by Brian Nadeau
January 22, 2020
We were finally able to put the 4-for-5-itis behind us and hit last week for $1,192.40 on a $36 backup play, which only further enhances the idea of structuring your ticket to give you the best bang for your buck. So, here’s hoping we can double up 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 10k MCL at 5 � furlongs
Tough sledding in the opener, as you can make a case for nine of the 10 entered, so we’ll have to take a few stands to keep the tickets affordable. I’m going for a big price, as I think it’s very interesting that Farrier, a 26% trainer, decides to claim #2 SPIRITUS (15-1), who has been 37-1 and 25-1 in two weak runs to start his career, but this is a barn that is a stiff 31% off the claim, and Carasco is here too, so there sure looks like some intent, and it’s not like he’d have to improve much either to have a say, in a race that is certainly there for the taking. You should get a decent price on #5 FATHER’S LUCK (10-1), who sped off and tired to be 5th in his comeback, but should be sharper here and has plenty of upside off just two lifetime starts, while #6 WHITE RUSSIAN (6-1) drops slightly in class, drew well, and has the tactical speed to trip out nicely. I’ll also somewhat begrudgingly use #8 CHUCK’S DREAM (5-2), who would be a huge underlay at this price, as he hasn’t started in 373 days, which was hardly the plan when Guadet claimed him for 25k, but his dirt runs would beat this field backwards, so he has to be used, though with winless apprentice Marquez named, it further clouds the picture.
Pk5 A horses: 2,5,6,8 (listed in order of preference)
Underneath I’ll use the closers #1 TOM TERRIFIC (8-1) and #9 PERFECT HEIR (8-1), as they do catch a field with plenty of speed, as well as #10 STACKSDENERO (5-1), who usually fires but has had a lot of chances too. tab the tote on #4 Outside the Box (8-1), who wouldn’t have to be a freak to win his debut, while #3 Straightouta Congtin (15-1) did improve in his first start on a fast track for Allen, but will need to do so again.
Pk5 B horses: 1,9
Leg 2: Santa Anita R3 (4:00 ET) – 4upfm MSW at 1-mile (turf)
Another race where most of these look similar on paper, but getting back to the turf should help #7 VEGAS PALM (7-2), as she’s run well in all three starts, has Prat, and still has upside too. I wouldn’t want to take too short of a price on #4 UNICORN (9-5) in the win pool, but she has to be used here, even though she loves burning money and seems stuck in place of late. Lastly, I’ll also use #3 MISS TOKYO (5-1), who is another with solid turf form and some upside, and her speed should play well here too. I know #6 SAVING SOPHIE (5-2) has some big dirt form, but her lone turf race, albeit in her debut sprinting, wasn’t much, so she barely makes the cut on top line, though obviously she’s a big player here and a huge chance if she does transfer that main track for over to the green stuff.
Pk5 A horses: 7,4,3,6
If you’re looking for more, then #1 Cover Version (8-1) wasn’t far behind the pick in her lone turf start, while #5 Happy Tune (20-1) was much-improved in her turf debut last time, and #8 New Drama (10-1) debuts for 22% first-out trainer Yakteen, but this post and trip won’t be easy on a newcomer.
Pk5 B horses: NONE
Leg 3: Gulfstream Park R8 (4:06 ET) – 3f AOC (50k/N1X) at 5 furlongs (turf)
I don’t love this race, but I think there are only three who can win, so I’m just going to use them all and call it a day and hope to get through. The list starts with #5 NORMA’S LOVE (5-2), who was a good 2nd last time while facing winners and should trip out just off the speed, and #3 MIN IT TO WIN IT (4-1), who got to the turf last time and looked really sharp breaking her maiden, and could be the speed of the speed under new jock Jose Ortiz.
Pk5 A horses: 5,3
If #6 MISS LUCY (9-2) improves just a bit off the GPW 2nd last time she’s a major player here, though this is a tougher field and she doesn’t have a lot of tactical speed, so I worry she’ll be a bit outclassed and left with a bit too much to do in the lane, hence her inclusion on the second line.
Pk5 B horses: 6
Leg 4: Golden Gate Fields R3 (4:48 ET) – 3f 12.5 claimer at 1-mile
Another tough race here, as several come out of the local 1/1 race won by #2 Text Don’t Call (2-1), who is heavily favored on the ML but was able to walk on the lead last time when she predictably forgot to stop over the distance, but will have to work a lot harder today to win this. I think #4 JUST CLASSY (7-2) could be favored and is close to a standout, as she drops in class, has a lot more speed than the favorite, and could get loose with an aggressive ride while reuniting with 30% local jock Hernandez. I’ll also stab a bit with #1 BILLY’SGOTASINGLE (6-1), who really improved on the stretchout last time when beating MCL’ers, drew perfectly, and should get some pace to run into as well.
Pk5 A horses: 4,1
I’m going to make #2 TEXT DON’T PROVE IT (2-1), at least on top, as she didn’t really impress beating just five rivals last time and won’t make the lead here, though I’d be really stubborn to toss her completely. You could do worse than using #8 Teaspoon of Pepper (8-1) and #10 Charlie’s Belle (4-1), who were 3-2, respectively, behind ‘Prove It last time, but the waters are a lot deeper here, and if the latter isn’t even on the top line, then these two gals will really have their work cut out for them.
Pk5 B horses: 2
Leg 5: Gulfstream Park R10 (5:10 ET) – 4upfm 40k N2L N3L at 1 1/16 miles (turf)
With Joseph hitting at 32% with newcomers to his barn, Saez named, and #2 MUSIC OF LIFE (3-1) showing big NY form against better for Russell and entering off a very troubled trip, the gut says she’s blowing up here and laying down a race the rest of these won’t be able to handle, so I’m going to be bold and single her in a final leg that has no one to be scared of.
Pk5 A horses: 2
The drop in class make #1 Alizee (4-1) the main danger, and she sure ran fast off the Navarro claim, so if she can back it up she’s obviously worth using, but I’m going to stick to my guns and single the pick, who I still think will be too tough. I think you have to make #8 Strella’s War (5-2) prove it at this price, since she enters off some Tampa form and will be overbet, from a wide draw as well.
Pk5 B horses: NONE
Main Ticket: 2,5,6,8 with 7,4,3,6 with 5,3 with 4,1 with 2 = $64
Leg 1 B Backup: 1,9 with 7,4,3,6 with 5,3 with 4,1 with 2 = $32
Leg 3 B Backup: 2,5,6,8 with 7,4,3,6 with 6 with 4,1 with 2 = $32
Leg 4 B Backup: 2,5,6,8 with 7,4,3,6 with 5,3 with 2 with 2 = $32