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Saturday, March 28: Gulfstream Park Wagering Strategies

by Jeff Siegel

March 28, 2020

Specifically designed for the rolling exotic player, Jeff Siegel’s “Daily Analysis and Wagering Strategies” isolates those horses that should be included in daily doubles, pick-3s, pick-4s, pick-5s, and the pick-6.

It is recommended that Jeff’s selections be used to augment the reader’s own personal handicapping, though excellent results can be achieved by applying the rolling exotic strategy specified by Jeff’s analysis. Jeff’s recommended plays are intended for players with a moderate budget; however, readers are encouraged to adjust Jeff’s wagering strategy to fit their preferred investment level.

Handicappers also are encouraged to access Jeff’s Daily Santa Anita Workout Analysis (see below), an exclusive report containing commentary, fractional times, grades, and a link to the video of the actual workout by each race’s key contenders.

Grade A=Highest degree of confidence.
Grade B=Solid Play.
Grade C=Least preferred, or pass.
Grade X=probable winner but odds are not likely to offer wagering value.

The selections are available every racing day after morning scratches. For updates, please follow us on twitter @jsiegelracing.

RACE 1: Post 11:30 ET. Grade: C+
Use: 5-Zabava; 10-Scatnap; 11-Traipsing
Forecast: The 14-race Florida Derby-G1 day program begins with a wide-open first-level allowance middle distance turf event for fillies and mares. We’ll try to survive and advance tripling the race but if you can afford to include a few more, go right ahead. Scatnap is tough, dependable mare with 10 wins on her resume, most recently scoring in a $30,000 claimer over this course and distance last time out in mid-January while earning one of her better speed figures. She’s protected today by a hot barn, switches to P. Lopez, and projects to enjoy a good second flight, stalking trip. At 5-1 on the morning line, she seems as good as any. Zabava, in the frame in her last three starts but winless in six outings over the local turf course, has an effective stalking style that should ensure a good trip in a big field. The M. Maker-trained filly earned a career top speed figure last time out, one that if repeated would be good enough to beat this field. Stranger danger comes in the form of Traipsing, away since breaking her maiden at Presque Isle Downs by herself back in September of 2018. The work tab doesn’t jump off the page, but at 20-1 on the morning line for the always-dangerous Clement-Rosario team she’s worth tossing in as a tote-buster. It’s a long day and there are better wagering opportunities later on, so we suggest you tread lightly here.

See Race Video, Scatnap

RACE 2: Post 12:00 ET. Grade: B
Use: 5-Beau Luminarie; 11-Top Seed
Forecast: Beau Luminarie continued his improving pattern in his third career start last month when earning a giant speed figure over this track and distance in handling maidens by seven widen lengths while on the pace throughout. A similar effort today makes him the one to beat right back. Top Seed finally made it to the post in February of his 4-year-old season and won at first asking in rather nice fashion for Shug, earning a good figure with a pace-pressing trip while giving every indication that he’ll handle more distance if asked. This one-turn first-level allowance main track miler appears made to order for the son of Orb, so with a forward move from a comfortable outside draw he may be the one Beau Luminarie has to worry about the most. These are the two we’ll be including in rolling exotic play in what appears to be a rather strong race for the level.

See Race Video, Beau Luminarie

See Race Video, Top Seed

RACE 3: Post 12:30 ET. Grade: B-
Use: 3-Largent; 5-Temple; 7-Proliferate; 12-Tribhuvan
Forecast: Here’s a very difficult second-level allowance middle distance turf event that has several possibilities. The four we’ve listed above have every right to run well enough to win, but there are others that are more than capable of landing the odds as well. Trip should decide it. Largent just failed at even money in a similar spot, going down by a head after pressing a strong pace outside throughout. He’s fast on numbers, has the tactical speed to be placed wherever L. Saez wants to be, and with just four career starts the T. Pletcher-trained gelding has plenty of room for further improvement. Proliferate, a closing third beaten just over a length in the same race Largent exits, was a little farther back than he normally prefersly in that race and could find himself within striking range throughout with the switch to F. Geroux. The M. Casse-trained son of Declaration of War has been stuck on thirds lately but won’t have to improve much to get back in winning form. Temple exits a series of stakes races and should appreciate this drop in class. A three-time winner over the Gulfstream Park grass course, the M. Maker-trained gelding was given too much to do when a closing third last time out and is more effective when he can utilize his tactical speed to be within striking range throughout. On pure speed figures he’s right there with these. Tribhuvan took a long time to break his maiden and then after doing so in his 12th career start came right back to capture a valuable 16-runner handicap in Chantilly last fall. C. Brown has remarkable stats with European invaders and this colt adds Lasix for his U.S. debut following a series of local drills that should have him primed and ready. We give him a legitimate look despite his poor outside draw.

