by Jerry Shottenkirk
December 13, 2019
It’s easy for fans of Gulfstream Park racing to mentally flash back to last season in their minds and revisit Prince Lucky’s performances.
They’ll get a chance on Saturday to see him again. He’s in the Grade 3 Harlan’s Holiday, which with the 10th on the card and third leg of the late Pick 4. This week’s suggested late Pick 4 ticket uses a 3x6x3x2 strategy for $54.
Prince Lucky was dominant at Gulfstream last year and he started his success as he romped by six lengths in the G3 Hal’s Hope. He canvassed the mile in 1:34 4-5 and under restraint won as much the best. His backers (and most everyone else) believed it, played him down to 1-to-5 in the G2 Gulfstream Mile and watched as he coasted in by nearly five in 1:35 1-5.
What makes the Harlan’s Holiday Stakes a little different is that it’s at two turns and over 1 1-16th miles, while his one-mile successes were around one turn. He’s twice won at this distance, but those came around one turn at Belmont. The Pennsylvania-bred, Todd Pletcher-trained son of Corinthian takes on a better field that what he faced over the GP strip last year.
There’s plenty of quality competition, including War Story and Bodexpress. War Story makes his 1st start for Elizabeth Dobles, who takes over from Jorge Navarro. War Story has been up against the best over the past couple of years and could find this a more favorable situation. Bodexpress is an up-and-comer who turned some heads at Gulfstream Park West this year. However, he also was 2nd in the G1 Florida Derby last year and also ran in the first two legs of the Triple Crown. He was taken up in the traffic jam of the Derby and reared and unseated his rider in the Preakness. He’s an unlucky of a horse as we’ve seen in the Triple Crown races, and trainer Gustavo Delgado watched him break his maiden in easy fashion in October. The Bodemeister colt following with an eye-popping score in an allowance race.
There’s plenty to look for Saturday at Gulfstream, and two other stakes are in the late Pick 4. Here’s the suggested play:
Race 8) #9 Baccarat Fashion, #10 Cairenn, #11 Cookie Dough.
Race 9) #3 Flavius, #4 Instilled Regard, #5 Channel Cat, #7 Cross Border, #8 Admission Office, #9 Marzo.
Race 10) #1 Prince Lucky, #5 War Story, #6 Bodexpress.
Race 11) #8 King Orb, #12 Compagno.
50-cent early Pick 4 ticket: 9-10-11 with 3-4-5-7-8-9 with 1-5-6 with 8-12 ($54).