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Saturday, April 04: Gulfstream Park Wagering Strategies

by Jeff Siegel

April 4, 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 12:45 ET. Grade: C+
Use: 5-Big Treasure; 8-Blessed Journey

Forecast: Blessed Journey isn’t one to entirely trust but the Gemologist gelding is plummeting in class to a realistic spot and may have found his friends in this $16,000 maiden claiming turf miler for older horses. Re-equipped with blinkers and switching to L. Saez, the R. Hess, Jr.-trained gelding is a one-paced type without a true style, but on pure numbers he really should be able to out-grind this field. At 2-1 on the morning line, though, he doesn’t really offer much value. Big Treasure is cut from the same cloth. The Treasure Beach colt is dropping to his lowest level ever and has speed figures that make him a fit in this league, but he’s another that tends to run in the same spot, displaying no real tactical speed or much of a closing kick. But against this bunch he might get his confidence up and at 8-1 on the morning line he’s certainly worth including in rolling exotic play. Tread lightly here.

RACE 2: Post 1:15 ET. Grade: C+
Use: 3-So Long Chuck; 8-Transistor; 10-Peppi the Hunter

Forecast: Low-level claiming main track milers meet in the second race, an open scramble that requires a spread in rolling exotic play. We’ll go three deep – two of them are stable mates - and hope to survive and advance. Transistor nosedives in class after failing to make the course over a sloppy track in his last appearance seven weeks ago in what was his first start in 10 months. This S. Joseph, Jr. barn can be very aggressive with its claiming stock, so with the spotty pattern and the poor recent run it’s not surprising to see the son of Forty Tales show up cheap. With the switch to L. Saez we’re going to assume the three-time Gulfstream Park winner has at least one more good one left, so based mostly on price we’ll put him on top and hope to get close to his morning line of 6-1. This same barn also is represented by another class dropper, the 2-1 morning line favorite Peppi the Hunter, who was taken for $12,500 following a good runner-up effort over this track and distance in early February and today surfaces for $7,000, not typically a healthy sign but standard operating procedure for this outfit. The son of U S Ranger is dangerous when he makes the running, but there are other front-running types in the field that make his trip a bit problematic. On the positive side, a recent half mile bullet workout at Gulfstream Park West (:47 1/5, fastest of 36) catches the eye along with the switch to go-to rider T. Gaffalione (33% with this jockey/trainer combo). The fly in the ointment with regards to the projected pace flow of the race is So Long Chuck, a four-time winner over the local main track and dropping to his lowest level ever. The Adios Charlie gelding is reunited with “win rider” E. Jaramillo, stretches out from seven furlongs, and has the kind of early zip that could make things sticky for Peppi the Hunter. ‘Chuck also has the second-off-the-layoff angle for a barn that has superior stats (29%) with this maneuver.

RACE 3: Post 1:45 ET. Grade: C
Use: 4-Long Story Short; 8-Toonie Loonie; 9-So Dar; 11-Bella Gianna

Forecast: Today’s third race is a messy bottom-rung maiden claiming sprint for older fillies and mares. We’ll go four deep while tossing in some big prices, but otherwise sit it out. So Dear is dropping all the way down from the maiden $50,000 level and actually did finish second in maiden special weight company in her debut last summer, so while her recent form looks suspect she’s never faced such weak company and could quickly find her confidence. She also has the route-to-sprint angle that we like and speed figures that look very competitive. Toonie Loonie, in the frame in her last pair and shortening up a half-furlong while switching to E. Jaramillo, probably is the one to fear most. She seems comfortable in her current role as a dirt sprinter and has numbers that are reasonable close to par for this level. You should also include a couple of long shots, Bella Giana (12-1) and Long Story Short (20-1). The former may be the quickest of the quick and with the return to the main track could get loose early and forget to stop, while the latter, in her third start off a layoff, has some back speed figures that make her competitive, gets off the rail, and could find herself within range if she leaves better today than she did last time out.

RACE 4: Post 2:15 ET. Grade: C+
Use: 1-Mighty Fast; 5-W W Archie; 9-War Act

Forecast: W. W Archie failed to draw in yesterday in a maiden $12,500 affair but shows up here for $16,000 in an equally soft spot. The son of Archarcharch has an improving pattern (his speed figure rose considerably between his first and second start) and he was more than five lengths clear of the rest when a reasonable third over this track and distance three weeks ago. On pure numbers, he’s a bit better than Mighty Fast, who, like W. W. Archie, will be making his third career start and also appears to be progressing with experience. However, Fast’s connections (Saez, Delgado) inspire much more confidence than ‘Archie’s and at 6-1 on the morning line he’ll probably wind up being a better price, so while we’ll include both in our rolling exotics we’ll give slight preference on top to Mighty Fast. The most dangerous of the closing types may be War Act, and at this extended sprint trip he could produce the last run from his outside draw. While lacking tactical speed, his numbers have gradually risen with each of his five career starts, though the barn has yet to win a race this year. Toss him in on a ticket or two.

