by Brian Nadeau
June 4, 2020
We’re back to battle this week in the Stronach 5, as Laurel Park opened last weekend to secure the final piece of the puzzle. To refresh, the Stronach 5 is a wildly successful and well received Pk5 wager spread across as many as four tracks and up to three surfaces (dirt, Tapeta and turf), in the space of about 90 minutes, with a $1 minimum and ridiculously low 12% takeout. Hopefully I can build on the momentum of last week, where I went 4-for-4 on top in the Gulfstream Park late Pk4 for a modest $87.85 for each 50-cent play, albeit on just a $12 suggested main ticket.
*** 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 R7 (3:51 ET): 3up MSW at 5 1/2 furlongs (turf)
Nothing is easy in the opener, as only two of the 10 entered have made a turf start—and just one apiece, in the same race—and overall the entire field has made 20 dirt starts to just those two on the grass. So, needless to say, spreading might be the way to go here, as this seems the definition of a guessing game. I’ll side with the pedigree, recency, and the upside of #2 ZIP LINE TO HEAVEN (6-1), who is by a solid turf sire in City Zip, is kin to a 6-for-16 runner that is 2-for-7 on turf, chased and tired on debut here on the dirt in mid-March, and goes for Trombetta, who is 22% with second-out maidens and 14% first-turf. I’ll go outside for another City Zip, #11 FRANCATELLI (7-2), who debuts for Lynch, a potent 28% angle, and has a slew of very positive drills on display as well. I’ll also use ML favorite #10 ABUELO PAPS (5-2), who has speed and was a very fast 2nd here, while 9 lengths ahead of ‘Zip Line, though I worry about regression off such a huge run.
Stronach 5 A horses: 2,11,10 (listed in order of preference)
I think you have to use the two who have run on turf—#4 SUPER E (12-1), who was a fast-closing 2nd on the grass and hasn’t run an inch in her five dirt starts, and #6 DESHACKLED (8-1), who was just a neck behind in 3rd and has added some speed to her game recently on dirt—though neither are overly inspiring or have much upside, even with the solid runs under them, so let’s limit them to backup roles.
Stronach 5 B horses: 4,6
Potential B add ins: #5 Cobalt Barron (12-1), #9 Lock (8-1), , #3 The Cairo Kid (8-1), #1 Ribbon Winner (12-1)
Leg 2 Gulfstream Park R9: 3up SOC (10k/8k) at 1 1/16 miles
An average group for the level, without a ton of early speed too, says #7 LOVE NEST (4-1) might be able to handle the class rise after a romp against lesser in extremely fast time in his first start for Creque, and even if he regresses slightly, he could still win this, so he’s the somewhat aggressive single, though this ML might be 8-5 by post. It’s also worth noting the top-5 finishers of the 5/9 race here at the level (going a one-turn mile) are all back, and were only separated by 2 lengths that day, so separating them here won’t be easy, and seems like a crapshoot, which is another reason for taking the fresh new face.
Stronach 5 A horses: 7
You could literally use the rest of them underneath (or on top), which doesn’t do us a lot of good, so I’m going it alone with the “now” horse who looks to have a major tactical advantage over a lot of his main rivals. I’m also spreading a bit deeper in the other four legs, so having a single will keep the cost to a reasonable level as well.
Stronach 5 B horses: NONE
Potential B add ins: NONE
Leg 3 Laurel Park R8: 3up N1X at 1 1/16 miles (turf)
Another toughie in Maryland, especially since the best horse, #4 JO’S BOLD CAT (9-2), is off a November layoff for a Rubley barn that is 0-for-10 off this long of a break, though this is a veteran who is 2-for-6 over the course, and 1-for-26 elsewhere, so you have to use him on the top line. However, as for the actual pick, I’ll try for an upset with #3 CAPTAIN THUNDER (10-1), who returns to the turf, has three solid local grass races, and starts for Abbott, who knows how to spot his stock. If you overlook the trip to NY, then #5 TEN EYCK (6-1) has done nothing wrong in three local turf starts for Dilodovico, and his tactical style says he’s getting a good trip from just off the pace, plus those two May works say he’s ready to roll as well.
*** Take note that if #14 J Beresford Tipton (3-1) draws in, he’s a must-use A, terrible post and all. ***
Stronach 5 A horses: 3,4,5
The stats this year (just 0-for-2) don’t show it, but Ricky Hendricks knows how to condition a new turf acquisition, and he gets to work with #6 IT’S FATE (10-1), who has some solid grass form and could move up for a crafty barn, so give this one more than a cursory glance. If you just look at #12 OUTOFTHEPARK’S (8-1) two turf routes he fits nicely here, and the price will be right too, not to mentioned there are six works without a gap showing, which helps alleviate the wide draw, and the fact Jenkins is 0-for-7 off a 180+-day layoff.
Stronach 5 B horses: 6,12
Potential B add ins: #8 Speed Game (5-1), #9 Seville Barber (10-1), #10 Make a Stand (12-1)
Leg 4 Golden Gate Fields R3: 3upfm 5k MCL at 5 furlongs
I think you can expect a big move forward from #3 FLYING HOME (6-1), who chased and then tired on debut against tons better, now adds blinkers, and has a world of upside in a race where most of the others don’t. clearly #5 KAYLA’S COWGIRL (1-1) will be tough off the SA drop and return to the local strip, especially since she’s never been in this light on the class scale, but she’s also 0-for-6 and has never really come close to winning, and will be vastly overbet too, so the old “backwheel” comes to mind and therefore we’ll let the budget players single her.
Stronach 5 A horses: 3,5
One of these days #2 CHARMING LASS (9-2) will get there, as dad likes to say, water will eventually find it’s level, but she also needs regression from the top pair to win, so let’s use her defensively, especially since she couldn’t even beat lifetime maiden #7 Bank of Many (4-1) last time.
Stronach 5 B horses: 2
Potential B add ins: NONE
Leg 5 Santa Anita R4: 3upfm 35k N3L at 1-mile (turf)
You could do worse than singling #6 ARCTIC ROLL (2-1) at the end, especially since she actually won at the level three-back and now drops after facing much better in her last two, and goes second-off the layoff as well. However, I’m also using #5 KITTYHAWK LASS (7-2), another dropper who also cuts back, and should get a truer pace to aid her late run going what can often be a snappy two-turn mile.
Stronach 5 A horses: 6,5
There seems to be some speed signed on here, but the speed of the speed is definitely #3 UNTOUCHED ELEGANCE (6-1) who stretches out and has run well at the distance before, so if she clears, settles, and slows it down, she could get brave and forget to stop.
Stronach 5 B horses: 3
Potential B add ins: #1 Shanghai Truffles (4-1)
The suggested tickets:
Main Ticket: 2,11,10 with 7 with 3,4,5 with 3,5 with 6,5 = $36
Leg 1 Backup: 4,6 with 7 with 3,4,5 with 3,5 with 6,5 = $24
Leg 3 Backup: 2,11,10 with 7 with 6,12 with 3,5 with 6,5 = $24
Leg 4 Backup: 2,11,10 with 7 with 3,4,5 with 2 with 6,5 = $18
Leg 5 Backup: 2,11,10 with 7 with 3,4,5 with 3,5 with 3 = $18