by Frank Carulli
December 10, 2020
Former Maryland Jockey Club oddsmaker Frank Carulli lends his insights into the Stronach 5 each week, a national $1 pick five wager matching races across the 1/ST family of racetracks.
LEG A // LAUREL PARK, RACE 8 (3:49PM ET) // ALLOWANCE // 1 MILE (DIRT)
TOY beat 3yo stablemate and recent Tampa Bay allowance winner Plot the Dots ($120k) off a three-month layoff. He draws an outside post in the one-turn mile but is the one to beat off a six-month layoff this time around. STONE COURAGEOUS is versatile, in top form and usually offers good betting value. He finished third behind the co-favorites at 1-1/16 miles last out.
LEG B // GULFSTREAM PARK, RACE 8 (4:06PM ET) // CLAIMING // 6 FURLONGS (DIRT)
HARTS N FLOWERS, away last in fast-paced sprint dominated by deep closers, surged mid-track in the final sixteenth to prevail. Trainer Victor Barboza excels with a 32 percent ‘repeat’ win rate. STARSHIP BLANCA bid 3-wide into the turn, forged clear in early stretch and held off the fast-charging favorite to win in the slop at 7F. She has yet to race on a fast track but is perfectly spotted to repeat for a sizzling hot barn.
LEG C // LAUREL PARK, RACE 9 (4:18PM ET) // CLAIMING // 6 FURLONGS (DIRT)
SARATOGA BEAUTY stalked the pace 5-wide and drew away to an easy win in the final furlong. She gets plenty of pace to rally into today. HALFINTHEWRAPPER is the only three-race winner in the field and enters a top claiming barn after her three-peat bid was foiled by a fast pace and a next-out repeater. ALWAYS SOMETHING chased a torrid pace last out and is a useable longshot, taking a needed class drop and getting blinkers after a fast workout at Pimlico.
LEG D // GULFSTREAM PARK, RACE 9 (4:36PM ET) // OPTIONAL CLAIMING // 1 MILE (TURF)
SIR ROBERTO made up 13 lengths after a rough start for a 12-1 upset in his debut. He beat a next-out, MSW runaway winner along the way. WHATMAKESSAMMYRUN exploded on the turf racing scene with an 8-3/4-length win at 7F that led to stakes favoritism in his next start. He bid 3-wide into the stretch but ran evenly to the finish. RISK MANAGER saved ground and found his best footing in the final eighth to win first-out at this distance. MISTER LEONARDO ‘blew past’ the field in his second turf start and is usable on the class rise for a good barn that entered him in a turf stakes in September.
LEG E // GULFSTREAM PARK, RACE 10 (5:06PM ET) // OPTIONAL CLAIMING // 5 FURLONGS (TURF)
The ‘For Sale’ sign is up on PAY ANY PRICE, who earned most of his $718,443 bankroll with a 16-24 record on the Gulfstream grass, including a stakes win when last seen in July. VINNIE VAN GO tries turf in his third start off the claim. He had no breathers in a game, 6F dirt try two starts back at this level, dueling every step of the way in a narrow defeat. QUARKY was involved in photo finishes in 6 of his last 7 starts, most as the favorite.
SUGGESTED $1 TICKET
Leg A: 1, 8
Leg B: 8
Leg C: 4, 6, 7
Leg D: 2, 3, 4, 7
Leg E: 1, 5, 11