by Brian Nadeau
December 12, 2019
Back to battle in this week’s Stronach 5, which once again has a 100k guarantee. 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 (3:52 ET) – 3upfm 5k N3L* at 6furlongs
The 13-horse opener really boils down to what you want to do with #11 LADY KIM (9-5), who is supposed to win, but we also said that last time, and she couldn’t get it done. She’s a must-use A, but I can’t trust her, so in a race that looks to have an honest pace, I’ll also use the class-dropping #2 THE BAY EXPRESS (15-1), who was in for 10k last time from an outside draw, can settle a bit early, and has never been in this low in here life.
Pk5 A horses: 11,2 (listed in order of preference)
I don’t know where that fast 3rd from #8 TOWSON (7-2) came from, but if she ran run back to it she’s a big threat, especially since she too can settle and get first run on the pick. The cutback and drop in class should help #5 R True Sensation (12-1), but she hasn’t won in 12 starts, while #6 Flirtatious Walk (6-1) seems in the mix, but was 3 lengths behind ‘Kim last time and offers no reason she can bridge the gap.
Pk5 B horses: 8
Leg 2: Laurel Park R9 (4:22 ET) – 3up 25k SOC at 6 furlongs
Maybe the fact there are 14 entered means we can get a bit of value by singling #2 FACTOR IT IN (5-2), since he looks like a real standout here, as he just won comfortably over a few here at this level over the track and distance, now goes off the claim for Mancilla (17%), and has worked lights out in two subsequent drills.
Pk5 A horses: 2
Considering the strong opinion I have on Factor It In, and the fact no one else here inspires at all, I’ll go it alone, which will allow for more coverage in the more competitive races. If you are looking for some additional coverage, then #8 Rip Rap Riley (8-1) and #1 Successful Zip (15-1) will be prices off sharp wins against lesser, while #14 Like What I See (10-1) and #9 Spicy Meatball (6-1) has a few races to fall back on that would play here.
Pk5 B horses: NONE
Leg 3: Gulfstream Park R9 (4:30 ET) – 2yo 50k SOC at 1-mile
This looks like a tricky race because several here are better on turf, with little to no dirt form, and the seemingly best dirt horse, #2 LURE HIM IN (9-2), hasn’t been out since a debut MCL win in May. I’ll put him on top, since he took money that day (5-2), returns in a spot where he can’t be claimed, runs as a first-time gelding with first-time Lasix, and could be the controlling inside speed, plus Nicks is a strong 19% off this extended layoff. He’s also an unknown, so I’ll also use #3 PLATO (3-1), who looked good breaking his maiden two-back on the dirt and was in too tough in a turf stakes last time, and #8 DRAMA IN DIXIE (7-2), who might be pressing the pick early and therefore in the right spot off the far turn if he’s not ready, and got some foundation off the two-turn turf run last time.
Pk5 A horses: 2,3,8
I’ll use two underneath—#1 PERFECT REVENGE (8-1) and #6 I’M MORE READY (8-1)—and while neither has run on dirt, both are bred for it and have been running two turns of late, the Ortiz brothers are here, and the former invades from Woodbine, where horses have had success from early during this meet in the past, while the latter looked good in a breakthrough turf win last time and has plenty of upside off just three starts.
Pk5 B horses: 1,6
Leg 4: Golden Gate Fields R3 (4:45 ET) – 2yof MSW at 5 furlongs
I’ve got the ability to use several here, and that’s a good thing, as this is the definition of a spread, with all but three of the 10 entered being first-time starters. I think you have to use the trio with experience—#5 LADY CROCKER (5-1), #1 LA CROIX (3-1), #9 CHARMING LASS (20-1)—as they get a big edge for having met the starter, and the former sure improved with Lasix at Del Mat last time, while ‘Crocker should improve off a middling debut for a 31% France barn, and the latter adds Lasix off a better-than-it-looks 6th on debut. With that being said, the firsters won’t exactly have to be freaks to win this, so I’ll also use #7 DON’T UNZIP ME (7-2) and #6 ANATOLIA (5-2) for top local barns Wong and Wright, respectively, and also #4 GO VAIDAGIRL (15-1), who has some fast works sprinkled in and Tekos and Duran are 15% for a $2.58 ROI together, while #8 BISCOTTINI (10-1), who shows a slew of works for Amescua, who is 2-for-18 with firsters and reaches for 16% jock Couton.
Pk5 A horses: 5,1,7,6,9,4,8
With seven of the 10 covered above, there’s no reason to use the other three, who looks a cut below.
Pk5 B horses: NONE
Leg 5: Gulfstream Park R10 (5:00 ET) – 3upfm 16k N2L at 1-mile (turf)
The finale is riddled with 1’fers, and if you’ve followed me in this space before you know I don’t want anything to do with you if you’re over 1-for-15, so this one, at least for me, is a bit cut and dried. I’m using a trio of 1-for-10 runners—#5 FANTASTIC KINGDOM (7-2), #8 REGAL ROMANCE (8-1), and #4 TAILADIOS (6-1)—since the former drew much better than last time and has by far the best figures here, and the latter two are tactical enough to sit a nice trip in what looks like a paceless race, and have been knocking on the door at the level of late. PLEASE NOTE that if #15 Chasing Helicity 10-1) draws in, she’ll be an A as well, horrific post and all.
Pk5 A horses: 5,8,4
The post is brutal for #11 ELITE APPEAL (4-1), but she has been in good form and has some tactical speed, so she’s worth inclusion underneath, and would also go to the A-line if one of the top trio scratches. There’s a chance that #2 Speed too Tume (15-1) gets loose here, but she still looks too slow, while #10 Tennessee Cotton (9-2) just missed at the level last time but is another who is slow, and dre poorly as well.
Pk5 B horses: 11
Main Ticket: 11,2 with 2 with 2,3,8 with 5,1,7,6,9,4,8 with 5,8,4 = $126
Leg 1 B Backup: 8 with 2 with 2,3,8 with 5,1,7,6,9,4,8 with 5,8,4 = $42
Leg 3 B Backup: 11,2 with 2 with 1,6 with 5,1,7,6,9,4,8 xxx with 5,8,4 = $84
Leg 5 B Backup: 11,2 with 2 with 2,3,8 with 5,1,7,6,9,4,8 with 11 = $42