by Johnny D
March 24, 2021
This week’s Stronach 5 includes races from Laurel (8 & 9), Santa Anita (3), Golden Gate (3) and Gulfstream (10), respectively, and it’s a challenging sequence. So, what else is new? Solving Pick 5 equations seldom are simple, especially when they include legs at four different tracks. Competitive races, a low 12% takeout and rapid resolutions are some reasons why we love the wager. High-octane payoffs don’t hurt, either.
LEG A // LAUREL PARK, RACE 8 (4:30PM ET) // STARTER ALLOWANCE // 1 1/16 MILES (DIRT)
Always interesting to begin the wager with a $5k starter at about one mile and one-sixteenth around the Maryland oval. A ‘fast’ track is anticipated as a field of 10 with one Also-Eligible are entered to dispute the outcome. #1 King Mauro figures off his recent four-length triumph going one mile at the $8k level. That was his second consecutive tally, so he’s hot. Speed from the rail is his game. One question could center around his effectiveness at the distance around two turns where he’s just 2-for-9. #8 Belfour comes off a January layoff and 7-year-olds usually need a race following a rest, but he recently won off a short layoff. He loves Laurel (8-for-15) and the distance (3-for-8). #6 Invest has some speed, is 3-for-7 at Laurel and 3-for-5 at the distance.
Use: #1, #8, #6
LEG B // LAUREL PARK, RACE 9 (5:03PM ET) // MAIDEN CLAIMING // 6 FURLONGS (DIRT)
This six-furlong $40k claiming race for three-year-old fillies offers players several legitimate ways to go. We’ll settle on the pair of #6 Asbuilt and #11 Amendment Nineteen as top plays, but there are other options for players looking to dig a bit deeper. #6 Asbuilt has lots of stuff going on. Facing a ‘sloppy’ track in her last two starts--second at six and one-half furlongs and third at one mile, respectively--she catches an anticipated ‘fast’ strip for new trainer Dale Capuano (19% overall and 25% first off the claim). Jockey Ruiz rides and he’s batting 25% with Capuano. A March 14, bullet best-of-48 half mile workout suggests things are going well for a runner that should be fit off the cutback in distance. #11 Amendment Nineteen is a first-time starter shipping in from Belmont Park for trainer Linda Rice who has a win, a second and a third in four recent starts at Laurel. Those digging deeper might want to use a pair of frontrunners in #1 Mosler’s Touch and #4 Down Days who adds Lasix.
Use: #6, #11
LEG C // SANTA ANITA PARK, RACE 3 (5:08PM ET) // MAIDEN CLAIMING // 1 MILE (TURF)
A player ought to be able to trim this Maiden $50k heat for fillies and mares down to three logical runners and one surprise package. #6 Amiko Chow finished second at this level last out against many of these same foes for trainer Paddy Gallagher and jockey Cedillo—1-for-3 in combination. #7 Acoustic Shopping makes her sixth career start and first for red-hot trainer Phil D’Amato—23% on the season and 17% first off the claim. Jockey Rispoli is up and he’s a sparkling 26% with D’Amato. #9 Unbreakable goes to post for trainer Mike Puype for the seventh time overall, but first with top jock Prat. Third, less than a length away from the top spot, in her last two starts, Prat could help to close that gap. #1 Starship Sky has acted well with this group in the past, but she’s almost had too many chances as her 0-12 record shows. Still, 20% jock Hernandez has finished close with her and the rail draw helps her case. She’d be a late add.
Use: #6, #7, #9
LEG D // GOLDEN GATE FIELDS, RACE 3 (5:29PM ET) // MAIDEN CLAIMING // 5 FURLONGS (ALL WEATHER)
We’re looking to sneak past this crowded heat by singling #10 Evenrevenworse off his close call last out when he set the pace and fell short going five and one-half furlongs. Today’s heat is just five panels and he’s drawn a nice outside box and should be able to use his early speed to get position before the turn. Others with a look in here are #5 Soulong, who ships in off a pair of poor SoCal efforts against better for trainer Peter Miller and #8 Emporer’s Fisc, who finished third last time out and garners a five-pound weight break with apprentice Rivera. He’ll be finishing with interest. Both backups are trained by Steve Miyadi.
LEG E // GULFSTREAM PARK, RACE 10 (5:54PM ET) // MAIDEN CLAIMING // 1 1/16 MILES (TURF)
Trainer Todd Pletcher returned to his dominating winning ways this winter at Gulfstream Park and currently is scoring at a juicy 25% clip. #9 Zaffing represents the Pletcher outfit in the Gulfstream and Stronach 5 finale. Tyler Gaffalione assumes the mount and he and Pletcher combine to win at a 20% clip. A five-furlong maiden special weight turf sprint didn’t turn out too well for this filly. She returned for a $50k tag going a mile and one-sixteenth, raced close to the early pace, and finished fourth, less than four lengths behind the winner. That effort and another slight drop down the class ladder ought to have here well positioned. Those looking to add to tickets can include #1 Short Circuit, third at this level last out and #5 Iris the Empress, a Brian Lynch trainee trying the claiming ranks for the first time after two previous turf routes—one of those for trainer Ken McPeek.
Use: #1, #5, #9
$1 STRONACH 5 PLAYER ($54)
Leg A: #1, #8, #6
Leg B: #6, #11
Leg C: #6, #7, #9
Leg D: #10
Leg E: #1, #5, #9