by Jeff Siegel
December 5, 2020
Jeff Siegel’s Gulfstream Park Analysis & Wagering Strategies
Saturday, December 5, 2020
Specifically designed for the rolling exotic player, Jeff Siegel’s “Daily Analysis and Wagering Strategies” isolates those horses that should be included in daily doubles, pick-3s, pick-4s, pick-5s, and the pick-6.
The selections are posted at 6:00 a.m. and updated later in the morning to reflect late scratches and changes. For additional commentary, follow us on twitter @jsiegelracing.
Grade Descriptions: Grade A=Highest degree of confidence; Grade B=Solid Play. Grade C=Least preferred or pass; Grade X=probable winner but likely at odds too short to play.
RACE 1: Post: 12:05 ET Grade: B-
Use: 1-Pangea Proxima; 3-Uptown Flirt; 9-Time Sensitive; 12-Queen of the Green
Forecast: The opener is a spread affair with several possibilities. Pangaea Proxima shows a series of intriguing drills at Fair Hills plus a nice recent breeze around dogs on grass at Palm Meadows after shipping down for G. Motion. The daughter of Temple City from multiple graded stakes winner and producer Enthused won’t be facing any world beaters in this one mile affair and gets the rail and L. Saez, so let’s make an educated guess and put her on top at 9/2 on the morning line. Uptown Flirt hit the board in two Saratoga outings and then finished fourth as the favorite at Belmont Park in her most recent outing in September. A couple of recent bullet drills at Payson Park may indicate she’ll display improvement. Queen of the Green ran well on turf when second debuting at Keeneland but then was virtually eased in an off-the-grass affair at Churchill Downs last time out. Back on the sod but drawn poorly outside, the Summer Front filly picks up P. Lopez for new trainer J. Arnett and should be dangerous from off the pace. Time Sensitive, a first-off-the-claim for G. Delgado (a superb 35% with this angle), removes blinkers and is protected on the raise in a sign of confidence. At 20-1 on the morning line you might want to toss her in somewhere.
RACE 2: Post: 12:35 ET Grade: B
Use: 2-Liza Star; 6-Sky Chaser
Forecast: Liza Star won last year’s edition of the Claiming Crown Glass Slipper and after facing considerably tougher foes in recent listed stakes races she should be capable of regaining her winning form against this softer band. A 10-time winner over the Gulfstream Park main track, the P. Walder-trained mare seems likely to fire a big shot after a two month freshening and projects to be on or near the lead throughout. Sky Chaser is worth including, at least as a saver. All five of her career victories have been accomplished over the local main track and while she’s a tad slower on pure numbers than our top pick improvement is possible with the switch to P. Lopez.
RACE 3: Post: 1:05 ET Grade: B
Use: 1-Conrad the Red; 8-Fighting Force
Forecast: Fighting Force displayed excellent promise in his debut at Belmont Park in September when finishing a strong runner-up to subsequent Belmont Futurity winner Second of July. The son of Air Force Blue was a somewhat disappointing distant third in his next start in an off-the-turf affair at Keeneland but returns to the lawn today, is reunited with L. Saez, and should regain his best form for T. Pletcher. Conrad the Red was scheduled to debut on grass at GPW in mid-October but wound up third with a troubled trip in a race that switched to a sloppy main track. The M. Casse-trained colt adds blinkers, lands the rail, deserves another chance, and is worth including on your ticket at 8-1 on the morning line.
RACE 4: Post: 1:35 ET Grade: B+
Single: 1-Krysto Skye
Forecast: Old timer Kysto Skye exits a pair of Grade-3 events so he should find the Claiming Crown Express field well with his capabilities. The son of City Zip, a winner of 13 races during his long career (with 12 runner-up efforts), always has been genuine and consistent, picks up. I. Ortiz, Jr. and projects to enjoy a good ground-saving, stalking trip. On pure numbers he’s strictly the one to beat, so at 5/2 on the morning line he’s a win play and rolling exotic single.
RACE 5: Post: 2:05 ET Grade: B+
Forecast: Jakarta has consistently competed against much better company than she’s facing in this 2020 edition of the Claiming Crown Distaff Dash and she’s also a perfect one-for-one sprinting over the local lawn, thus making her a legitimate 8/5 morning line favorite. The M. Maker-trained mare has only one way to go – on the front end, gate to wire – and looks more than quick enough to secure her preferred trip. On pure form she’s a standout, so we’ll make her a short priced rolling exotic single.
RACE 6: Post: 2:38 ET Grade: X
Single: 2-Jesus’ Team
Forecast: Here’s another strong favorite that appears to own a considerable class edge over his rivals. Jesus’ Team, runner-up in the Breeders’ Cup Mile-G1 with a career top speed figure and before that third in the Preakness S.-G1, lays over the Claiming Crown Jewel field on speed figures and current form, though at 6/5 on the morning line there won’t be a whole lot of wagering value to be found. A two-time winner over the Gulfstream Park main track, the son of Tapiture projects to settle somewhere in mid-pack and then go after the leaders when ready. He’s a logical rolling exotic single.
