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Friday, April 03: Gulfstream Park Wagering Strategies

by Jeff Siegel

April 3, 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.

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 1:00 ET. Grade: C
Use: 1-Missandei; 2-Capeline; 3-Princess Crystal

Forecast: Let’s be kind and describe this as a “modest” race for the level. We’ll use three in our rolling exotics but the best advice is to include as many as your budget allows. Missandei rates top billing because she hasn’t shown she can’t run. A first-time starter from a sharp barn with a healthy work tab and a good inside draw, the daughter of Fed Biz sports a 1:00 2/5 drill last month around dogs on grass at Palm Meadows in a move that indicates she has at least some ability. Capeline was beaten less than five lengths with a wide trip in her sprint debut in February and has every right to improve with that bit of experience behind her. L. Panici rides her back, so there’s that. Princess Crystal is an 11-race maiden from a low profile outfit, but she missed by a neck over this course and distance two runs back and not much more will be needed for her to earn a diploma. She’s the 2-1 morning line favorite.

RACE 2: Post 1:34 ET. Grade: B+
Single: 4-Flaming Hot

Forecast: Flaming Hot seems fairly solid in this $16,000 claiming sprint for 3-year-olds and we’d have to think he’ll go considerably lower than his morning line of 3-1. The Khozan gelding has steadily rising speed figures (and a huge edge in this department over his rivals) and most recently ran a winning race when beaten a nose while two lengths clear of the rest against a similar group over this track and distance last month. A repeat of either one of his last three races would be more than good enough to handle this task, so let’s make him a straight play and rolling exotic single.

RACE 3: Post 2:05 ET. Grade: C
Use: 1-Captain Yenner; 3-Not Now Rated; 8-Newyork Giant

Forecast: Here’s another soft maiden claimer, this one a six furlong sprint fort older horses entered for $12,500. Newyork Giant flopped badly at 3/5 in a similar affair in late January but before that ran a winning race when a troubled runner-up (beaten a head) while earning a speed figured that would be good enough to beat this group. Freshened since late January and getting a considerable upgrade in jockey with the switch to E. Jaramillo, the S. Joseph, Jr.,-trained gelding should be capable of producing the last run. Not Now Rand, a solid runner-up two races back in a tougher maiden $25,000 sprint but a well-beaten fourth at 6/5 last time out, drops to his lowest level ever and is a major contender with this group with a repeat of his best effort. L. Saez stays aboard, a positive sign. Captain Yenner is a class-dropping first-time gelding adding blinkers, so there are reasons to be optimistic that the lightly-raced sophomore has room to improve. The connections don’t win very often but in a soft race at 6-1 on the morning line he’s worth including as a back-up on a ticket or two.

RACE 4: Post 2:36 ET. Grade: C+
Use: 1-Threshold; 8-Abdaa; 12-Plan of Attack

Forecast: Anything goes in this messy maiden claiming turf miler for 3-year-olds. We’ll use three and hope that’s enough. The known element certainly doesn’t inspire, so let’s take a stab with a newcomer from a good barn. Abdaa, a homebred first-timer by Animal Kingdom and therefore bred to run long on the lawn, shows a steady series of recent workouts at Palm Meadows that should have him plenty fit for trainer M. Pino, who has an excellent recent record (33% with a strong flat-bet profit) with newcomers. At 8-1 on the morning line, he won’t have to be a world beater to pull off a surprise against a modest bunch. Threshold has the benefit of the rail draw and should draft into a good ground-saving spot and have every chance from there. The son of Karakontie didn’t really show that much when facing maiden $50,000 foes over this course and distance in mid-February but the M. Casse-trained colt switches to T. Gaffalione and earned a “buried” number that makes him a major player at this level. At 5-1 on the morning line, he’s a “must use.” Plan of Attack is stuck in the 12-hole, hardly an ideal post at a mile on this turf course. Claimed for $16,000 by K. O’Connell in mid-February out of a better-than-looked fourth place finish from off the pace, the son of War Front switches to E. Zayas and could be dangerous if given the patient ride he apparently prefers.

