible with any of those runs either. I don’t know what to make of #2 Go Lover (12-1), who had some trouble last time but didn’t run an inch and now tries dirt, but if you want to spread a bit deeper he’s not without hope, especially if he can reproduce that turf 3rd from two-back. As for #6 Snidely (7-2), he looks off-form and has finished behind several here, and would be a huge underlay at this ML price, while Penn National invader #10 Goodluckchuck (10-1) has upside off just two starts, but also seems to slow to make a real dent.
Pk5 B horses: 1
Leg 4: Golden Gate Fields R3 (4:45 ET) – 3up 12.5k N2L at 1-mile
We’ve got one of those races where everyone looks the same on paper, which makes things difficult to narrow down, but with the way I’ve got the tickets constructed I can spread here, which seems like the right play, so here goes. The drop in class should makes #2 VAN CORTLANDT (5-2) a player, as he’s been facing better on turf; #4 SOONER BETTER (6-1) has really picked up his game in his last two and will be rolling through the lane; #9 UNCONTAINABLE (10-1) looked good winning in fast time off the break last time and will offer value again; and #5 I DECLARE WAR (12-1) has been doing the turf thing but should trip out nicely just off what looks like an honest pace.
Pk5 A horses: 2,4,9,5
The trio of #7 GET LIKE ME (8-1), #8 LEADVILLE (4-1), and #1 IRON ALEX (7-2) have prior form that can win this, and the former has been in solid form on dirt and turf, while ‘Lead drops in class, and the latter stretches out and drops, so while none are the most likely winner, they deserve a spot on the B-line, in case they wake up.
Pk5 B horses: 7,8,1
Leg 5: Gulfstream Park West R8 (4:54 ET) – 3up 8k claimer at 1 1/16 miles (turf)
You could do worse than singling #6 BOW TIE AFFAIR (9-5), who just beat 12.5ks for fun and is by far the best here, so if you’re on a budget there’s something to be said for having an anchor on the end, which will allow for more coverage early, and you’ll also be able to hedge if need be. However, I’ll also use #9 COULD BE (6-1), since he has a lot more tactical speed than the favorite and won’t have to duel on the lead like last time, when he tired and was a distant 3rd to ‘Affair, as the race flow looks a bit kinder today.
Pk5 A horses: 6,9
The top pair look a cut above, so I’ll go it alone, though if you’re looking for some other ideas, then #4 Unlockthepotential (9-2), #2 The Dow (12-1), and #8 Animal Trick (6-1) aren’t without hope if they deliver their best.
Pk5 B horses: NONE
Main Ticket: 3,2,1,5,10 with 3 with 4,3 with 2,4,9,5 with 6,9 = $80
Leg 1 B Backup: 6,7,8 with 3 with 4,3 with 2,4,9,5 with 6,9 = $48
Leg 3 B Backup: 3,2,1,5,10 with 3 with 1 with 2,4,9,5 with 6,9 = $40
Leg 4 B Backup: 3,2,1,5,10 with 3 with 4,3 with 7,8,1 with 6,9 = $60