by Jerry Shottenkirk
July 2, 2020
The Azalea Stakes and Carry Back Stakes are good early-summer black-type opportunities for Florida’s 3-year-olds and a good chance for players to nail a challenging Late Pick 4 on Saturday.
The Pick 4 begins with the Azalea Stakes for fillies and continues with claimers, the Carry Back and maiden claimers to finish the day.
Here’s a look at the Pick 4 races:
Race 9 (3:00PM ET, Azalea S.)
The Azalea is a good test as the fillies attempt to carry their speed seven furlongs. BANKRUPTONTHEBEACH has had just two starts and showed promise by winning her maiden voyage at Monmouth last July. She was a non-threatening seventh in a stakes race at Laurel in her comeback in February and has had some decent drills for her 1st in about five months. With fresh legs, she could bring an element of surprise against those that have been running lately. DON’T GET KHOZY took several starts in which to figure out this game, and she has had it down pat with wins in four of her last five. Hot-riding newcomer Joseph Trejos is perfect in two starts aboard her and those two have been in easy fashion. A similar effort in this will make her extremely difficult to hold off. BOERNE whistled in three straight races before running second in the Game Face Stakes here. She’s a strong front-runner, has takes on good fillies and likely will get the most play. She’s the one to catch.
Race 10 (3:30PM ET, Claiming)
This is the spread race, as five of these make an appearance on the ticket. RODDICK won the last time he was on turf and can be strong from the beginning. SIR SEAMUS was a clear winner in two of his last three and beat ‘non-winners of three’ last out. TWENTY FOUR SEVEN was claimed two back by the Joseph barn and was third in his return. Has finished well in most of his recent races and can make a run here. AMERICAN NINJA has an upset chance, especially if he runs back to his latest, when he closed from far back and was third, beaten a half-length. He’ll get a good pace to follow and could be the one to watch for in the drive to the wire on the green. HOT AND HEAVY was up in time after stalking from just off the pace and can be close-up throughout. Showed a lot of gameness in his latest, and that definitely makes him a player here.
Race 11 (4:00PM ET, Carry Back S.)
CAJUN BROTHER failed at a mile last time after two wins to begin his career. He’s strong on the front end and can give it an honest go at seven furlongs. Could be the target as they turn for home. OUBLE CROWN was up in time in the Roar Stakes last out and another effort last that one will make him difficult to beat. This is his 1st attempt beyond 6.5 furlongs, and that could be an equalizer for others. WITH VERVE has some quality experience and beat outstanding runners in the Hutcheson. He came from off the pace and was a closing third behind Double Crown in the Roar and likely will appreciate the distance.
Race 12 (4:30PM ET, Maiden Claiming)
DR. SAMADI and CURLINGO are the players on the Pick 4 card in this finale. DR. SAMADI roared from far back and finished second in his debut. Another such effort should get him to the winner’s circle. CURLINGO never showed interest in his only start and quickly takes a drop to a claiming price, which is unusual for a $900,000 yearling purchase. The Edgard Zayas-Todd Pletcher jockey-trainer combo is five of their last 13. The drop could be what it takes for this Curlin colt.
Late Pick 4 Saturday at Gulfstream Park:
Race 9: #1 Bankruptonthebeach, #5 Don’t Get Khozy, #6 Boerne
Race 10: #4 Roddick, #7 Sir Seamus, #9 Twenty Four Seven, #10 American Ninja, #11 Hot and Heavy
Race 11: #2 Cajun Brother, #5 Double Crown, #6 With Verve
Race 12: #2 Dr. Samadi, #3 Curlingo
50-cent Late Pick 4 Suggested Ticket: 1-5-6 with 4-7-9-10-11 with 2-5-6 with 2-3 ($45)