by Brian Nadeau
September 2, 2020
Back to battle 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 (4:05 ET) – 3up 10k MCL at 6 furlongs
With a very modest group signed on, you have to think #7 ELUSIVE MOTION is going to hit hard off his form and the cutback too, and with just five starts he’s not the confirmed refuser a lot of these have proven to be. I’ll also use the class rising #5 G MAN, who woke up in the mud for 5k last time but has some decent enough form at this level in some key races, which make him a player against a group like this. There’s not a ton of true sprint speed signed on, and #3 WHATS THE CHANCES should be in front, and that’s not a bad spot to be in when you’re talking about cheap MCL’ers, so let’s toss him in too. Lastly, I thought #9 FAVOR MAKER ran well to be 4th for 14k in his dirt debut, and if he builds on that effort and things get too heated early, he’ll be in the mix late.
Pk5 A horses: 7,5,3,9 (listed in order of preference)
It’s tough to get excited about anyone else, as they would be a real surprise off what they’ve shown so far, so let’s go it alone on the top line, with a quartet that are clearly the best of a mixed bag.
Pk5 B horses: NONE
Potential B add-ins: #6 Day of Honor, #4 Created Special
Leg 2: Laurel Park R8 (4:40 ET) – 3upfm Md-bred N1X at 5 � furlongs (turf)
Maybe the wide post beats #1a A GREAT TIME but it’s tough to think anyone else in here does, as her last four lay over this field and the dip into the state-bred ranks will only help too, so she’s the single in a race where potential upsetters are few and far between.
Pk5 A horses: 1a
If #6 LADY BOSS shakes loose early she could get brave, but facing winners is never easy, especially since ‘Time owns a huge class edge, so as sharp as her turf bow was at GP, she’s still up against it. If you toss her seasonal bow, which came off an eight-month layoff, then #7 EPIC IDEA shows two solid turf sprints, and the stalking win last time would give her a chance here—if the chalk should come stub her toe.
Pk5 B horses: 6,7 (Please note, to keep the cost of the backup tickets down, I will be singling #3 Uncle Renny in the final leg. This will also allow for some hedging, should I be alive to a big score.)
Potential B add-ins: NONE
Leg 3: Gulfstream Park R10 (5:01 ET) – 3up 12.5k N3L at 1 1/16 miles (turf)
I don’t think rising in class off a win in these low-level claimers is a bad thing, and the post and cutback that #2 DANVILLE gets is a good thing, so let’s see if he can double up at a nice price, in a race where most of these all look the same on paper, and some of the main contenders are drawn wide too. The speed of #7 SMELL OF ROSES should make him a major player, and he won’t have to improve much off that close 5th in his first try at the level to have a say either. The drop in class might help #10 DRILLOMATIC overcome a bad draw, as he’s been facing better and running well, so this modest group might be just what he needs.
*** Please note if #13 Speed Franco draws in he’s an obvious A, and would probably relegate one or two of the above to the B-line, as he’ll be that tough. ***
Pk5 A horses: 2,7,10
The widest draw of all really hurts #12 SHENDAM, so I’m going to leave him off the top line, though obviously he’s a major player on the drop and gets moved up if one of my top-3 come out. Getting back to two turns should really help #8 YOUSHOULDBESOLUCKY, who was oddly spotted in a turf sprint last time, now goes off the claim for McGoey (12%), and has plenty of solid route form showing too.
Pk5 B horses: 12,8 (Please note, to keep the cost of the backup tickets down, I will be singling #3 Uncle Renny in the final leg. This will also allow for some hedging, should I be alive to a big score.)
Potential B add-ins: #9 Budget Buster
Leg 4: Golden Gate Fields R2 (5:15 ET) – 3up 5 MCL at 1-mile
Maybe a drop in class and getting away from the classier So Cal circuit wakes up #3 AGENT ZERO, and while he’s an unknown on the Tapeta, it’s a great sign of intent that Powell reaches for local ace Frey, and this post won’t hurt either. The house horse is #5 SWIFT CHANNEL, who was a close 2nd last time and still has some upside off just four starts, while #8 PREMIER LEAGUE is another who was a close 2nd here last time in an improved effort. Let’s also use another So Cal runner, #9 MY SUNSHINE, who didn’t fire from a bad draw last time but has some turf form earlier in his career, which says he may like the Tapeta today.
Pk5 A horses: 3,5,8,9
I’ll stubbornly use #6 MATSON, who keeps burning money and is now 11-0-3-2, but is close enough to the rest on paper to be in the mix, and just maybe the blinkers-off gets him over the hump, though I won’t hold my breath.
Pk5 B horses: 6 (Please note, to keep the cost of the backup tickets down, I will be singling #3 Uncle Renny in the final leg. This will also allow for some hedging, should I be alive to a big score.)
Potential B add-ins: #4 Insaniamania
Leg 5: Laurel Park R9 (5:22 ET) – 3up 25k MCL at 1-mile (turf)
This is a surprisingly deep field for the level, with several sharp invaders in the mix, and that’s how I’ll play it, as #3 UNCLE RENNY, #4 FOOD AND WINE, and #8 HARD STING have all faced much better than they meet here on bigger circuits and look poised to battle it out. The former gets a slight nod as he drops out of an MSW and will run for a tag for the first time since Lasix and blinkers were added, while ‘Food showed good form at Ellis Park, and ‘Sting runs as a first-time gelding, adds blinkers, and makes his first start for Capuano (21% with newcomers) off a November layoff (16% for the barn), while dropping out of a slew of NYRA MSWs.
Pk5 A horses: 3,4,8
It sure looked like getting to the turf woke up #6 BALLYHOO PRINCE at Colonial last time, so if he can run back to that 2nd, he’s a player here, but the top-3 make this a class rise, so I’m a bit leery he can reproduce that effort.
Pk5 B horses: 6
Potential B add-ins: #5 Silent Malice
Main Ticket: 7,5,3,9 with 1a with 2,7,10 with 5,3,8,9 with 3,4,8 = $144
Leg 2 B Backup: 7,5,3,9 with 6,7 with 2,7,10 with 5,3,8,9 with 3 = $96
Leg 3 B Backup: 7,5,3,9 with 1a with 12,8 with 5,3,8,9 with 3 = $32
Leg 4 B Backup: 7,5,3,9 with 1a with 2,7,10 with 6 with 3 = $12
Leg 5 B Backup: 7,5,3,9 with 1a with 2,7,10 with 5,3,8,9 with 6 = $48