by Brian Nadeau
March 19, 2020
Back to battle in the Stronach 5, which has been easily surpassing the 100k guarantee, and in some cases doubling it. 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 R9 (5:29 ET) – 4up 8k claimer at 6 furlongs
The first race brings to mind the age-old racing adage “pace makes the race,” as there’s a ton of speed here, and therefore I’m playing for a meltdown. And I’m also being a bit bold in the first leg and singling #2 MINERS QUEST (7-2), who might be best anyway, but will only be flattered by the race flow and probably wins this if he can just run back to his 2nd at the level last time, even though he gives every indication he can surpass it, with such a positive race flow.
Pk5 A horses: 2 (listed in order of preference)
Obviously there’s a decent chance my single doesn’t win, so I want ample backups, but we’ll have to be creative with them because it will cost way too much to play a conventional B-ticket. I’ll use all the logicals; #9 MIDNIGHT CRY (5-2), who is all speed and was just a nose behind ‘Quest last time, and #6 E J’S REVENGE (6-1), along with longshots #8 NO HITTER (12-1), #1 RUNS FOR LUCK (12-1), and #4 MIDNIGHT GAMES (12-1), as well as major underlay #7 HIGH ROLLER (9-2), who looks destined to be a pace casualty but is too sharp not to use on a backup.
In order to play this ticket on a budget, I’ll use on my super A’s in the remaining legs, which are as follows:
Leg 2: 3
Leg 3: 1,4
Leg 4: 5,3
Pk5 B horses: 9,6,8,1,4,7
Leg 2: Santa Anita R4 (5:37 ET) – 3upfm 50k MCL at 5 1/2 furlongs
Weird race here, in that #3 RANEEM (9-5) seemingly has to win, but we’ve said that before, especially when she took the MSW drop last time, yet she still couldn’t get it done and is now 0-for-8. Welp, here we are again, and here she is again, as a legitimate stiff favorite in a race she’s supposed to win. I’ve got her on top, and she is my lone super A, but she’s impossible to trust too, so I’m also using MSW dropper #6 ENCHANTING MOVE (8-1), who should like the cutback, and has flashed enough in her two starts to think she can move way up here on the biggest drop in racing.
Pk5 A horses: 3,6
I’ll use one backup, #5 BOCHIM (10-1), who is a firster, which can’t be a bad thing here, and Garcia is 2-for-9 with debut runners, which is solid enough, ply Deb (4-1)us this 4-year-old has a slew of works, and also faces a bunch of 3-years-olds as well, which is significant at this time of the year. You could also use #8 Palm d’Oo (4-1), who has the best proven form aside from Raneem, but she was 3 1/2 lengths behind her last time and is another with no upside at 0-for-9. Neither #1 Enriched by Deb (4-1) or #2 Lucky Daughter (8-1) would shock, but they also seem destined to duel each other into the ground.
Pk5 B horses: 5
Leg 3: Gulfstream Park R10 (5:43 ET) – 3yo 16k MCL at 1-mile (turf)
This doesn’t look like the typical impossible GP puzzle in the finale, since I don’t think there are too many win candidates, which is why I’ll limit the top line to #1 CUY (3-1), who is lightly raced and improving, and gets a huge post upgrade this time, and #4 DON’T TASE ME BRO (5-2), who drops stiffly in class off his turf debut last time, but also leaves Pletcher and goes to Klesaris, so I’m a little leery, though blinkers-on is a 3-for-7 move for this solid barn.
Pk5 A horses: 1,4
If #2 HERO UP (4-1) gets loose he could get brave, but I think there’s some outside speed with #8 Ringle Belle (20-1), which is why he doesn’t make the A-list, though off his last three he has to be used somewhere. If you’re spreading deeper then #9 Fayez (9-2) is next, but at 0-for-14 from a bad draw he can beat me, while ‘Belle isn’t impossible off a wakeup turf debut, and #7 Cab Beef (20-1) wasn’t far behind Cuy last time, albeit at 125-1.
Pk5 B horses: 2
Leg 4: Golden Gate Fields R4 (5:55 ET) – 3yo 25k MCL at 5 1/2 furlongs
No strong opinions here, so I’ll use the four I like the best, and call it a day, with #5 ARCHARCH FIRES (10-1) on top for a 21% Howey barn, who is a big 4-for-10 with firsters. The one to beat is clearly MSW dropper #3 EL CENTENARIO (3-1), who has the best form as well but doesn’t look as sharp at one-turn as he does at two, while #6 TIGER THE MAN (4-1) brings some serious Southern California speed, and #10 OLYMPIC SILVER (9-2) was a very fast 3rd at the level on debut before being overmatched against MSW foes last time.
Pk5 A horses: 5,3,6,10
Contention runs deep however, so I’m backing up with #9 AWESOME DUDE (7-2), who is not an A because of his lack of speed, and #2 KNOWN (10-1), who was a close 3rd at the level last time but also lacks speed.
Pk5 B horses: 9,2
Leg 5: Laurel Park R10 (6:01 ET) – 3yo 10k MCL at 1 1/16* miles
Nothing too clever in the last, as I think Aqueduct shipper #1 IHADADREAM (4-1) and #8 JOHNNY JINGLE (3-1) look better than a modest bunch, which is how I’ll play it, especially some of the other main contenders have done their best work off over tracks.
Pk5 A horses: 1,8
You could use several here, but I’m just going with #9 INSPIRED OPTIONS (10-1), who stretches out off a closing 4th on debut, and, more importantly, goes off the claim for Gonzalez, which is a huge 30% move. Others with hope include #4 Two Doors Down (6-1), #10 Just Chill Out (8-1), #6 Table Max (10-1), #2 Baby Boy (9-2), and #7 Huntin’ the Rut (10-1), but they all have warts, and many fit under the aforementioned off-track move-up angle.
Pk5 B horses: 9
The suggested tickets:
Main Ticket: 2 with 3,6 with 1,4 with 5,3,6,10 with 1,8 = $32
Leg 1 B Backup: 9,6,8,1,4,7 with 3 with 1,4 with 5,3 with 1,8 = $48
Leg 2 B Backup: 2 with 5 with 1,4 with 5,3,6,2 with 1,8 = $16
Leg 3 B Backup: 2 with 3,6 with 2 with 5,3,6,2 with 1,8 = $16
Leg 4 B Backup: 2 with 3,6 with 1,4 with 9,2 with 1,8 = $16
Leg 5 B Backup: 2 with 3,6 with 1,4 with 5,3,6,2 with 9 = $16