by Brian Nadeau
December 4, 2019
Back to battle in this week’s Stronach 5, which once again has a 100k guarantee and will include the Opening Day card at Gulfstream Park’s Championship Meet. 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 R8 (4:00 ET) – 3upfm Florida-bred AOC (16k/N1X) at 5 furlongs (turf)
You could do worse than single #8 SWEET YARE N DIRA (XXX), who might be best to begin with but now goes off the claim for Navarro, from 1-for-19 trainer Crowell, and this outside attack post will help too, but there’s a ton of speed signed on here, so I want someone else in case it falls apart in the lane. That leads me to #7 TRUE HEIRESS (XXX), who aired in a N3L last time and will need to step up on the rise, but will love the race flow, which will aid her stretch run.
Pk5 A horses: 8,7 (listed in order of preference)
It looks like Klesaris might have #2 BRIGHT VENEZUELAN (XXX) going right again, as she looked good winning off the claim last time, and she’s another with a running style to take advantage of the pace, so if she improves again there’s a chance for an upset. Both #4 Vilaro (XXX) and #6 Distinctly Blue (XXX) are players on the best day, but the former might get caught up in the pace and the latter is 0-for-7 on turf, so let’s make them prove it.
Pk5 B horses: 2
Leg 2: Laurel Park R9 (4:20 ET) – 3up 10k MCL at 6 furlongs
We’ve got a universal stand alone single here in #4 CAST THE LOT (3-5), who lays over this field off his last, when 2nd and well clear of 3rd at the level, and meets an even weaker cast here, so this looks like name the score time.
Pk5 A horses: 4
I’ll have no backups, as ‘Lot looks in the 2-5 range, but if you’re looking for value or something out of the box, then #2 Tom Terrific (10-1) and #5 Perfect Heir (8-1) are next up on the totem pole, should the favorite falter.
Pk5 B horses: NONE
Leg 3: Gulfstream Park R9 (4:30 ET) – 3upfm AOC (25k/N1X) at 1-mile
In a race that just doesn’t have much, you could probably single #5 QUEEN NEKIA (XXX), who should be just off a likely inside pace duel, has by far the best figures and races of anyone here, and gets a giant jock upgrade to Irad Ortiz, not to mention she was a good 2nd in both starts here last winter. However, I’m also going to use #7 TALKTHETALK (XXX), since she too fits the race profile and may move up on the added ground, as she was running out of room in her last two going 6Fs.
Pk5 A horses: 5,7
No one else here merits a backup role, since they are either too slow on paper, like #2 Hunting Season (XXX) and #4 The Gospel of John (XXX), or seem pace compromised, like #1 Sister Gema (XXX) and #3 Sammie Sunshine (XXX), so let’s go it alone on the A-line.
Pk5 B horses:
Leg 4: Golden Gate Fields R3 (4:45 ET) – 3up 12.5k N2L at 1 1/16 miles
We got a free square last week at GG, with a 1-5 winner who couldn’t lose, but things are a lot more difficult in this seven-pack this week, which isn’t a bad thing as we can spread and look for some value after being condensed in the first three legs. I’m going to use them all, in some way shape of form, as it looks like that type of race, so let’s use #1 VAN CORTLANDT (5-2), #7 UNCONTAINABLE (3-1), #4 ELEVATE (9-2), and #2 SAYIN GRACE (6-1) on the top line, as they have the best recent Tapeta form of the group.
Pk5 A horses: 1,7,4,2
I’ll use the other three—#3 WILSHIRE DUDE (12-1), #5 I’M AN EIGHT (8-1), and #6 AIGLE (7-2)—as backups, since none of them are too far behind the top quartet, and won’t have to improve much to be in the picture, at nice prices too.
Pk5 B horses: 3,5,6
Leg 5: Gulfstream Park R10 (5:00 ET) – 3upfm 16k claimer at 1-mile (turf)
Good luck in the finale, as it looks impossible and a must spread, since they all look about the same on paper and trips will be paramount at this distance. The inside draw and tactical speed of #3 ISADORABLE AIDA (XXX) makes her my top choice, and the drop in class won’t hurt either, though you have to go a lot deeper to feel safe. I’ll take the bait and use #6 FOUR K’S (xxx), who hasn’t been out since December and was off-form when last seen, but she gets a huge trainer switch from Campitelli to Ward (42% with newcomers and 23% off this extended layoff) and lures Jose Ortiz too, so just maybe she can reclaim her best form. both #7 COLONELS DAUGHTER (XXX) and #9 TRILBY (xxx) have had success here and seem tactical enough to be close early, so they too make the cut at what should be fair prices. On the face of it #10 PAINT THE CORNERS (XXX) might be the horse to beat, as she’s 4-for-8 over the local turf course and has been facing better of late, but those big runs were with Navarro and Joseph and Sancal isn’t quite as potent, plus this is a tough post, so she’s down on the list, but still make the top line cut
Pk5 A horses: 3,6,7,9,10
I feel pretty confident with the top group, but I’d like a bit more coverage and the ticket can afford it, so I’ll also use #1 BIG DARLING (XXX), who was awesome winning two-back and likely bounced last time, and #5 SWEET STORY (XXX), a class dropper who isn’t far from the top quintet and is 8-for-18 in the EX here.
Pk5 B horses: 1,5
The tickets (I would advocate playing the All-A ticket for $2):
Main Ticket: 8,7 with 4 with 5,7 with 1,7,4,2 with 3,6,7,9,10 = $80
Leg 1 B Backup: 2 with 4 with 5,7 with 1,7,4,2 with 3,6,7,9,10 = $40
Leg 4 B Backup: 8,7 with 4 with 5,7 with 3,5,6 with 3,6,7,9,10 = $60
Leg 5 B Backup: 8,7 with 4 with 5,7 with 1,7,4,2 with 1,5 = $32