by Jerry Shottenkirk
December 6, 2019
The Claiming Crown has the spotlight Saturday at Gulfstream Park, and the 11-race card including nine of the stakes races for horses that have run for claiming prices. Since being eligible for the races, some of the contestants have turned into graded stakes competitors.
This week’s target here is the early Pick 4 in races 2-5, and three of the events within the sequence are part of the Claiming Crown. The suggested ticket cost is $36 with a 4x3x3x2 pattern.
There will be some short-priced favorites scattered about, and if you can beat them, some attractive payoffs will occur.
It begins in the second race with the Claiming Crown Express for older sprinters. Whyruawesome, a Jorge Navarro performer who came into his own when he won three straight and then was second in the Mr Prospector, is the 8-5 favorite and is usable in the sequence but in no way faces pushovers. Harryhee is a 20-1 shot but has been a stalwart in optional-claiming sprinters and occasionally wins stakes races. He’s a nine-time winner of the strip, and while it will take the perfect storm to get him to lead gate-to-wire, he’ll be a strong pace factor. If allowed to clear this group, he could be very difficult to catch.
Travy Boy won the Millions Sprint Preview at Gulfstream West in his latest and seeks a third straight win. He has come up the claiming ladder and is a viable candidate in this six-furlong rush to the wire. Another strong contender is Fast Pass, who has been outstanding at GP lately, with a stakes win and a third-place finish in the Grade 3 Smile Sprint. He’ll likely benefit from the fast pace in front of him.
The opening leg could be the best race on the card. Others on the ticket including Make a Stand, Majestic Ro and Leading West in the third race; Picasso Moon, Cuddle Kitten and Kodiak Katie in the fourth; and Unaquoi and Dance Till Dawn in the fifth race and final leg of the early Pick 4.
Here’s the suggested play for the early Pick 4 Saturday at Gulfstream Park:
Race 2) #1 Harryhee, #2 Travy Boy, #4 Fast Pass, #9 Whyruawesome.
Race 3) #1 Make a Stand, #3 Majestic Ro, #6 Leading West.
Race 4) #1 Picasso Moon, #5 Cuddle Kitten, #6 Kodiak Katie.
Race 5) #1 Unaquoi, #9 Dance Till Dawn.
Total Ticket Cost) 1,2,4,9/1,3,6/1,5,6/1,9 = $36 for $0.50