by Brian Nadeau
August 20, 2020
We welcome back Golden Gate Fields in this week’s Stronach 5, which once again has a 100k guarantee, and a prospective pool that should far surpass that. To refresh, the Stronach 5 is a Pk5 wager spread across as many as four tracks and up to three surfaces (dirt, Tapeta and turf), inside of 90 minutes, with a $1 minimum and ridiculously low 12% takeout. I’ll be putting together some prospective tickets in this space each week for a wager that is undoubtedly as good as it gets for the bettors.
*** 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 (3:58 ET) – 3upfm N1X at 1 1/16 miles (turf)
If #8 CAMBELIZA (5-2) is ready off the October layoff she’s going to win the opening leg, it’s that simple, as her last two runs on turf to end 2019 would bottom out this field. The worry, of course, is the October layoff, but Delacour is 16% from a 43-horse sample off a break like this, so that, coupled with such a meek field, says you can lean on the favorite, even if you don’t want to single her. And that’s the approach I’ll take, which is why I’m only going to use one other, and that’s ironically the “other” Delacour, #11 CORRECTNESS (4-1), who has a recency edge on her stablemate, and plenty of upside off just four starts, which includes back-to-back close 6th-place finishes in a pair of 3yo stakes.
Pk5 A horses: 8,11 (listed in order of preference)
I know #4 SAILINGINTOTHEWIND (10-1) is winless in a pair of turf starts and now faces winners off a muddy off-the-turf MSW romp last time, but she’s another with plenty of upside, and the turf run two-back was solid, plus she drew better than the top pair and is more tactical too, so she has every right to make a big dent here.
Pk5 B horses: 4
Potential B add-ins: #9 One Last Trial (6-1), #7 Midship Lady (5-1)
Leg 2: Gulfstream Park R9 (4:14 ET) – 3up 25k MCL at 1 1/16 miles (turf)
I’ll side with the MSW drop and go with #5 ALASTOR (4-1), who has plenty of upside off just two starts, should be tighter than he was on debut in his lone turf start, and drew better than his biggest rivals as well. You have to use #10 SULEMAN (3-1), since he closed strongly to be a close 4th in his debut, though his lack of early speed, wide draw, and underlaid price make him a bit tough to trust. A slight drop, good post, and tactical speed say #3 ROBIN TEAM SHOW (9-2) is a player, and that 2nd last time would put him in the mix here.
Pk5 A horses: 5,10,3
When you pay 235k for a horse as a yearling the plan isn’t to debut for 25k in the second half of your 3yo year, so I’m against #9 BOURBONROX (7-2) for Pletcher, even though he won’t have to be a freak to have a big chance here. I’m not sure why today would be the day for #8 SOUTHERN POINTE DRIVE (8-1), as he’s leveled off after six starts, but he’s close enough to the top players to be in with a chance, and it’s not like there’s anyone to fear here either.
Pk5 B horses: 9,8
Potential B add-ins: #4 Plenum (20-1), #2 Call Bros (20-1)
Leg 3: Laurel Park R8 (4:32 ET) – 3upfm Maryland-bred N1X* at 6 furlongs
You could do worse than singling #6 QUIET IMAGINATION (3-1), who has never run against Md breds and might simply be a better, faster horse than these, especially if she runs back to the N2L Del Park win last time, but I’ll also use #7 STICKINGTOGETHER (7-2), as she flashed promise as a 3yo filly, and while she hasn’t run since December, Matz is a robust 29% from a 21-horse sample off this elongated layoff, so that, coupled with some added maturity, should have her in with a big say. It’s also worth noting both of these fillies have a rating gear, and the majority of the rest of the field is full of speedy types, so this could also fall into their lap in deep stretch too.
Pk5 A horses: 6,7
If you believe #3 BUNTING’S (5-2) big 2nd last time was on the up and up, she’s going to hit hard, but it also came in the mud, and the rest of her recent runs weren’t as good, so I’m a little leery of her reproducing it today, which is why she’s a supporting actress here, though she too should be able to sit just off the speed and make a run.
Pk5 B horses: 3
Potential B add-ins: #2 Elegant Gal (8-1), #1a Combat Queen (5-1)
Leg 4: Laurel Park R9 (5:07 ET) – 3upfm 16k MCL at 1-mile (turf)
You could go one of two ways here; condense and hope you’re right, or spread deep in a race that could be chaotic, which would also force you to be narrower in the other races. I’ll go with the former, since the one the beat, #12 PATRIOTIC PUNCH (9-5), wide post and all, is much better than anyone here off her last two turf runs, and the drop from 40k is also going to make her that much tougher. I’ll also go slim because my top pick, #1 CELEBRE (9-2), seems very live off an icy 12-1 in an MSW off a July break, and trainer change to Motion for her first US start, and ran accordingly when 10th, so this drop really isn’t a worry, as this seems to be the spot where she’s supposed to be, and for a barn that is 37% from a 19-horse sample on MSW-to-MCL move, so you have to believe she’s waking way up today.
Pk5 A horses: 1,12
Getting back against 16k foes should help #3 MAYAN QUEEN (9-2), as she was beaten just a neck at the level two-back then found 25k runners too tough last time from bad post, but the top pair seem a bit better than the normal gals you’ll see in a spot like this, so she needs to improve to get there first.
Pk5 B horses: 3
Potential B add-ins: #5 Unstopabull Belle (15-1), #6 Catch the Sky (12-1), #7 Hairspray (15-1)
Leg 5: Golden Gate Fields R2 (5:20 ET) – 3up 20k MCL at 1 1/16 mils (turf)
I think the four logical runners—#4 CHASE AND COLORADO (3-1), #5 QUAZE VAPOR )6-1), #7 CAPE POINT (5-2), and #9 ISLAND HEAT (9-2)—are simply better than these, and I like them in that order too, as ‘Chase is the class from Southern California, ‘Vapor exits a very fast 2nd on the turf here last time, ‘Pointe has the speed to be involved throughout, and ‘Heat wasn’t far behind vapor in his turf debut, can improve, and adds blinkers for a bit more focus too.
Pk5 A horses: 4,5,7,9
I’ll begrudgingly use #6 JUST LIKE FRED (4-1), since he’s second-off the layoff, takes the MSW drop, and has some speed, but his last two have been rough, so he would fall under the “tread lightly” category here.
Pk5 B horses: 6
Potential B add-ins: NONE
Main Ticket: 8,11 with 5,10,3 with 6,7 with 1,12 with 4,5,7,9 = $96
Leg 1 B Backup: 4 with 5,10,3 with 6,7 with 1,12 with 4,5,7,9 = $48
Leg 2 B Backup: 8,11 with 9,8 with 6,7 with 1,12 with 4,5,7,9 = $64
Leg 3 B Backup: 8,11 with 5,10,3 with 3 with 1,12 with 4,5,7,9 = $48
Leg 4 B Backup: 8,11 with 5,10,3 with 6,7 with 3 with 4,5,7,9 = $48
Leg 5 B Backup: 8,11 with 5,10,3 with 6,7 with 1,12 with 6 = $24