Log In

Saturday, April 11: Gulfstream Park Wagering Strategies

by Jeff Siegel

April 11, 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 12:30 ET. Grade:
Use: 1-Bolt; 7-Primo Posto; 9-Goldenlineof; 11-Venerate

Forecast: The Saturday 13-race program begins with an inscrutable five furlong turf sprint for restricted (nw-2) $12,500 claimers. Best advice is to use as many as your budget allows in rolling exotic play. We’ll try to survive and advance going four-deep. Primo Pasto, freshened since late December, is re-equipped with blinkers, drops to his lowest level ever, and has a few “buried” numbers that make him dangerous. He broke his maiden sprinting on grass at Colonial Downs, so this abbreviated dash fits him nicely. With a clean break he could find himself in a perfect stalking position, ready to pounce. Goldenlineof returns to grass and can win a race like this with a repeat of his race-before-last when beaten a neck in a slightly stronger abbreviated grass dash that earned him a career top speed figure. But can you trust a horse that has a career record of 1-for-36? The short answer is no, but on pure form he’s actually a legitimate contender. Venerate returns cheap in his first outing since the fall for a barn that has poor stats with layoff runners. But the Treasure Beach gelding has a prior win over the local lawn and speed figures from last year put him in the picture, so at 10-1 on the morning line you have to use him. Bolt represents inside speed and in fact may be the quickest leaving the gate. His numbers aren’t strong but if he can shake loose early he could get brave. Controlling speed always is dangerous, so you have to include him, as well.

RACE 2: Post 12:58 ET. Grade: X
Single: 3-Witch Hunter

Forecast: The second half of the early daily double is a bottom-rung maiden claiming one-turn miler for fillies and mares that features a typical (for this outfit) huge class dropper from the S. Joseph, Jr. barn. Witch Hunter, plummeting from the maiden $50,000 ranks, is a complete standout on just about any handicapping factor you wish to apply, but that’s why she’s 4/5 on the morning line. The Khozan filly removes blinkers in her second start since joining this high percentage barn, is a standout on speed figures, and has a good stalking style that should keep her free of trouble. She’s an obvious short price rolling exotic single in a race that otherwise offers no real wagering value.

RACE 3: Post 1:26 ET. Grade: B
Use: 3-Light Fury; 4-Queen’s Mason; 5-Chill Haze

Forecast: Chill Haze makes his first start since being claimed for $50,000 by new trainer S. Joseph, Jr., whose strike rate with the first-off-the-claim angle is an amazing 40 percent. The son of Justin Phillip returns at the same level, switches to the barn’s go-to rider T. Gaffalione and seems sure to improve in just his third career start. At 3-1 on the morning line there’s some value to be found but given the connections we suspect he’ll go lower. Queen’s Mason is a strong fit on speed figures based on form in straight maiden company in Kentucky last fall. Off the layoff with a moderate work tab for trainer M. Trombetta (fair stats with come-backers), the son of Liaison is no sure thing to be fit and ready but if he is, he can be dangerous. Light Fury, an okay third at 53-1 after a bit of a slow start in his debut vs. similar last month, has a right to improve a bit and may be worth tossing in on a ticket or two as a saver.

RACE 4: Post 1:54 ET. Grade: C
Use: 2-Free Flayme; 3-Enzoexpress; 5-Azkaree

Forecast: From a horseplayer’s standpoint, this is a brutal race, the cheapest carded on this circuit (nw-2 $6,250 claimer). There’s a 7/5 morning line favorite, Enzoexpress, making his first start since September and plummeting from $50,00 to the bottom, making his condition a huge question mark. On the positive side, the barn has superior stats with layoff runners and the work tab looks reasonable, so if the Tapizar gelding has one good one left he’ll beat this field, but at a price that won’t be worth taking. Free Flayme, in the frame in his last pair and with speed figures that are par for this level, makes a highly favorable jockey change to P. Lopez, exits a productive heat, and should be forwardly placed, perhaps even on the lead if the favorite doesn’t display his usual zip. The barn’s been cold lately but this gelding is in good form and should at least get a piece of it. Azkaree won at first asking with a speed figure that makes him competitive but where has he been since mid-January? The work tab is suspect, as well. There are too many question marks, so we’ll pass the race.

RACE 5: Post 2:23 ET. Grade: B+
Single: 6-Lashara

Forecast: Lashara spun her wheels sprinting on dirt in her debut last month but that race was fairly strong and already has produced a next-out winner among the also-rans. Today, this much-better-than-shown 3-year-old filly stretches out to a mile and switches to grass, and her workouts indicate she’s a much better mover and much more comfortable on the lawn, so we’re expecting massive improvement. With L. Saez staying aboard, the M. Casse-trained daughter of American Pharoah should be comfortably placed throughout and then have every chance to kick home when called upon. At 8-1 on the morning line she’s a strong straight play and rolling exotic single.

RACE 6: Post 2:52 ET. Grade: B+
Single: 6-War Detonator

Forecast: Prior to his debut in September of his 2-year-old season, War Detonator had trained very impressively on dirt while acting like an excellent prospect; however, owning to his pedigree the son of Declaration of War was asked to debut going long on the lawn. Though well-backed as the favorite, he never got untracked, and after a wide trip in a slowly-run race the C. Brown-trained colt finished a well-beaten eighth and then disappeared. Now four, he returns for new trainer C. Clement sprinting on dirt following a series of noteworthy bullet drills over the deep Payson Park training track, and we suspect this son of War Front from the stakes winning A. P. Indy mare Diva Spirit will show the kind of speed that can win this older maiden extended sprint. At 15-1 on the morning line (don’t expect to get it) we’ll make him a strong win gamble and rolling exotic single.