RACE 5: Post 2:45 ET. Grade: C+
Use: 1-Little Bella; 4-Domineer; 9-Moon Eyes

Forecast: This grass grab bag has a number of possibilities and is yet another race that requires extended coverage in rolling exotic play. Little Bella makes a barn switch to J. Orseno, picks up J. Rosario, and draws the fence in this restricted (nw-2) $12,500 dash for fillies and mare. Fresh from a solid runner-up performance over this course and distance last month, the daughter of Paddy O’Prado should be capable of producing the last run, though her morning line of 2-1 is a bit problematic. Domineer will be equipped with blinkers for the first time and gets a major jockey change to E. Jaramillo, but both of her turf tries were below standard (albeit when facing much tougher) and the barn has had a slow year so far. You have to use her at 8-1 on the morning line. Moon Eyes was over-bet at 3/5 when fourth in the same race Little Bella exits – her second straight defeat at odds-on - and her lack of tactical speed in these abbreviated turf sprints has rendered her untrustworthy. However, she switches to L. Saez and will be running on late, so we suppose there’s a chance she could clunk up and win.

RACE 6: Post 3:15 ET. Grade: B-
Use: 4-Bardot; 7-Running Girl; 8-Kozy Dreams

Forecast: Here’s another maiden claimer, a $25,000 main track extended sprint for restricted to 3-year-old fillies. The best of the experienced runners would seem to be Kozy Dreams, a first-off-the-claim play from a barn that doesn’t have great stats with this angle. However, she’s finished in the money in three of four career starts and most recently was second, nearly six lengths clear of the rest, at this level last month with career top speed figure. She looks like a play at or near her morning line of 6-1. The T. Pletcher first-time starter Bardot, likely to get plenty of play, doesn’t have a great pattern. The daughter of Candy Ride brought $97,000 as a weanling and shows up cheap, hardly a sign of confidence, and a video of a mid-February workout was something less than inspiring - view video. Yet, how good does she really have to be to act with group? Running Girl debuts for K. O’Connell, a very competent trainer with first-timers, and as a daughter of Run Away and Hide she has a right to at least have some early speed. Throw her in at 12-1 on the morning line.

RACE 7: Post 3:47 ET. Grade: B
Use: 1-Dark Ages; 7-Im the Captain Now; 10-Mystical Moon

Forecast: Dark Ages is intriguing at 6-1 on the morning line in this restricted (nw-3) $12,500 claiming turf miler. Exiting a pair of rapid turf sprints, breaking from the rail, and switching to J. Rosario, the son of J. P.’s Gusto could easily find himself as the controlling speed. The barn has superior stats with the sprint-to-route angle and sharp half mile breeze around dogs on turf last week should have him right on edge. Im the Captain Now, beaten a head in a recent restricted (nw-3) $20,000 middle distance turf affair last month, shows up for $12,500 today, his fourth straight class drop, hardly a healthy sign. The B. Tagg-trained gelding is winless in almost two year so perhaps the connections are simply getting realistic with the once-promising gelding, who had enough talent to win an allowance at Saratoga in the summer of 2018. In his good days, he was a deep closing mini-marathoner, so at this one mile trip the son of Trappe Shot may need some good fortune. Mystical Moon is drawn farther outside than we’d prefer but after winning a restricted (nw-2) $16,000 seller over this course and distance last month with a competitive number the B. Lynch-trained gelding, who was entered and scratched out of a tougher race yesterday, may have a bit of a look if he can negotiate a decent trip.

RACE 8: Post 4:18 ET. Grade: B+
Use: 2-Ghostly Beauty; 8-Yolanda’s Pride

Forecast: Ghostly Beauty was a somewhat unlucky loser when worn down by Lookinlikeaqueen in a similar state-bred first-level allowance turf miler last month. She found herself pressing the pace 3-wide without cover every step of the way, and then, after striking the front in mid-stretch, couldn’t quite hold off the late-runner and had to settle for second, beaten less than a length. She’s all but assured of a ground-saving trip from her 2-hole post today, switches to L. Saez (who jumps off ‘Queen to ride her) and sports a bullet half mile main track breeze (:46 3/5, fastest of 39) since raced. In projecting the race flow, we envision ‘Beauty sitting just behind the likely pacesetter Yolanda’s Pride and then have every chance to exert her superiority from the quarter pole home. While the main push will go to Ghostly Beauty, ‘Pride should be included on a ticket or two as a saver. The lightly-raced 3-year-old filly was fairly convincing with a gate-to-wire score over this course and distance in a starter optional claimer last month and today picks up J. Rosario. Similar front-running tactics are sure to be employed, and if not respected the S. Klesaris-trained filly could take this field a long way.

