by Brian Nadeau
May 28, 2020
We’re likely a week away from the return of the extremely popular Stronach 5, so let’s attack Friday’s late Pk4 at Gulfstream Park one more time, which has a few legs that could be ripe for big upsets. Here’s hoping the rains steer clear and we have a fair go of it.
*** 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 7 (3:49 ET): 3up 30k claimer at 5 furlongs (turf)
Tossing the speed going this short over this turf course is always a worry, but there’s so much of it here that (barring a mass of scratches) I have to think this falls apart in the lane, and that’s how I’ll play it. And considering three of my four A’s are big prices, I like my strategy even more. The list starts with #5 OAK BLUFFS (10-1), who was last seen running a good 5th to better behind the raging Tiger Blood, so the drop, and a closing style that will be flattered by the race flow, just might get him there today. I’m very interested in #6 FUEL THE BERN (8-1), another dropper, and this one should be stalking the pace, and while he’s been on the dirt 11 straight, the turf run at the bottom of his PPs was solid, and he hinted he’s showing signs of life off that 5th last time. An outside attack post says you have to use #8 R BOY EVENS (5-2), but it’s worrisome Maker didn’t get any improvement from him off the claim, and one start later he’s willing to lose him for the same 30k, not to mention pressing/dueling early and holding on late—at an underlaid price—isn’t ideal for this spot. Lastly, I’ll toss in a real bomber in #10 HONOLULU EXPRESS (15-1), another closer who will run on late, likes the course (3-for-8), and really isn’t that far off these on paper anyway.
Pk4 A horses: 5,6,8,10 (listed in order of preference)
The two speeds inside are good—and very fast—which is why you read above how I’m playing this race, but I have a lot of respect for the form of #1 GOOD BYE GREG (9-2), and #2 APACHE BRAVE (3-1), and the former is off an October layoff for Rivelli, who is an insane 62% from a 39-horse sample off this elongated break, while the latter, with Lopez up and blinkers-on, could speed pop this group, so I’ll use them both, though ultimately I still think this falls apart.
Pk4 B horses: 2,1
Potential B add ins: NONE
Race 8: 3upfm Florida-bred AOC (16k/N1X) at 6 furlongs
It’s going to be extremely tough to beat #7 FLORA FANTASY (7-5), who just won at the level last time, gets an even better pace setup today, keeps Irad, and goes off the claim for Delgado (34%) and Drawing Away, which means she could improve that much more off the win last time. And all of that is why I won’t try to beat her, and take the free square that she looks like.
Pk4 A horses: 7 (listed in order of preference)
I know #3 Sayonara Baby (9-2) was only a half-length behind ‘Fantasy last time, but she got loose that day and still couldn’t hold on, and there seems to be more speed here, so she looks like a very likely candidate to regress today, and so there will be no backups, since the rest just don’t stack up.
Pk4 B horses: NONE
Potential B add ins: #3 Sayonara Baby (9-2), #4 Assume Control (12-1)
Race 9: 3f 25k SAL at 5 furlongs (turf)
There’s plenty of speed in this turf dash too, but it’s looks best, so I’m definitely using #11 SWIRLING CANDY (5-2), who will be attacking under Irad off the Delgado claim (34%), and #6 TWEET AWAY ROBIN (7-2), who is off the Maker claim (15%) after an MCL dirt win by the length of the stretch. With that being said, the class-dropping #9 HAPPY LOUDON (15-1), who will be a big price, will also be closing late, has a lot of upside, and isn’t far off the top pair on paper either, so if it collapses, just maybe she blows this up from out of the clouds.
Pk4 A horses: 11,9,6 (listed in order of preference)
Working out a trip from down inside, and not getting fried by the pace, won’t be easy for #2 POSEIDON’S PASSION (3-1), but she did rate and win two-back, so maybe she can pull that trip again here, which would give her a chance, though easier said than done, hence her supporting role.
Pk4 B horses: 2
Potential B add ins: NONE
Race 10: 3up 12.5k N2L at 1-mile (turf)
It’s tough to get too cute in the finally, as the two MSW droppers—#6 WIND RIDGE (7-2) AND #7 SUPERHIGHWAY (9-2)—simply look better than a very weak bunch. I’ll side with the former, who has the best dirt race showing, will get more speed the rally into on the cutback to one-turn, and has a big recency edge on his main rival, not to mention will be a better price too. ‘Highway is going to be bet off the board for Brown, Klarman, and Irad, and he may well win, but he also hasn’t run since June, was always part of the B-team anyway, and frankly, was pretty bad in both starts, so sure, he still can win, but at short odds he’s not the type to stand alone with.
Pk4 A horses: 6,7 (listed in order of preference)
I could easily have put #5 NIMBLE BEAST (5-2) on the top line, as he may be a Lone F and almost wired at the level last time, but he stretches out a furlong here, and meets two stiff class droppers from potent connections, so I’m just not sure he can reproduce that run, even if he does clear.
Pk4 B horses: 5
Potential B add ins: NONE
The suggested tickets (all can be played for more than $0.50):
Main Ticket: 5,6,8,10 with 7 with 11,9,6 with 6,7 = $12
Race 7 B Backup: 2,1 with 7 with 11,9,6 with 6,7 = $6
Race 9 B Backup: 5,6,8,10 with 7 with 2 with 6,7 = $4
Race 10 B Backup: 5,6,8,10 with 7 with 11,9,6 with 5 = $6