See Race Video, Largent

See Race Video, Temple

RACE 4: Post 1:00 ET. Grade: B+
Use: 6-Vitalogy; 10-Decorated Invader
Forecast: This listed turf stakes for 3-year-olds has two exceptional colts that on paper should leave the others behind. They’re tough to separate so we’ll include both in our rolling exotics. Vitalogy was visually very impressive winning his sophomore debut in the Palm Beach S.-G3 here last month. He overcame an outside draw to secure a good pace-prompting position and then kicked clear when the pressure was turned on from the head of the lane to the wire. Graded stakes placed twice as a 2-year-old and apparently better now than he was then, the B. Walsh-trained colt must pick up 6 lbs. today but we doubt the added impost will make much difference. The son of No Nay Never has the makings of an outstanding middle distance turf performer, but he’ll have to beat Decorated Invader, away since finishing a much troubled fourth beaten just over a length in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf, a race he could have won with any kind of racing luck. The C. Clement-trained son of Declaration of War may not be totally cranked up but even at 90 percent he’s dangerous for the powerful jockey/trainer team of Rosario and Clement. Given his recent win over the course, Vitalogy deserves the edge on top but both must be included in rolling exotic play.

See Race Video, Vitalogy

See Race Video, Decorated Invader

RACE 5: Post 1:30 ET. Grade: B+
Use: 3-Network Effect; 11-Almashriq
Forecast: Draw a line through this three substandard grass races and Almashriq looks like a very nice colt. Originally a $1.2 million Keeneland yearling purchase, the Shadwell Stable 4-year-old was impressive winning a first-level allowance race in his recent U. S. debut over this track and distance, finding more when it was needed in the final furlong after racing on the lead inside under pressure every step of the way. Today, the K. McLaughlin-trained colt is cozily drawn outside in a field without much pace, so L. Saez has the option of taking control early or stalking and pouncing when the time is right. The son of War Front will need to produce a forward move to win on the raise, but seems more than capable of doing just that, and at 8-1 on the morning line he offers plenty of value both in the win pool and in rolling exotic play. Also worth including is Network Effect, freshened since finishing far back behind Maximum Security in the Cigar Mile-G1 in December but with prior speed figures that are good enough to win at this level. The C. Brown-trained colt won his debut so we know he can fresh and has a lovely pace-stalking style for this one-turn mile trip.

See Race Video, Almashriq

RACE 6: Post 2:00 ET. Grade: B-
Use: 1-Harvey Wallbanger; 2-Bodexpress; 6-American Tattoo
Forecast: This is one of the more difficult races on the program with many question marks that require a significant spread in rolling exotic play. Each of the three listed above are capable of winning if the race shape goes their way. Consistency has never been Harvey Wallbanger’s middle name but when the 4-year-old colt has his mind on running he can be extremely effective in middle distance graded events, especially over the Gulfstream Park main track. A winner of the Holy Bull S.-G2 here last year and showing a return to that form with a dominating score in a strong second-level allowance race here last month, the stretch running son of Congrats came against slow fractions in his last victory and today should have more than an ample amount of pace to set things up for his late kick. Whether he can turn in two alike remains to be seen, but on the chance that he can we’ll put him on top. American Tattoo was out of his element in the McKnight S.-G23 over 12 furlongs on turf last time out but returns to his preferred surface and shortens to a mile and one-eighth, conditions that should bring out his best. A Grade-1 winner in South America, the T. Pletcher-trained horse projects to enjoy a perfect second-flight trip behind the fast leaders and then have dead aim and every chance from the quarter pole home. Bodexpress is a need-the-lead type and always is dangerous when he inherits the role as the controlling speed. With the presence of committed front-runner Rare Form also in the field, his preferred trip is problematic, but if he can shake free early, he could take this field a very long way.

