by Dustin Fabian
December 12, 2019
The Saturday December 14 Gulfstream Park card is a massive prep day for the Pegasus World Cup card in just six weeks. Good performances by horses like Channel Cat, Bodexpress, Prince Lucky or Admission Office could push their owners ‘all in’ on North America’s richest dirt and turf races on Saturday, January 25, 2020.
And from a betting perspective, Saturday’s card couldn’t be better. The 20-cent Rainbow 6 is back and that wager is my focus this weekend. You can find my picks below. It won’t be an easy sequence whatsoever, but anyone talented – and lucky – enough to navigate all six legs should be rewarded handsomely at the end with an inflated Xpressbet balance.
Plus, speaking of big stakes, Xpressbet is hosting another Pegasus World Cup Betting Championship feeder tournament this Saturday. Put up a $500 Buy-In ($300 Bankroll, $200 Entry Fee) and out-handicap fellow contestants to compete for seats in the Pegasus World Cup Betting Championship (PWCBC) on January 25, a $6,000 value each, as well as big cash prizes. In a similar tournament last Saturday, we gave away a pair of tickets and $7,800 cash as 99 contests played. Let’s eclipse 100 this time!
Now, back to the picks. Here’s how I’m playing:
Race 6 (2:30PM ET) – Sugar Swirl Stakes (G3)
Is it time for #6 STORMY EMBRACE (6/1) to re-position herself as a player in the Florida filly/mare sprint division? This race is loaded with speed and would play perfectly with her stalking style. #3 A BIT OF BOTH (3/1) and #4 LADY’S ISLAND (5/2) are ‘need the lead’ types, and #9 HEAVENHASMYNIKKI (5/1) will also want to be in the leading vanguard. I’ll use the former two as they are razor sharp along with ‘EMBRACE, but this will be a nailbiter in the P6.
Pick 6 Horse(s): #3 A Bit of Both, #4 Lady’s Island, #6 Stormy Embrace
Race 7 (3:00PM ET) – My Charmer Stakes
Despite losing three straight races, #1 MITCHELL ROAD (9/5) is probably still the class of this field. The water in the G1 Diana and G1 First Lady was a little deep, so this ungraded stakes field is more to her liking. Let’s also consider using Chad Brown’s #6 ALTEA (3/1). She’s allergic to winning (2-for-15 lifetime) but did just win a race solidly and she figures to get ample pace to run into. Ultimately she is a cut for me as I need to keep my ticket cost a bit more manageable.
Pick 6 Horse(s): #1 Mitchell Road
Race 8 (3:30PM ET) – Rampart Stakes (G3)
These one-turn mile races often present a grueling test and, with a bunch of speed horses drawn to the outside, this race could unfold any which way. #11 COOKIE DOUGH (7/2) should flash speed, especially with Paco Lopez in the irons, and #8 TWEETING (6/1) and #9 BACCARAT FASHION (5/2) should be close in tow. I’m going to lean aggressive in this race, as I could see this event falling apart late. Even a horse like #1 UNHOLY ALLIANCE (15/1), who was beaten 15+ lengths last out, deserves a look.
Pick 6 Horse(s): #1 Unholy Alliance, #3 Perspire, #4 Pink Sands, #6 Molto Bella, #8 Tweeting, #9 Baccarat Fashion, #10 Cairenn, #11 Cookie Dough
Race 9 (4:00PM ET) – Fort Lauderdale Stakes (G2)
Using as many horses as I did in the Rampart requires a bit of precision in other legs. #5 CHANNEL CAT (3/1) is the classiest of these, but he’s been a little anemic as it comes to hitting the wire first. His only win this year came when he surprised a field in the G2 Bowling Green at Saratoga with a gate-to-wire blitz. He’s the best horse and possibly the likeliest winner, but not a slam dunk. #6 UP THE ANTE (6/1) gets Paco Lopez which is always a plus at Gulfstream and I’m going to assume #3 FLAVIUS (6/1) gets a better start in his second try off the pine. I’d love to use #8 ADMISSION OFFICE (9/2) but he’s too pace dependent and this race doesn’t figure to be fast up front. You could talk me into #7 CROSS BORDER (7/2), though…
Pick 6 Horse(s): #3 Flavius, #5 Channel Cat, #6 Up the Ante, #7 Cross Border
Race 10 (4:30PM ET) – Harlan’s Holiday Stakes (G3)
To me, this is a two-horse race and it comes down to #1 PRINCE LUCKY (2/1), a Gulfstream lover that finally gets away from the likes of Maximum Security and Mitole, and #6 BODEXPRESS (4/1). He has been a buzzsaw since coming back off his post-Preakness layoff. #3 RED CRESCENT (6/1) would be a player based on current form but his Gulfstream Park races have just never been as good as similar tries at Gulfstream Park West.
Pick 6 Horse(s): #1 Prince Lucky, #6 Bodexpress
Race 11 (5:00PM ET) – Claiming
The last leg is a decent $16K claiming event going 1 1/16 miles on the lawn and I’m going to use four of these. #2 DAKOTA’S DUDE (4/1) is making his first start with Robert Falcone. He gets Irad and seems very logical. #8 KING ORB (3/1) has won all three of his turf claiming races since moving to Rohan Crichton’s barn, while #11 MY POINT EXACTLY (10/1), a major pace player with Paco in the irons.
Pick 6 Horse(s): #2 Dakota’s Dude, #8 King Orb, #11 My Point Exactly
Ticket Cost: $115.20 for 20-cents