by Brian Nadeau
June 10, 2020
We’re back to battle this week in the Stronach 5, with a tough sequence that includes a trio of maiden races filled with largely unproven horses. 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.
*** 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 (4:25 ET): 3upfm AOC (35k/N2X) at 1 1/16 miles (turf)
The opening leg is a bit tricky, in that there is plenty of speed signed on, many of the favorites have some of it, and a few of them are drawn out wide, which only further adds to the puzzle. I’ll split the difference a bit and use both #13 EBULLIENT (9-2), who will like getting back to the turf and is the one to beat off her two GP races this winter, and #9 TASS (4-1), who did some good things in NY last year and lures McCarthy for her first start since December. However, since both want to be up front early they run the risk of canceling each other out, no matter if they are the best two here (and they are), so I’m also using #14 I’M LISTENING (10-1), who can stalk and returns for her first start since October for an Eppler barn that is 4-for-14 off this elongated layoff.
Stronach 5 A horses: 13,9,14 (listed in order of preference)
The closing style and solid form of #3 KAILEE (8-1) makes her a player here, even though Keefe is just 1-for-30 on the year, and the August layoff isn’t as crucial to a stretch runner as it is to a speed horse, so there’s a chance she runs by them all at a nice price.
Stronach 5 B horses: 3
Potential B add ins: #12 Jabuticaba (9-2), #8 No Mo Lady (15-1), #1 Wildcat Cartridge (12-1)
Leg 2 Gulfstream Park R10: 3upfm MSW at 5 furlongs (turf)
Budget players will be singling #12 FUDDLED (2-1), who wins this by 4 if she runs back to that neck 2nd on debut, but this wide draw isn’t ideal, and if #9 HUOR ME DIXIE (9-2) gets loose, then she could have a bit too much to do in the lane. The latter dueled through hot fractions on debut in July at Ellis in July and held well to be a close 3rd, the didn’t fire on the dirt in her return here in April, but she’s back on her preferred surface here, and off that tightener she could get brave.
Stronach 5 A horses: 12,9 (listed in order of preference)
I contemplated using #7 She’s Just Quality (6-1), since she was a good 2nd in a fast MCL on debut, but that was for Ward, and she now goes off the claim for Morici, who is 0-for-7 on the year, so on the rise, and now away from a potent debut barn, I just can’t see this miss improving enough to win this.
Stronach 5 B horses: NONE
Potential B add ins: #7 She’s Just Quality (6-1), #11 Thrill (4-1)
Leg 3 Santa Anita R3: 3f 50k claimer 1-mile (turf)
Another race that seems to have quite a bit of speed, especially with some stretchout sprinters, so I’m hoping an aggressive pace helps the late chances of #3 A THOUSAND DREAMS (5-1), who really improved on her lone turf start in her return off the long break last time, now stretches out, and should be primed from a bit off the pace. Obviously #8 GOING TO VEGAS (9-5) is the gal to beat, though she was uncharacteristically bad last time and now drops, so while her best wins this, from a wide draw off that dud, at an underlaid price too, you’re allowed to wonder where her form is right now. A trouble-free trip in a speedy race would help #2 MADAME BOURBON (6-1), who had to steady last time and then didn’t have a lot of late interest, but she too drops, drew well, and is another who has some solid back races that can win this.
Stronach 5 A horses: 3,8,2 (listed in order of preference)
I’m going to leave it on the A-line and call it a day, as more than a few others (see below) could be players here, but they also are the speeds I’ve mentioned, and have some negative trainer stats too, so going a two-turn mile, I’m hoping they all take enough out of each other early to hurt them late, and set it up for my trio above.
Stronach 5 B horses: NONE
Potential B add ins: #1 Too Much Heaven (8-1), #6 Lovely Lilia (3-1), #4 Savvy Gal (5-1)
Leg 4 Laurel Park R10: 3up 25k MCL at 5 1/2 furlongs (turf)
In a weak race on paper, it won’t take a freakish firster to win, so you have to think #6 EAGLE KEEPER (7-2) will be a real handful for Trombetta (15% with firsters), especially since he’s got a slew of solid works showing, has McCarthy up, and is kin to a 168k earner. The best of the proven runners is #11 RARELY (5-1), who probably would be favored if he wasn’t off a July layoff, as he drops from a pair of solid turf MSW runs, but note Morgan is 2-for-5 off this extended break, and they aren’t giving him away for 40k, so he looks the main danger. My price is the firster #4 MIGHTY SOLDIER (10-1), as he’s kin to a 200k earner, has Marquez, and starts for Elizabeth Merryman, who is 5-for-20 in turf sprints.
Stronach 5 A horses: 6,11,4 (listed in order of preference)
I’m a bit intrigued by #3 MORE TWIRL (12-1), since he has a 344 turf Tomlinson, a few strong works showing, and lures Ruiz, so there’s reason to think he’s live, and if that’s the case he can play with a group like this.
Stronach 5 B horses: 3
Potential B add ins: #7 Power Back (8-1), #2 Kukulkan (3-1)
Leg 5 Golden Gate Fields R5: 2yo MSW at 5 furlongs
I’ll be the first to admit the finale is a guess, as only two of these 2yos have started, and since you can’t see the tote before playing a ticket, I’d suggest as much coverage as your bankroll could provide. I’ll also admit I’m being very brave and going with a trio of firsters, since the two to race (see below) have some questions to answer. We start with #2 COLAVITO (2-1), who has several encouraging works showing for Wright, who is 17% on debut, and it looks like stable jock Hernandez chose here (Wright also runs #7 Sale’ Y Vale), which will help be my guide. The other two—#8 AHIMAAZ (10-1) and #9 CALL SIGN LUCKY (12-1)—are more unknown, but both have worked well, and the former has Frey for 2-for-8 debut trainer Lenzini, while the latter starts for 2-for-9 debut trainer Jauregei, so you have to think they are here to fire their shot.
Stronach 5 A horses: 2,8,9 (listed in order of preference)
I mentioned the experienced runners—#1 MANDO 3-1) and #10 BRONY BOY (6-1)—and neither would surprise, as they ran 2-3 on debut, but the former was 16-1 in a short field and now draws worst of all, and the latter was 3 lengths behind in 3rd at 3-2, so you have to ask just how good of a race was that?
Stronach 5 B horses: 1,10
Potential B add ins: #7 Sale’ Y Vale
The suggested tickets:
Main Ticket: 13,9,14 with 12,9 with 3,8,2 with 6,11,4 with 2,8,9 = $162
Leg 1 Backup: 3 with 12,9 with 3,8,2 with 6,11,4 with 2,8,9 = $54
Leg 4 Backup: 13,9,14 with 12,9 with 3,8,2 with 3 with 2,8,9 = $54
Leg 5 Backup: 13,9,14 with 12,9 with 3,8,2 with 6,11,4 with 1,10 = $108