RACE 9: Post 4:49 ET. Grade: B
Use: 5-Inter Miami; 6-Silverly Enough

Forecast: Silverly Enough shortens to his preferred trip, switches to L. Saez, and seems well-placed for a snap back performance after failing at 6/5 when pressing the pace and fading at one-turn mile against a similar starter optional claiming field last month. He shows two sprint races among the five in his chart that show speed figures good enough to beat this field, so we’ll put him on top but as a single. Inter Miami, overmatched and out of his element when last of 12 two-turning on grass in the Cutler Bay Stakes last week, is wheeled back quickly and realistically spotted. Low profile connections notwithstanding, the son of Big Drama has a look off his game state-bred win over this track and distance two runs back. We’ll have tickets using both in our rolling exotics and then press a bit with Silverly Enough on top.

RACE 10: Post 5:20 ET. Grade: B
Use: 3-First Premio; 8-Class and Cash; 9-Penalty; 11-Halladay

Forecast: This is a race loaded with speed, so we’re looking at the stalkers/closers to have an edge in a highly-competitive three-other-than grass miler for older horses. Penalty is starting to get very good as he matures and is better than his morning line of 12-1 gives him credit for. The lightly-raced (just 10 starts) 5-year-old son of Blame was especially sharp wearing down next-out winner Largent in a fast, highly rated affair over this course and distance in late February and sports a strong, steady work tab since, including a recent bullet half mile drill (:49 2/5, fastest of nine) just a few days ago. E. Zayas stays aboard and will give this W. Mott-trained horse the patient ride he requires. First Premio, exiting a series of five stakes races, most recently when fifth beaten just a length in the Shadow Turf Mile-G1 last fall, has a history of firing fresh and is strictly the one to beat. That said, the M. Casse-trained 6-year-old has been less than impressive in his workouts leading up to this race - view video - however, that might be nothing more than par for the course for him. We’ll try to beat him but we have to use him. Tropical Park Derby winner Halladay, a self-caused troubled fourth in the Tampa Bay S.-G3 in early February, has form on his best day that puts him right there but T. Pletcher-trained son of War Front must leave from the far outside and will need luck to secure any kind of trip. We might use him as a saver on a ticket or two but nothing more. Class and Cash, victorious 13 races from 35 lifetime outings including four over the local lawn but winless since September of 2018, switches to J. Rosario and should settle in just behind the leaders and have dead aim entering the lane. He’s eight years old now and probably has a lost a step but given the connections he’s worth tossing in somewhere.

RACE 11: Post 5:52 ET. Grade:
Use: 3-I’ll Fight Dempsey; 4-Sonneman

Forecast: I’ll Fight Dempsey was quite impressive winning his debut sprinting from the rail with a big speed figure in late February and had the form franked when runner-up Candy Machine came back to break his maiden yesterday. Three successive bullet workouts since that race gives strong indication that the son of Into Mischief is prepared to step forward, and while there may be other speed in the field we’re expecting to see the T. Pletcher-trained colt employ similar gate-to-wire tactics right back. As a back-up, you should definitely consider the come-backing Sonneman, a maiden winner with a strong number last fall at Belmont Park and making his sophomore debut with a healthy series of workouts and a pedigree (Curlin) that should guarantee that he’ll be better as a 3-year-old than he was at two. Not a speed type and probably needing more ground than seven furlongs, the M. Hennig-trained colt picks up J. Rosario and could be dangerous if the pace flow turns up hot and contested.

RACE 12: Post 6:24 ET. Grade: C+
Use: 8-Avenida Manana; 9-Trilby; 12-Paint the Corners

Forecast: The finale is a grass miler for $16,000 claiming fillies and mares. We’ll approach this race with caution. Avenida Manana probably doesn’t offer a whole lot of value at 9/5 on the morning line but she certainly can win in her first start off a claim for R. Hess, Jr. A winner of her last three by an aggregate margin of less than a length, the daughter of Street Boss gets extra points for knowing where the wire is and has the ideal stalking style that should produce a comfortable pace-stalking trip. The fact that she’s not being protected on the raise is of mild concern and it’s somewhat surprising that despite her record she’s only been claimed the one time out of the six races she’s competed for a tag. We suspect there’s a reason. Paint the Corners and Trilby, four-five finishers in a similar affair here last month, also have a right to run well, as both are four-time winners over the local turf course. Unlike Avenida Manana, Trilby has been extremely popular at the claim box, having changed hands in each of her last four starts, and has been fairly consistent, though her numbers are a bit soft. Paint the Corners, stuck way out in the 12-hole, switches to E. Jaramillo and may have enough tactical speed to get over and secure a decent spot, but it’s no slam dunk. At 10-1 on the morning line she’s worth using on a ticket or two.