by Brian Nadeau
January 16, 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 OC/SAL (25k/16k) N2L at 6 furlongs
The opening leg is a tough one, but it’s also loaded with speed, so let’s take an off the pace type of approach. I’ll try for a bit of an upset with #6 DIVINE INTERVENTIO (10-1), who has some hidden form, with a pair of modest longer runs sandwiched around a big 6F run two-back, and has the right running style to take advantage of the race flow. Both #5 WINPLACEORSHOWONO (9-2) and #1 SIR ORINOCO (7-2) hit hard, and have a hint of a rating gear on their best day, so they must be included, while #9 STORMING MY WAY (5-1) was a decent 4th at the level two-back behind ‘Sir and is another who can settle and make a run at the speed.
Pk5 A horses: 6,5,1,9 (listed in order of preference)
If nothing else, #8 FIX ME A SANDWICH (3-1) did well to draw outside the other speed, and he chased and won two-back, but this is a rise in class off his Parx races, and I’m just not sure he can he’s going to be able to survive a pace battle early and hold off the stalker/closers late. I think you need to include #4 STROLL SMOKIN (8-1), since Robb is 4-for-11 at the meet and 32% off the claim, but this is a solid rise in class, and he’s another who could get fried chasing, so I’ll limit him to a supporting role.
Pk5 B horses: 8,4
Leg 2: Gulfstream Park R8 (4:06 ET) – 4upfm 16k N2L at 1-mile (turf)
I don’t want to say this looks like a free square but with #6 CHICKLET’S DREAM (7-5) entered, it sure seems it, as she’s simply a better and classier horse than the rest and goes for Brown and Castellano, so I’ll take the bait and single her, under the premise it will allow for more coverage in the deeper surrounding legs.
Pk5 A horses: 6
The two most logical backups, #1 Elite Appeal (6-1) and #8 Regal Romance (9-2) would be major contenders in a normal race for the level, but with ‘Dream entered they seem like a real reach off their stagnated form, so I’ll go it alone.
Pk5 B horses: NONE
Leg 3: Golden Gate Fields R3 (4:47 ET) – 3f AOC (40k/N1X) at 1-mile
Much of this seven-horse field look the same, but #3 MILA’S DREAM (6-1) has the upside off a better than it looks debut, as she sat off a pedestrian pace and still got home, while breaking from an impossible outside draw in a field of nine going this trip, which is not easy at all. The two more logical runners—#4 PAIGE ANNE (1-1) and #7 REIWA (3-1)—both hit hard, but the former will be way overbet off a LRC MSW win, and has never run on a synthetic surface, while the latter, who just missed at the level over the track/distance last time, will have to work out a trip from a potentially tricky draw.
Pk5 A horses: 3,4,7
It’s tough not to use a 2-for-2 filly in a race where the rest are all one-time winners, so I’ll toss in #6 MOLLIE O’ MCEVOY (8-1), who beat 50k starter gals at the trip here last time, and wouldn’t have to improve all that much for the hat trick. If you’re really spreading then you could do worse that #5 Red Dahlia (8-1), but she has basically run the same race in her last four starts and now faces winners, so I’ll make her prove it on the class rise, while stretching out to two turns too.
Pk5 B horses: 6
Leg 4: Santa Anita R3 (5:00 ET) – 4up MSW at 5 � furlongs (turf)
It’s tough to have a lot of confidence in this one, as the proven runners don’t have great form and the firster—#7 SKY JUMPER (5-2)—debuts for Baffert on the turf as a 4yo gelding, which is hardly a great sign. I think you have to use him, but I’ll put #4 BIG HEADED BABY (8-1) on top, as his debut in June was a decent 5th for O’Neill and new trainer Knapp is 27% with his newcomers. The former would be no surprise and drew perfectly, but, needless to say, things haven’t gone according to plan if this is where it all begins. I’ll begrudgingly use ML favorite #3 SILENCED (2-1), who is fast and lost his jockey in his only turf start, but Eurton is 1-for-25 off a 61-to-180 day break, 1-for-16 going turf-to-dirt, and 0-for-6 in turf sprints, so there are some hurdles here too.
Pk5 A horses: 4,7,3
I don’t think #5 ODYSSEUS (6-1) has to be a freak to win this, and Mandella can have them ready, but it’s odd to see him use Velez, and a son of Candy Ride (ARG) might want a bit longer before showing his best, hence this one will be on the second line only. I don’t think #1 Tyrannical Rex (10-1) is impossible, as he has some decent form, but Carava is an impossible 0-for-53 on the turf, so he can win without me.
Pk5 B horses: 5
Leg 5: Gulfstream Park R10 (5:10 ET) – 4upfm 16k N3L at 1 1/16 miles (turf)
If you’re on a tight budget or want to spread deeper in the earlier four legs, then I presume you’re singling #9 ALGODONAL (4-1), who is an incorrect 4-1 on the ML off an easy course and distance N2L win last time, with a figure that wins this by a few lengths too, so expect 5-2 or so, and a horse who has every right to win her third straight. With that being said, it’s never easy rising in class, and both #4 YAKO (9-2), who stretched back out and was a good 2nd at the level here last time, and #10 LIBERALE (7-2), who has some decent form at Laurel and lures Jose Ortiz, both figure, so I’m going to use them all equally, while admitting Algodonal will be tough to beat.
Pk5 A horses: 9,4,10
Those three should get you through, but if #5 TRIXIE’S TIME (6-1) gets loose on the stretchout and return to turf, after facing better in NY, she could get brave and forget to stop, so I’m going to use her, for an F. Abreu barn long overdue for a win.
Pk5 B horses: 5
Main Ticket: 6,5,1,9 with 6 with 3,4,7 with 4,7,3 with 9,4,10 = $108
Leg 1 B Backup: 8,4 with 6 with 3,4,7 with 4,7,3 with 9,4,10 = $54
Leg 3 B Backup: 6,5,1,9 with 6 with 6 with 4,7,3 with 9,4,10 = $36
Leg 4 B Backup: 6,5,1,9 with 6 with 3,4,7 with 5 with 9,4,10 = $36
Leg 5 B Backup: 6,5,1,9 with 6 with 3,4,7 with 4,7,3 with 5 = $36