January 9, 2020
Back to battle in the Stronach 5, which will run the gamut with four tracks this week. 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 (3:49 ET) – 4up AOC (35k/N2X) N2L at 6 1/2 furlongs
The opener is a toughie, but there are a few you can pick apart and a few you can lean on, so I’ll try and survive what could be a real problem for the betting public. I’m going four-deep, with my top choice going to #5 WORKIN ON A DREAM (6-1), who was surprisingly on the lead in his return 12/20 and held well to be a close 4th behind a few of these and should move forward off that. Obviously #8 MARCO ISLAND (3-1) is a must-use off the fast figure win against lesser last time, while #4 CHARGIN STORM (6-1) was 2nd and ahead of ‘Dream, and #3 SHOWALTER (4-1) had big form before catching slop last time and would be a huge threat on the lead if he can bounce back.
Pk5 A horses: 5,8,4,3 (listed in order of preference)
The backups are a bit trickier, as #9 CERULEAN SPRINGS (8-1) also beat ‘Dream last time but the half-furlong cutback and a decided lack of speed won’t help his chances, while #1 FACTOR IT IN (6-1) was 5th in the 12/20 race and might be going the wrong way, especially since he’s now two races removed from being claimed away from John Servis.
Pk5 B horses: 9,1
Leg 2: Santa Anita R1 (4:00 ET) – 4upfm MSW at 5 1/2 furlongs (turf)
There’s not much in here in terms of proven runners, so if the money shows on #2 DANCE COSTUME (7-2) you might want to be aggressive and single her, as Yakteen is 24% on debut and reaches for Rosario, so there appears to be a lot of intent here. If she’s not ready then #7 RANEEM (5-2) might be ready to break through for Baffert, as her two turs sprints were solid, and she drew a perfect outside attack post as well.
Pk5 A horses: 2,7
The wildcard is clearly #5 LAVENDER (3-1), a first time Euro who is now with Chew but hasn’t been out since running 2nd on the synthetic at Dundalk last October, so the long layoff is a big worry, but she was also 2nd on turf on debut and adds Lasix too, so there’s reason to take her seriously. The works whisper ready on #1 MALIBU CAT (3-1), who was a decent 9th on debut on the turf and hasn’t been seen since a no-show on dirt in February, but it’s comforting to see Prat land here, so she’s worth a look. You have to play against #6 Mela Jones (7-2), even though the turf run two-back works, as she’s off her own February break, plus Carava is an unfathomable 0-for-51 on the turf.
Pk5 B horses: 5,1 (please note that the backup ticket will only use 5,8 in Leg 1)
Leg 3: Gulfstream Park R9 (4:38 ET) – 4up AOC (35k/N1X) at 1-mile
The fragile but talented #4 BLEWITT (5-2) should be tough here off the April layoff for Pletcher, who is a big 29% off this extended break, and those works sure do whisper ready, and the fact he’s here, and not in NY facing state breds, says he’s doing good and may want to win one in front of his namesake. Taking on winners is never easy, but it appears sharp Aqu MSW winner #3 KID BOURBON (9-2) has a lot of talent and plenty of upside, and aside from the chalk, this isn’t the toughest AOC you’ll see this winter, so he may be able to bridge the gap.
Pk5 A horses: 4,3
This is a tough sequence and I’ve got to limit my coverage in the races I think are pretty well defined, so there will be no backups here, as the top pair simply look better than the rest. If you’re looking for more coverage, then #9 Mac Jagger (10-1) a first-time Pletcher off a 13-month break, has a bit of appeal at a price, while #8 Fullness of Time (15-1) didn’t run poorly while facing winners at CD in his first start for DeVaux.
Pk5 B horses: NONE
Leg 4: Golden Gate Fields R3 (4:45 ET) – 4up 5k N2L at 5 1/2 furlongs
There’s some definite price appeal with #8 HOT ‘N FAMOUS (8-1), who dueled on the rail against much better in his return off an April layoff last month but now draws perfectly in a race without a ton of sprint speed, so maybe he gets brave in a spot that a sharp Thomas barn might have had in mind all along. There’s little doubt #6 HOT ‘N NOTTY (4-1) is the one to beat off a slew of fast figures, and if the pace does get contested, he’s going to be sitting just off of it waiting to pounce, which means he’s a must-use on the top line.
Pk5 A horses: 8,6
The rail is a bit of a worry for #1 ROMAN ROCKET (9-2) but he was a close 3rd to ‘Notty last time, so if he can work out a trip he’ll be in the mix for sure. I’m going to play against easy last-out winner #4 Power Times Two (9-2), as he will likely have ‘Famous pressing him the entire way, and #7 Candy Crew (3-1), who fits on paper but is 0-for-11 over the local oval.
Pk5 B horses: 1
Leg 5: Gulfstream Park R10 (5:10 ET) – 4upfm Florida-bred AOC (16k/N1X) at 5 furlongs (turf)
With a field full of speed, the cutback might work perfectly for #2 FOUR K’S (10-1), who has been going two turns on the turf, tired after running on the lead in her return last time, and starts for Ward, who is a stiff 38% second-off a 180+ day layoff. An outside attack post will help #6 RICHIE’S SISTER (3-1), who has a hint of rating gear starts for Jason Servis, and is 3-for-7 over the local lawn, while #8 SWEET YARE N DIRA (7-2) is another with speed who did well to draw outside some of the other pace, and goes off the claim for Joseph, a ridiculous 40% move, though improving off Navarro isn’t easy.
Pk5 A horses: 2,6,8
I’ll use one backup, #4 LADY GRACE (9-2), who has never run fast enough to win this, but has worked well for her return off a June layoff, and with added maturity, and a rating gear, she could surprise. If you’re looking deeper, then #3 True Heiress (12-1) will run on late, though she too is slow on figures, while #5 Vilaro (8-1) has two sharp recent turf runs and goes off the Dibona claim (19%), but may find herself in a pace sandwich.
Pk5 B horses: 4
Main Ticket: 5,8,4,3 with 2,7 with 4,3 with 8,6 with 2,6,8 = $96
Leg 1 B Backup: 9,1 with 2,7 with 4,3 with 8,6 with 2,6,8 = $48
Leg 2 B Backup: 5,8 with 5,1 with 4,3 with 8,6 with 2,6,8 = $48
Leg 4 B Backup: 5,8,4,3 with 2,7 with 4,3 with 1 with 2,6,8 = $48
Leg 5 B Backup: 5,8,4,3 with 2,7 with 4,3 with 8,6 with 4 = $32