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Heart to Heart not acting his age; heads GP late Pick 4

by Jerry Shottenkirk

January 12, 2019

Heart to Heart is 4-5 in the Gr. 3 Tropical Park Turf Stakes Saturday at Gulfstream Park, and while he have a few years to go before he gets into the John Henry category when it comes to age, one thing’s for sure: Here’s been around.

The English Channel horse is now an 8-year-old and has done an exemplary job in his battle against Father Time. Owner Terry Hamilton and trainer Bryan Lynch have seen their stable veteran do some amazing things over the years. He was a $25,000 yearling and has won 15 of 38 for $2 million in earnings and in 2018 he was in six races – five Grade 1s and another Grade 2. He has a clear class advantage but the Tropical Turf does have some capable entrants.

The Tropical Turf is the opening leg of the late Pick 4, which runs from races 9 through 12. If Heart to Heart can run back to his Grade 1 Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap win will be next to impossible to beat. His last two of 2017, however, were not good, as he gave way in the Fourstardave and Shadwell Turf.

He’s clearly the one to beat, but a fishing expedition for a sizable Pick 4 brings me to two others as well – White Flag and Doctor Mounty. White Flag, trained by Christophe Clement, is 7-2 and comes in off a win in the Turf Sprint Championship at Aqueduct. His success (5 of 13, $426,303) has come in sprints and he’s faced with a two-turn mile today. He could be a serious thorn in the side of Heart to Heart on the front end. Heart to Heart is a front-ender all the way and will have to respond to the company. In the event those two hurt each other’s chances with fast fractions, Doctor Mounty (10-1) could bring some late heat. He’s shown rallies in two of his last three and gets a jockey change to Javier Castellano.

Here’s the suggested ticket for the late Pick 4 at Gulfstream Park:

Race 9) #2 White Flag, #4 Doctor Mounty, #6 Heart to Heart.
Race 10) #1 Camgo, #5 Brainstorm, #8 No Rules.
Race 11) #3 Bombshell, #4 Valedictorian.
Race 12) #2 War Cabinet, #3 Cured by Kitten, #6 Come on City, #7 Sweet Sting, #8 Nantucket Red, #9 Blue Collar.
50-cent Pick 4: 2-4-6 with 1-5-8 with 3-4 and 2-3-6-7-8-9 ($54)