See Race Video, Harvey Wallbanger

RACE 7: Post 2:30 ET. Grade: B+
Use: 7-Walk In Marrakesh; 9-Seducer
Forecast: Seducer is making a substantial leap in class – from a debut maiden win straight into the listed $100,000 Sanibel Island Stakes – but the way she performed in her only outing at the Big A last November provides strong indication that she could very well be the goods. A smooth, athletic filly with a superior turn of foot, the C. Clement-trained filly won her race in gate-to-wire style but gave the impression that she just as easily could have stalked and pounced. The recent work tab at Payson Park indicates fitness, and at 8-1 on the morning line the daughter of Cairo Prince offers extreme value both in the win pool and in rolling exotic play. Walk in Marrakesh is a proven stakes-quality performer and is another that appears to be a bit of an overlay at 6-1 on the morning line. Nosed out in her U.S. debut in the Natalma S.-G1 at Woodbine last summer, she returned to suffer another heartbreaking defeat when missing by a head in her sophomore debut in the Florida Oaks-G3 at Tampa Bay Downs earlier this month. These are the two we’ll be using in our rolling exotics with Seducer getting top billing.
RACE 8: Post 3:00 ET. Grade: B
Use: 8-Vekoma; 7-Jackson
Forecast: Vekoma, away since crossing the wire 13th in the 2019 Kentucky Derby, certainly has shown he can fire fresh, having won his debut as a 2-year-old, but even more significant is his record around one turn, a perfect two-for-two that includes a victory in the Nashua S.-G2. This seven furlong trip looks ideal for his pace-stalking style, and if the son of Candy Ride returns as well as his connections expect, he’ll outclass this listed stakes group of sprinters. The work tab at Palm Beach Downs looks good and includes a bullet five furlong drill in 1:00 flat on March 6. That said, a major point of concern is that the G. Weaver barn isn’t known to win regularly with layoff runners – currently the stable is on a zero-for-23 streak – but hopefully this colt is good enough to buck the trend. Jackson won the World of Trouble S.-G3 here at six furlongs last month with a career top speed figure and has the style to be even more effective with an extra furlong to work with today. He’s a “must use” in rolling exotic play.

See Race Video, Jackson

RACE 9: Post 3:34 ET. Grade: B-
Use: 2-Zofelle; 6-La Signare; 12-Valedictorian
Forecast: With the scratching of the 9/5 morning line favorite Newspaperofrecord and the likely controlling speed Jakarta, this race takes on a whole different messy look, leading us to spread three-deep without any great conviction. Zofelle, a sharp Fair Grounds invader, packs a powerful late kick but won't have nearly as much early speed in here to compliment her late-running style as originally thought. With good racing luck, the B. Walsh-trained filly may still be able to produce the last run. La Signare came against slow fractions to finish a willing third in the The Very One S.-G3 and may have to do the same today. She’s always been most effective when held up and allowed to run late. Valedictorian, fourth in the Honey Fox S.-G3 in a race she probably needed, is drawn farther outside than we’d prefer but the veteran mare always has loved the local lawn and is eligible to move forward considerably with that tightener behind her. The pace projection is much more favorable for her with the softening of the pace scenario.

See Race Video, La Signare

RACE 10: Post 4:17 ET. Grade: B+
Use: 5-Gentle Ruler; 6-Mean Mary
Forecast: Gentle Ruler took a while to break her maiden but once she figured things out the late-developing daughter of Colonel John became a high class marathon grass specialist. Though she’s been freshened since winning the 12-furlong Dowager Stakes at Keeneland in October, the I. Wilkes-trained mare has trained eagerly and splendidly for her return while giving every indication that she’s ready to pick up where she left off. Her chief rival in this mile and three-eighths Grade-3 grass event for fillies and mares is Mean Mary, a lightly-raced and rapidly improving daughter of Scat Daddy who crushed her rivals in gate-to-wire fashion in the Le Prevoyante S.-G3 in late January. The G. Motion-trained filly has seen her speed figures rise with every outing, and in a race that projects to have soft early splits ‘Mary may take control early and never look back, just as she did her most recent score. We’ll be surprised if the winner isn’t one of these two, and both should be included in rolling exotic play. We’ll then press with extra tickets using Gentle Ruler in the win pool.

