by Brian Nadeau
January 2, 2020
We usher in the New Year and 2020 with another crack at the Stronach 5. 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 (3:50 ET) – 4upfm 5k N2L at 6 furlongs
The Laurel races have proven a tough nut to crack while yielding some big prices and a few unfathomable winners, but the good news this week is I have the ability to spread here, since a few of the remaining legs seems pretty formful. I’m going to try for a surprise with #1 LADY LOOSE (12-1), who seems aptly named since she looks like the lone and controlling speed in here, and that tiring 5th last time wasn’t bad at all, since it was her first start against winners, and with just six lifetime starts she’s not yet a lifetime 1’fer, like several of these are. The horse to beat seems to be #4 LADY ROZINA (7-2), who has posted a pair of “big” figures, at least for this group, in her last two on dirt, and shouldn’t be too far out of it early. I wouldn’t want to take too short of a price if I was betting #6 OYA (3-1) to win, but she does figure here, since she looked good winning off the Capuano claim last time, though she also did it in slow time, and now has to face winners too.
Pk5 A horses: 1,4,6 (listed in order of preference)
I can’t imagine you’ll get the 20-1 ML on #2 SILK STOCKING, since she’s been 7-10 and 9-5 in her two starts, but she should be a much better price than the latter today, as she didn’t fire when 7th at CT off an almost 14-month layoff, but Figgins rarely runs them where they can’t compete, and she wouldn’t have to improve all that much to have a puncher’s chance against this group. The more logical backup is #9 CHICKEN DINNER (4-1), who goes off the D’Angelo claim (4-for-11), should like the cutback off a disappointing 6th last time, and would be a big threat here if she runs back to the 2nd at the level over the track and distance two-back. You could also use #3 Shak’s Hidden Gem (6-1), but she’s now 1-for-20 and seems to be going the wrong way, so I’ll pass.
Pk5 B horses: 2,9
Leg 2: Gulfstream Park R9 (4:28 ET) – 4upfm N1X at 5 furlongs (turf)
We’ve got a tough seven-pack here but without a ton of pure sprint speed entered maybe #5 AWSUM ROAR (9-2) can handle the rise in class after a big win over the course and distance last time, which was her fifth in six starts. There’s little doubt #3 MISS MIAMI (2-1) is the gal to beat off her own course and distance win last time, though note it came at the expense of Florida breds. An outside attack post should work for #7 PAYNTDEMBLUESAWAY (6-1), who beat lesser last time at GPW and will be a very fair price here too.
Pk5 A horses: 5,3,7
I’m not sure what to make of #4 DREAMS ARE MADE (3-1), who will likely be overbet while making her first start for a very icy Casse barn off a fast win at Ellis Park for Sharp, especially since she doesn’t have a lot of early speed, which is not the ideal running style going this distance on the GP turf.
Pk5 B horses: 4
Leg 3: Golden Gate Fields R3 (4:49 ET) – 3upfm 50k starter-allowance at 5 1/2 furlongs
Budget players will probably be singling the speedy Del Mar shipper #5 KIANA’S LOVE (9-5), who makes her first start for Wong, who is 31% with newcomers, and she has been facing better, but she’s also never been over a synthetic surface, so while she’s an obvious A, let’s look for someone who could post the upset. Which brings us to #2 STARZA (6-1), who is proven over the track, has plenty of foundation off a pair of routes in her last two, and, most importantly, has a stalking gear in a race with plenty of speed.
Pk5 A horses: 2,5
It’s tough not to include #4 MOURNING CYNN (5-2), since she broke her maiden by 7 in her local debut and first start for Badilla, but she also takes a stiff rise in class while trying winners, and could get pressed into the ground by ‘Love to her outside, so she’s not making the cut on the top line.
Pk5 B horses: 4
Leg 4: Gulfstream Park R10 (5:00 ET) – 3yof 16k MCL at 1-mile (turf)
It looks like today’s the day for #1 GABY’S DREAM (2-1), who really improved last time while running a figure that would win this easily, drew much better than her two biggest rivals, adds blinkers for a bit more early speed, and goes for a potent Joseph barn, while facing a weak cast as well.
Pk5 A horses: 1
There are more than a few you can use here, but none inspire and don’t match up with the pick’s last race, so I’m going to pass on #8 Marianna Queen (3-1), #2 Debbies Utube Diva (6-1), and #10 Signing Bonus (12-1), though they are the three most logical backups if you’re looking for alternatives to the heavy chalk.
Pk5 B horses: NONE
Leg 5: Santa Anita R5 (5:08 ET) – 4upfm 25k N2L 1-mile (turf)
I don’t have much of an opinion in the final leg, other than having a strong conviction that if you use #8 INVINCIBELLA (7-2), #9 POINT HOPE (5-2), and #4 TINNIE (3-1) you’re going to get through, as they simply look better than a modest bunch. As for the pecking order, ‘Bella owns a big figure and class edge on the AOC drop, while ‘Hope drops too and could be the controlling speed on the stretchout, while Tinnie has to face winners, but is lightly raced and owns plenty of upside.
Pk5 A horses: 8,9,4
Any potential backups just don’t stack up with the top trio, so I’ll go it alone up above, though #6 Daddy’s Melody (8-1) would be the closest to make the cut here, as she has some decent turf form and could have some confidence off an easy MCL win on the dirt at Los Alamitos last time.
Pk5 B horses: NONE
Main Ticket: 1,4,6 with 5,3,7 with 2,5 with 1 with 8,9,4 = $54
Leg 1 B Backup: 2,9 with 5,3,7 with 2,5 with 1 with 8,9,4 = $36
Leg 2 B Backup: 1,4,6 with 4 with 2,5 with 1 with 8,9,4 = $18
Leg 3 B Backup: 1,4,6 with 5,3,7 with 4 with 1 with 8,9,4 = $27