by Brian Nadeau
February 20, 2020
Back to battle in the Stronach 5, a week after an extremely tough sequence. 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) – 4up 5k claimer at 1-mile
The opener seems relatively evenly matched, so I’ll use three on the top line, since I don’t have a lot of conviction. The horse to beat is #5 CALADAN (2-1), who could move way up off the Farrior claim (29%), though the potential to get caught in a pace sandwich has me looking elsewhere for a top pick. I’ll come back to #8 SIR DOUGLAS (9-2), who could bounce off a big figure 2nd at the level last time, but he should like the pace here, and will be a nice price too. I’ll also use #2 SEBRAY (5-1), who is the wildcard off the Mancilla re-claim (24%), since he hasn’t been out since August and isn’t in for the tag, but a sharp barn could be playing some poker here, and there’s plenty of back form that could win this.
Pk5 A horses: 8,5,2 (listed in order of preference)
A drop in class out of some tough NY claimers could help #9 HOLY WEEK (8-1), but he also never wins (4-for-62), so, while I think you have to be wary of him, he’s a backup at best. You could also give a look to #1 Battle Ready (6-1) on the stretchout, but wiring this group as the inside speed seems like a big ask.
Pk5 B horses: 9
Leg 2: Gulfstream Park R7 (4:03 ET) – 4upfm Florida-bred AOC (16k/N2X) at 1-mile (turf)
Tough sledding here, as several could win on their day, and I’ll use four on top, with #8 GIOIELLI (8-1) getting the nod on the stretchout from a perfect attack post, in what is the third start of her form cycle. I’ll also use #7 VALLEY DATE (8-1), who gets back to the turf and will run against Florida breds on the drop, along with #3 HERE COMES JACKIE (9-2), who was just 2nd at the level and should trip out perfectly here, and #5 LOVEY LUVY (6-1), who was just a neck behind ‘Jackie last time and should also like the race flow.
Pk5 A horses: 8,7,3,5
I’m playing against #4 TRILBY (5-1), who beat ‘Jackie and ‘Luvy’ when winning at the level, as she now goes off the Hess claim, for a barn having a very rough meet, though her form is far to sharp to leave her out of the equation completely. I think you also have to use #1 LOOKINLIKEAQUEEN (4-1), a winner at the level two-back, though a possible aggressive pace could hurt her chances.
Pk5 B horses: 4,1
Leg 3: Golden Gate Fields R3 (4:44 ET) – 4up 8k* at 5 � furlongs
After spreading a bit in the first two legs we need a single, and we get it here with #1 GOING AWAY PARTY (9-5), who was in to tough for 20k last time but is back with friends here, will sit just off the heap outside speed, and get first run on the rest, and if he runs back to the win against similar two-back, he might lap this field.
Pk5 A horses: 1
When you have a single you usually can make a case for several underneath, but I think ‘Party is strong enough that we can go it alone. The main danger seems to be Santa Anita invader #6 King Eddie (2-1), but his last two since being claimed by Miyadi have been dreadful, so he can beat me. You could also look to #3 Aalsmeer (7-2), who is tactical and has run well at the level of late, along with the class dropping #5 Mirror Image (8-1), but I’ll stick with an aggressive opinion and single the favorite.
Pk5 B horses: NONE
Leg 4: Santa Anita R3 (4:59 ET) – 4upfm 12.5k N2L at 6 � furlongs
I’ll use the three gals with the most early speed here, as the pace doesn’t look supersonic, and being tactical will give them first run on the stalker/closers, which can be pivotal. Improving figures and making the third start of her form cycle make #2 JABBER NOW (4-1) very appealing, while #1 QUEEN CARMELITA (7-2) was just a good 2nd at the level and should trip out, though she could also regress off such a big run. I’m also very interested in the comebacker #5 PURDUE (4-1), who hasn’t been out since May but seems to be the controlling speed, and if she can get bac to her runs two and three-back she’ll be a real handful here.
Pk5 A horses: 2,1,5
If things get too heated early then #8 DADDY’S MELODY (4-1) will be the one to fear off the far turn, though she’s 1-for-15 lifetime and was behind a few of these last time, so she’s hardly the type to lean on.
Pk5 B horses: 8
Leg 5: Gulfstream Park R10 (5:33 ET) – 3f 16k MCL at 1 1/16 miles (turf)
You could go a lot of different ways in the finale, but the best of the two proven runners might be a bit too much, as #1 GEA (4-1) gets a huge jock upgrade to Irad and draws perfectly, while #4 KAYSERI (7-2) is lightly raced and adds blinkers for a bit more focus after she made the lead then tired late in her local debut. I’ll also use #8 POLISHED COPPER (9-2), since there’s no reason she can’t improve off her turf debut and return run against much better.
Pk5 A horses: 1,4,8
You’re allowed to think #9 QUEEN LETIZIA is live, since Jose Ortiz rides, and being a firster against a group like this isn’t a bad thing either, though Joseph is much better on dirt than turf, hence her supporting role and not leading one.
Pk5 B horses: 9
Main Ticket: 8,5,2 with 8,7,3,5 with 1 with 2,1,5 with 1,4,8 = $108
Leg 1 B Backup: 9 with 8,7,3,5 with 1 with 2,1,5 with 1,4,8 = $36
Leg 2 B Backup: 8,5,2 with 4,1 with 1 with 2,1,5 with 1,4,8 = $54
Leg 4 B Backup: 8,5,2 with 8,7,3,5 with 1 with 8 with 1,4,8 = $36
Leg 5 B Backup: 8,5,2 with 8,7,3,5 with 1 with 2,1,5 with 9 = $36