RACE 7: Post: 3:08 ET Grade: B
Use: 4-Temple; 6-Tusk
Forecast: The 2020 Claiming Crown Emerald looks very similar to last’s years edition, with the first three finishers back for a rematch of sorts. Muggsamatic is the defending champion but was in better form last year, so let’s try the 2019 third place finisher Tusk on top and also include course specialist Temple in our rolling exotic play. Away since winning the Tropical Turf S.-G3 in January, Tusk shows a strong, healthy work tab for his comeback for top trainer S. Joseph, Jr., who has superb stats with layoff runners, so if he can pick up where he left off this veteran Tapit gelding certainly is good enough at 9/2 on the morning line. He likes the front end but can stalk and pounce if needed so the stable’s “go-to” jockey E. Jaramillo can play it by ear. Temple, a four time grass winner at Gulfstream Park, was a New York stakes winner in his younger days and has rising recent speed figures to indicate he’s rounding back to top form. The M. Maker-trained gelding should be heard from in the final stages.
RACE 8: Post: 3:38 ET Grade: C+
Use: 1-Avant Garde; 4-All Around; 5-Miles Ahead; 10-Yodel E. A. Who
Forecast: The Claiming Crown Rapid Transit for older horses over six furlongs on the main track has contenders top to bottom with the morning line favorite Yodel E. A. Who listed as the lukewarm 4-1 top choice. The son of Creative Cause earned a career top speed figure when winning an overnight race over this track and distance in late September and then was given a brief vacation. With three recent drills to have him sharpened up, the S. Joseph, Jr.-trained gelding – a five time winner over the local dirt strip – seems likely to fire his best shot. Miles Ahead is lightly-raced, improving, and fast on numbers. The Competitive Edge gelding has won his last three in sharp style, and while this clearly is a step up in competition the E. Plesa, Jr.-trained 3-year-old has the proper style for this extended sprint distance and could easily be this good. All Around, second in the same race Miles Ahead just won, prefers to lay back and blast home, and with some help up front must be given a reasonable look. Avant Garde, a long shot at 15-1 on the morning line, is slower on speed figures than the other main players but has four wins in five starts over the Gulfstream Park main track and is another that should be doing his best work from the quarter pole home.
RACE 9: Post: 4:09 ET Grade: B
Use: 5-Queens Embrace; 11-Sugar Fix
Forecast: Queens Embrace, an $80,000 claim by D. Gargan (a spectacular 45% with a massive flat-bet profit with this first-off-the-claim angle), has been pointed for the Claiming Crown Tiara ever since changing barns in late September, and this Grade-2 placed daughter of Real Solution looks capable of producing a powerful late kick. A winner of five races from just 11 career starts, the 3-year-old daughter of Real Solution picks up L. Saez, should have more than sufficient help up front to compliment her late-running style, and with good racing luck can be along in time. Sugar Fix is drawn a bit farther out than we’d prefer but is the one our top pick should worry about the most. ‘Fix likes to stalk and pounce, is reunited with “win rider” T. Gaffalione, and given her projected trip should have dead aim and every chance from the top of the lane to the sire. Preference on top goes to Queens Embrace but both should be used in rolling exotic play.
RACE 10: Post: 4:40 ET Grade: B+
Use: 1-Fiya; 9-Unmoored
Forecast: We’ve got the Claiming Crown Canterbury down to two main players, with Fiya, listed at 8/5 on the morning line, the deserving top selection. A winner of four straight and extremely fast on speed figures, the lightly-raced son of Friesen Fire projects to be on the front end from his favorable rail draw and should be very hard to catch at this shortened five furlong trip.Unmoored may be worth using as a back-up or a saver. The veteran son of Midshipman seems likely to draft into a stalk-and-pounce position and have dead aim when it matters. If Fiya doesn’t reproduce his best form for whatever reason, this M. Maker-trained gelding will be in the right spot to pick up the pieces.
Race 11: Post Time: 5:11 ET Grade: B+
Single: 6-Snap Hook
Forecast: At 5-1 on the morning line in the Claiming Crown Iron HorseSnap Hook may offer a bit of a gamble. Just missing as the 7/5 favorite in a good overnight race at GPW last month while paying the price for pressing a hot early pace, the son of Flower Alley should face a bit less heat today and thus likely will be better suited to see out the trip. First or second in five of six career starts over the Gulfstream Park main track, the J. Delgado-trained gelding in solid in the speed figure department, retains regular pilot E. Jaramillo, and since being claimed for $8,000 last May has been first or second in all eight outings for these connections.