RACE 5: Post 3:08 ET. Grade: B
Use: 2-Dalarna; 7-Power Walker; 8-My Point Exactly

Forecast: In his present form, Dalarna should be hard to beat in his quest to extend his winning streak to four. Capable of winning on the front end or from a comfortable stalking position, the veteran gelding can choose his spot from his ideal inside draw, but at 7/5 on the morning line there’s probably not much value to be found. There are two others worth considering in rolling exotic play, at least as backups. Power Walker, a razor sharp Tampa Bay Downs invader with speed figures that fit, can be very effective on the front end but equally dangerous as a stalker. A winner of two of three career outings over the local lawn, the son of Stroll is reunited with favorite pilot E. Jaramillo and is fresh from earning a career top speed figure when beating a straight $16,000 claiming field. These are tougher, but you have to use him somewhere. My Point Exactly, first or second in his last four starts, was no match when chasing home Dalarma two races back but he’s a nine time winner over the Gulfstream Park grass course and has the kind of tactical speed that ensures a trouble-free trip.

RACE 6: Post 3:39 ET. Grade: B+
Single: 3-Candy Machine

Forecast: Candy Machine flashed plenty of ability when a strong runner-up to the highly-regarded I’ll Fight Dempsey in his racing debut in late February and the son of Candy Ride seems sure to improve a bunch with that race behind him and this stretch out in trip. Drawn comfortably in post three with the short run to the clubhouse turn, the 3-year-old colt should secure an ideal pace-stalking position and then have every chance to verify his strong backing on the tote. Worth noting is trainer C. Brown’s sensational record with second-time starters (35%) and with the sprint-to-route angle (37%). At 8/5 on the morning line and likely to go lower, he’s a short price rolling exotic single.

RACE 7: Post 4:10 ET. Grade: B+
Single: 2-Interest

Forecast: Interest, from a barn that can be very aggressive with its claiming stock, drops sharply in class for the money run and rates top billing as a straight play and rolling exotic single in this moderate claiming turf miler. The S. Joseph, Jr.-trained sophomore filly lost in her first outing for these connections when stumbling badly at the start in a much tougher starter’s optional claimer last month but against this group, especially with the popular blinkers-off angle, she appears more than capable of bouncing back. The daughter of Pioneerof the Nile is reunited with “win rider” L. Saez, lands an ideal draw, and should be along in time from a good second flight, stalking position. She’s 3-1 on the morning line and we’ll take it if we can get it.

RACE 8: Post 4:41 ET. Grade: B+
Use: 3-So Cunning; 4-Off Topic

Forecast: Off Topic projects as a very short price favorite in her first start since winning a good allowance race at Belmont last summer, and if she returns as well as she left the daughter of Street Sense will be tough to beat in this second-level allowance one-turn miler for fillies and mares. T. Pletcher hits at a remarkable 30 percent with layoff runners, so you have to suspect that this multiple-graded stakes place filly is fit and ready. However, at even money on the morning line, there’s not much value to be found, so while we’ll certainly include her in rolling exotic play, the main punch both in the rolling exotics and in the win pool will go to the undefeated but unproven (and much better priced) So Cunning. A winner last May in her debut at Delaware Park and then most recently thoroughly dominant in an allowance sprint victory at Tampa Bay Downs, she’ll certainly need to step things up in this much stronger affair but could easily be up to the task. In that Tampa Bay win the daughter of Blame was bottled up from the 5/8ths pole to the top of the stretch while full of run, then got clear and accelerated quickly to win going away without taking as much as a deep breath. How good is she? We’ll find out today but at 10-1 on the morning line for the always-powerful C. Clement/J. Rosario team she’s certainly worth the gamble.

RACE 9: Post 5:12 ET. Grade: C+
Use: 3-Tapit to Ride; 5-Laska; 11-Polished Copper

Forecast: Tapit to Ride, a $250,000 yearling purchase by Tapit from the dam of multiple graded stakes winner Winning Cause, has been reasonably competitive in maiden special weight races in a four career but today is being tossed away for $25,000, surely not a healthy sign for a filly that must have at least some residual value as a broodmare prospect. On pure form she really should handle this very soft assignment, but at even money on the morning there’s really not much we can do with her. Those interested in trying to beat the chalk should consider Lashka, dropping in class and with numbers that make her fairly competitive, and Polished Copper, poorly drawn outside and average at best according to her speed figures but switching to J. Rosario in her second off the claim for D. Fawkes. A solid runner-up effort at this level over this course and distance last time out provides some encouragement.