by Frank Carulli
January 7, 2021
LEG A // LAUREL // RACE 8 (3:55PM ET) // OPTIONAL CLAIMING // 1 1/16 MILES (DIRT)
JOURNEYTOTHEMOON saved ground, eased out to the favorable part of the racetrack and surged late to defeat a next-out, 14-length winner in his 6F debut. Her sire, Tourist, was a multiple Grade I winner going a route of ground. WONDERWALL buried $25,000 maiden claimers, but she enters a 33-percent claim barn, gets a hot apprentice jockey and offers a tempting price. LOVE IN HER EYES improved with blinkers, won a MSW route for her new connections, now gets Lasix.
LEG B // LAUREL // RACE 9 (4:25PM ET) // CLAIMING // 7 FURLONGS (DIRT)
CRUSH IT, third in the Maryland Million Starter Handicap at this distance two starts back, was the beaten favorite in a follow-up key race won by Manolette (14-46, $289k). NOVA BOY, first or second in 19 of 34 starts, packed late wallop in short sprints and got up to win in his second start for this barn. CANDYGRAMFORMONGO, a heavily-bet sprinter and 3-5 at Laurel Park, tries longer distance for 44-percent claim barn.
LEG C // SANTA ANITA // RACE 3 (4:32PM ET) // MAIDEN SPECIAL WEIGHT // 1 MILE (TURF)
J C EXPRESS showed a pulse in becoming the only Cal-bred in the field with turf routing experience and gets in light-weighted. BUKAYO'S hopes to follow the lead of his half brother, Kakistocracy, who graduated in his second start on the stretch-out to one mile off a 5F sprint debut. HAIL FREEDOM chased a 2-1 debut winner through fast splits before tiring at 6-1/2F on the main track.
LEG D // GULFSTREAM // RACE 9 (4:42PM ET) // CLAIMING // 5 FURLONGS (TURF)
UNCAGE THE CAT has shown marked improvement, overcame trouble to break his maiden off a four-month layoff and is confidently spotted by top trainer. STAR WEAVER shook a duel, opened up and got caught late in the same spot.
LEG E // GULFSTREAM // RACE 10 (5:13PM ET) // MAIDEN CLAIMING // 1 MILE (TURF)
Pletcher firster SIX MINUS is a son of English Channel; his mare was unraced but a sibling to four turf winners. He has a series of works dating to the fall at Saratoga. BOURBON THUNDER took money in both starts, has turf influence on both sides, is a first-time gelding and can be used at 15-1.
SUGGESTED $1 STRONACH 5 TICKET
LEG A: 2, 3, 4
LEG B: 5, 7, 8
LEG C: 1, 5, 6
LEG D: 1, 4
LEG E: 4, 11
TICKET COST: $108.00