by Brian Nadeau
April 2, 2020
With the Stronach 5 on hiatus for the time being, let’s alternate between Gulfstream’s late Pk5 and Pk4 on Friday’s, as even though the Championship Meet has ended, the racing is still flush with top connections and deep fields. This week’s late Pk4 is also a good exercise in stacking tickets, as it doesn’t look to be the type to have an expansive play and could be one you can hit multiple times if you’re a-level selections pan out.
*** 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. ***
Race 6 (3:39 ET): 3yo MSW at 1-mile
The public will flock to #3 CANDY MACHINE (8-5), who was a solid—and fast—2nd sprinting on debut for Brown and should like the stretchout to two turns, and while he too is my top pick, I will use one more on the top line. And that is #5 ELLIS ISLAND (7-2), who ran like a horse who was begging for this trip when 3rd on debut for Pletcher, so he should really appreciate the added ground and turn he gets, for a 25% second-out maiden barn.
Pk6 A horses: 3,5 (listed in order of preference)
This has the makings of a key race, and one you should pay attention to, as there could be several second-half kind of 3yos that come out of it. And therefore I will use some backups, especially since my tickets will be on the cheap side with this sequence as a whole. I’m going to use #4 FRIED RICE KING (9-2), the “other” Pletcher who was a DOB 16-1 on debut but ran on to be a distant 4th and can move up here, while #2 OR’EFFICE (6-1) actually cuts back after running a close 2nd in the slop and adds blinkers, so he should be involved throughout, and #8 WIND RIDGE (15-1) was a distant 5th in a fast race on debut at Tampa for Clement, who is too white-hot now not to use. You could also use #1 Mau Mau, a well-bred Mott firster, but this is a patient barn, so unless the money shows, he’ll probably need one, especially against a group like this.
Pk6 B horses: 4,2,8
Race 7: 3f 12.5k claimer at 1-mile (turf)
If there’s a spread race in the sequence this is likely it, as I think there are six that can win, and I’ll use them all on the top line, since I have no opinion here and singles coming up in the next two legs. Obviously I’m using all the logicals—#7 SILLY NOTION (6-1), #8 WICKED SOLUTION (7-2), #2 INTEREST (3-1), #9 LEMON SCAT (9-2), #4 LA TRES JOLIE (10-1), and #10 TEACHER DRAMA (6-1), as none of them stand out, the price players are close to the favorites, and none of them seem very trustworthy either.
Pk6 A horses: 7,8,2,9,4,10
No one else looks remotely interesting, so if I can’t get through with the six-pack above, well, I don’t deserve to win anyway.
Pk6 B horses: NONE
Race 8: 4upfm AOC (62k/N2X) at 1-mile
It’s going to be tough to beat #4 OFF TOPIC (1-1), long layoff and all, as Pletcher is 30% off a 180-day+ layoff, and this miss is the class too, as she is GI stakes placed and walloped allowance foes to end her season in September, so she’s the single for me, as anything above her C+ game wins this.
Pk6 A horses: 4
I’ll use a few on the back end, again because it’s very cheap to do so, which means #7 I’LL TAKE THE CAKE (9-2) seems logical off a claiming crown stakes win off the Joseph claim, while #3 SO CUNNING (10-1) has a ton of upside off just two starts for Clement, and though her return win was slow, it was also really sharp and she has every right to improve in a big way, as it came off an eight-month layoff. You could also use #5 Final Cut (6-1), but her big win last time at Cd in November came when she walked on the lead, and that’s not happening here.
Pk6 B horses: 7,3
Race 9: 3upfm 25k MCL at 1 1/16 miles (turf)
It looks like Pletcher holds all the aces here as well, since MSW dropper #3 TAPIT TO RIDE (1-1) has by far the best form of these and takes the biggest plunge in all of racing, which is going to make her about 3-5 by post time, and extremely tough to beat.
Pk6 A horses: 3
There could be issues with ‘Ride though, and you’re allowed to ask why a daughter of Tapit with decent enough MSW form is in for a 25k tag, so let’s use a few backups just in case she is in fact about to go the wrong way fast. I think #4 MATCHA (8-1) could move up here, as her middling 6th for 40k last month came off a May layoff, and if the favorite regresses and she inches forward they wouldn’t be too far apart. The same can be said for #5 LASKA (6-1), who has paired up figures in her last two and beat Matcha by 2 lengths last time, though she doesn’t have quite the reason to move forward today. If you want to go deeper, and use some bigger prices, then #2 Veer (15-1) fits and is another MSW dropper who has run just twice, while #1 Truly (12-1) drew well and her 2nd at the level the last time she ran on turf is worth a sniff.
Pk6 B horses: 4,5
As you can see below, these are very cheap tickets, which is why you can play the main ticket ($6) several times in the hopes that your handicapping is spot-on and you can turn a modest investment into a decent score. And, should your A’s not all win, the backups could get you out if they are fortunate enough to connect.
Main Ticket: 3,5 with 7,8,2,9,4,10 with 4 with 3 = $6
Race 6 B Backup: 4,2,8 with 7,8,2,9,4,10 with 4 with 3 = $9
Race 8 B Backup: 3,5 with 7,8,2,9,4,10 with 7,3 with 3 = $12
Race 9 B Backup: 3,5 with 7,8,2,9,4,10 with 4,5 = $12