See Race Video, Mean Mary

See Workout, Gentle Ruler

RACE 11: Post 4:49 ET. Grade: B+
Use: 5-Spice Is Nice; 9-Tonalist’s Shape
Forecast: Tonalist Shape just beat Spice Is Nice on the square in Davona Dale S.-G2 at a one-turn mile here last month and they meet again stretching out an extra half furlong in this year’s edition of the Gulfstream Park Oaks-G2. Both fillies will be trying two-turns for the first time and both have pedigrees to improve as the distances increase. ‘Shape is perfect in five starts, and while her speed figures has gone up and down like a yo-yo she may be the type that does only what’s required. ‘Nice is a daughter of Curlin and therefore bred to develop as she matures. She really caught the eye when bravely keeping to her task to be well clear of the others in the Davona Dale, and we suspect the T. Pletcher-trained 3-year-old will move forward considerable off that performance. You have to use both in your rolling exotics; we’ll have a few extra tickets keying Spice Is Nice on top.

See Race Video, Tonalist’s Shape/Spice Is Nice

RACE 12: Post 5:26 ET. Grade: X
Single: 9-Zulu Alpha
Forecast: It’s hard to get past Zula Alpha, listed at 3/5 on the morning line, in today’s Pan American S.-G2 over a mile and one-half on turf. In a division that saw a different winner almost every time one of these marathon turf graded races was staged in North America last year, this veteran gelding finally seems to have established a pecking order following back-to-back victories over the local turf course, first in the middle distance Pegasus World Cup Turf-G1 in January and then most recently in the 11 furlong Mac Diarmeda S.-G2 here last month, a performance that earned him a career-top speed figure. A winner of 11 of 32 career starts, four of which have been accomplished at Gulfstream Park, the veteran son of Street Cry seems likely to continuing what he’s been doing, but at odds far too short to embrace. We’ll make him a short price rolling exotic single but otherwise sit it out.

See Race Video, Zulu Alpha

RACE 13: Post 6:00 ET. Grade:
Use: 1-English Bee; 3-March to the Arch
Forecast: This is a highly challenging renewal of the Appleton S.-G3 – a case can be made for several of these – but we’ll focus on just two and hope to get by in rolling exotic play. March to the Arch, a thoroughly genuine and consistent gelding, won the Sunshine Millions Turf here in January and then lost a toughie at Tampa Bay Downs when third, beaten a head, in the Tampa Bay S.-G3 the following month. Drawn comfortably inside, the M. Casse-trained son of Arch is right there with the rest of these on pure numbers and is listed at 8-1 on the morning line, so let’s put him on top and hope for good racing luck. English Bee, also listed at 8-1, was a fast-finishing second in the Canadian Turf S.-G2 over this course and distance last month and gets a significant eight pound shift in the weights in his favor with the colt that just beat him, Sombeyay. He’s a late-developing son of English Channel with speed figures that are progressing, and from his favorable inside draw the G. Motion-trained colt has a chance to take full advantage of a ground-saving trip. If you feel the need to go deeper than just these two, feel free, it’s that kind of grass grab bag.

RACE 14: Post 6:36 ET. Grade: X
Single: 7-Tiz the Law
Forecast: There really is no reason to pick against Tiz the Law in the afternoon’s featured event, the Florida Derby-G1. By all rights, the son of Constitution should be undefeated – his trip when beaten over a sloppy track Kentucky Jockey Club S.-G2 is legendary – and he certainly performed up to standard when easily capturing the Holly Bull S.-G3 over this main track in early February. The B. Tagg-trained 3-year-old has been kept on edge in the interim with a steady, healthy series of workouts, so in a race that sets up nicely for a second flight stalker, ‘Law looks every bit like a 6/5 morning line favorite should. We’ll make him a no-value rolling exotic single and to cap off a marvelous day of racing.

b>: See Race Video, Tiz the Law