by Brian Nadeau
January 29, 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) at 7 furlongs
You could literally throw a blanket over the field for the opener, as several look very similar on paper and come out a muddy 1/10 race that was in this sequence three weeks ago , so I’m going to spread deep, especially since the remaining four legs look a little most concise to me. I’m going to use a five-pack on the top line—#6 FORT FORTITUDE, #8 SANAVI, #9 CHARGIN STORM, #2 WORKING ON A DREAM, and #3 CERULEAN SPRINGS—as the first two don’t exit the 1/10 race and have solid for, especially the latter, and the last three all seemed to struggle in the mud three weeks ago, but have big prior fast track form that could win this on dry land.
Pk5 A horses: 6,8,9,2,3 (listed in order of preference)
I’ll use two on the B-line, as #1 FOLLOW THE DOG was all-out to beat lesser in good time in his last, but could find these waters a bit too deep, while #5 W W SPRINGTIME didn’t fire in the slop but had good prior form, and now starts for Mancilla, who is 4-for-14 at the meet. If #4 Confessor or #7 Saratoga Bob win, then I don’t, as the former has no speed and rarely gets there first, while the latter just seems a cut below on paper.
Pk5 B horses: 1,5
Leg 2: Gulfstream Park R8 (4:06 ET) – 4upfm Fla-bred AOC (16k/N1X) at 5 furlongs (turf)
Several speedsters look destined to set this up for a stalker, which means #5 SWEET YARE N DIRA and #9 HEIR BALL should hit hard, as both exit big runs, and have the right running style to take advantage of what looks like a hotly contested pace. I’ll also use #4 MISS AURAMET, who pressed and tired to be 3rd last time, but that came off an almost year-long layoff, so she should be tighter here, and won’t have to improve much as it is.
Pk5 A horses: 5,9,4
I’m not sold on #1 GHOST BEAUTY, but she gets a huge jock upgrade to Irad and gets back to the turf off the Maker claim (14%), and the grassy MCL win at Aqu was solid, so if she can rate from a tricky draw, she has a chance. A better start gives #8 True Heiress a longshot chance, especially since she’s another who can pass horses late, but she’s tough to include off her last, while #7 Gioielli should run better as she’s second-off the long layoff and gets back to turf, but the hot pace won’t help her, or #6 War Star, who is 2-for-2 here but seems like she might get fried.
Pk5 B horses: 1
Leg 3: Santa Anita R2 (4:30 ET) – 4upfm 20k claimer at 6 furlongs
An expected hot and contested pace should help the class dropping #6 MONGOLIAN HUMOR, who continues to descend down the ladder after facing tons better, and has a stalking/closing gear that should really be flattered here. An outside attack post should help #4 RIZZI’S HONORS, and she does have a hint of a rating gear, and that 4-length win in the starter ranks last time was heady stuff, so if she can settle just a smidge, she’s got a big chance.
Pk5 A horses: 6,4
It might take a herculean effort to wire from the inside, but #2 BUSY PAYNTER just freaked on the lead last time and goes off the Hess claim (15%), and there’s little doubt she’s the speed of the speed here, so she could get brave if she catches a flier at the start. If you want to think outside the box a bit, then #3 Edna is interesting on the stiff drop, and with a stalking gear, though she does look to be going the wrong way fast after three good runs to start her career.
Pk5 B horses: 2
Leg 4: Golden Gate Fields R3 (4:45 ET) – 4up 5k N2L* at 6 furlongs
Here’s hoping a cutback to one-turn and some tactical speed are enough to help #3 STONE GROOVE pull the mild surprise, as he dueled and tired going longer last time but catches a group without a lot of early lick here, and it’s also worth noting he’s got three lifetime wins here. A drop in class should help #7 BROTHERCICCIO, who was a chasing 5th against better last time for 8k, while finishing ahead of a few here, and that style will give him first run on those rivals here.
Pk5 A horses: 3,7
It looks like #1 HOW’S MY HERO regressed last off a big figure 4th two-back, and being wide every step of the way didn’t help either, so on the drop, with a better post, he may be able to get back to his best. I’m going to play against both #8 Smiling Bandit and #4 Leadville, who were 7th and 6th, respectively, behind ‘Brother last time, and while neither was beaten much, they don’t have any early speed either, which won’t help in the lane.
Pk5 B horses: 1
Leg 5: Gulfstream Park R10 (5:10 ET) – 4upfm 16k MCL at 1 1/16 miles (turf)
A weak field of locals and a recent Rice claim that heads down I-95 from Aqueduct gives us a single in the finale, as #6 SAVVY CAIRO looks to be here for a reason for a 23% barn off the claim that rarely ships south, and this gal faced eons better in her lone career turf start, and should only improv off the dirt return last time.
Pk5 A horses: 6
If ‘Cairo doesn’t win, so be it, but she looks too good to use anyone else here, especially since anyone else here doesn’t look good at all. If you are trying for the upset, then #3 Funny Feather, #1 Always Lucky, and #4 Rooney seem best of the experienced gals, while #9 Bailatino goes for Rubley, who is 20% on debut, though 0-for-9 with first-time turfers.
Pk5 B horses: NONE
Main Ticket: 6,8,9,2,3 with 5,9,4 with 6,4 with 3,7 with 6 = $60
Leg 1 B Backup: 1,5 with 5,9,4 with 6,4 with 3,7 with 6 = $24
Leg 2 B Backup: 6,8,9,2,3 with 1 with 6,4 with 3,7 with 6 = $20
Leg 3 B Backup: 6,8,9,2,3 with 5,9,4 with 2 with 3,7 with 6 = $30
Leg 4 B Backup: 6,8,9,2,3 with 5,9,4 with 6,4 with 1 with 6 = $30