by Jerry Shottenkirk
March 14, 2021
There are difficult challenges in exotic plays, and that fact looks you in the eye right off the bat in Gulfstream Park’s Late Pick 4 on Sunday.
There are seven three-year-olds in the nine-furlong seventh (4:12 p.m. ET, allowance optional claiming) on the turf, and you can take your pick. My pick here is easy: Take ‘em all. The ALL space isn’t often used in this corner, and this is the proper time. It’s an evenly matched group and the distance will be a challenged for all of them. Let the chips fall where they may – hopefully on the largest price on the board.
Bugle of War is the 2-1 morning line favorite but from top-to-bottom, this looks pretty even. Raison d’Air is the second choice at 3-1 and Safe Conduct is third choice at 4-1.
The sequence includes another pair of allowance optional claiming races in the eighth and ninth, and it concludes with a maiden-claiming test in the 10th.
Here’s a look at the final three races:
Race 8 (4:44 p.m. ET, allowance optional claiming)
DARK AGES was claimed by Kelly Breen when third last out and was an easy winner against similar two back. Has a good closing move at a mile and should like the pace in front of him.
NACHO PAPA was claimed by Carlos David two back and ran fourth against a tougher group in his follow-up. Adjusts to pace and can be a big player at this level.
HONOLULU EXPRESS set fast fractions and lived it last time in his first after being claimed by Peter Walder. Seems better on the main track and can be in a similar position on or very near the front today.
Race 9 (5:16 p.m. ET, allowance optional claiming)
UNA LUNA made a sustained drive over the last three furlongs and was up in time against this level last time. Does well from off the pace and can save ground until she has to swing out for the drive.
NOPE never really got involved in two very tough races here and makes her third U.S. start after running in Ireland and Great Britain. Expect improvement in this spot.
OSAKA GIRL always makes an impact on the pace and is troubled when she gets clear at any point. A clear threat to win on the front end.
Race 10 (5:48 p.m. ET, maiden claiming)
COMMAND CENTRAL was a closing third against this level two back and was fourth against a higher level last time. Much improved since leaving the maiden special ranks and is a big threat to these.
EXPONENTIAL rolled up to the lead last time and was out-gamed in the final yards. Luis Saez keeps the mount and this one could time is right this time.
Gulfstream Park’s Late Pick 4 on Sunday:
Race 7) ALL (7 horses)
Race 8) #1 Dark Ages, #2 Nacho Papa, #3 Honolulu Express.
Race 9) #1 Una Luna, #4 Nope, #7 Osaka Girl.
Race 10) #6 Command Central, #7 Exponential.
Total Ticket Cost) ALL (7 horses)/1,2,3/1,4,7/6,7 = $63 for $0.50