RACE 7: Post 3:22 ET. Grade: C+
Use: 5-King Orb; 6-National Honor; 7-Derby Champagne

Forecast: The seventh race is grass grab bag for $16,000 older claiming milers that drew a full field. Spread as deeply as you can afford to. Derby Champagne may rate a very slight edge on top after missing by a neck vs. $25,000 foes when rallying against the grain last time out. He’s more than good enough on speed figures to beat this field, but he’s been sparingly raced of late and in fact is dropping in class as if he’s for sale. The switch to T. Gaffalione is a positive move, so if he has one good one left and is able to negotiate a decent trip, the veteran son of Pulpit could get up in time. National Honor rallied from far back to win a similar event over this course last month but he’s a deep closer vulnerable to slow or moderate fractions and needs everything to break his way to be successful. He’s a two-time winner over the Gulfstream Park grass course but the J. Cibelli-trained gelding finished off the board more times in his 23 race career than he’s finished on it, so we’ll include him without necessarily trusting him. King Orb, a four-time winner over the local lawn and returning to the straight $16,000 claiming ranks, could find himself comfortably placed in a stalking position in a race that may not produce much pace. First or second in nine of 20 career starts, the R. Crichton-trained gelding has several back speed figures that make him dangerous.

RACE 8: Post 3:52 ET. Grade: B+
Use: 1-Per Capita; 7-Colonial Liam

Forecast: Colonial Liam breezed a quarter mile in 20 4/5 seconds at the 2019 OBS April sale and then brought $1.2 million through the ring. The son of Liam’s Map finally makes it to the races a year later and has done enough good work at Palm Beach Downs for trainer T. Pletcher to be fit and ready in this maiden special weight event that didn’t come up particularly deep. He’s a strong, powerful colt with plenty of substance and nice long stride, so it makes sense to debut him at this one-turn mile trip. At 5/2 on the morning line we’ll put him on top, but also include in our rolling exotics the come-backing Per Capita. The son of Tapit earned a couple of fairly decent speed figures when third and then sixth in a pair of appearances in New York last summer before being stopped on, and it’s possible he’ll be a better type this time around following a nice series of workouts at Payson Park. The C. Brown barn is 28% with layoff runners, so we’ll include him on our ticket just in case Colonial Liam doesn’t quite meet our expectations.

RACE 9: Post 4:23 ET. Grade: C+
Use: 2-Givemetwenty; 4-Young Raymond; 7-Zanno; 9-Miami Crockett

Forecast: This race came up extremely strong and contentious, featuring at least four major players and requiring a considerable spread in rolling exotic play. <b<givemetwenty< b="">was sharp in his first outing since June and his first on grass when beating maiden $50,000 foes over this course and distance last month with a good stalking trip and a better than par speed figure. If the R. Nicks-trained colt can duplicate or slightly improve that effort, he’ll have a reasonable chance to score right back. Young Raymond easily handled a maiden $25,000 group sprinting on grass in late February and was claimed by M. Maker, who raises him to the starter optional $50,000 level in a sign of confidence. The Gemologist gelding switches to T. Gaffalione and may be the speed of the speed. Miami Crockett is a perfect two-for-two over the local lawn and has a good stalking style that he can employ from his outside draw. On pure numbers, he’s right there with the rest of them. Zanno returns protected by W. Ward while removing blinkers in his first start since finishing second in an allowance race at Colonial Downs last August. The works indicate he’s plenty fit, and he earned numbers as a 2-year-old that make him a strong threat in this class. Though he was on the lead in both of his grass outings last year, he’s been trained to come from off the pace this time around, so we’re be expecting to see a change in tactics from the son of Verrazano.

RACE 10: Post 5:38 ET. Grade: B-
Use: 1-Boerne; 4-Gogo Shoes; 7-Lastchanceforlove

Forecast: This is an interesting first-level allowance sprint for 3-year-old fillies, with the three main contenders each last-out maiden winners but from different circuits. Boerne ran to her good workouts when winning over the Gulfstream Park main track last month in gate to wire fashion and similar tactics surely will be employed again due to her inside draw. The daughter of Fed Biz shortens up a half-furlong and appears quick enough to establish the pace. We’ll see what she’s made of from the quarter pole home. Lastchanceforlove won at first asking at Fair Grounds like a quality filly and earned a speed figures that makes her a strong fit on the raise. She’ll be part of the pace throughout, perhaps as a presser or a stalker, and then will have her shot when the pressure is turned on into the lane. Gogo Shoes parlayed a nice stalking trip into a powerful maiden score at Tampa Bay Downs last month and did so with a speed figures that makes her tops in that department in this field. This is a much better group, but with just two career outings the daughter of Carpe Diem has plenty of room for growth, picks up P. Lopez, and is a “must use” as 6-1 on the morning line.

RACE 11: Post 5:24 ET. Grade: B-
Use: 4-Supreme Aura; 10-Battle of Blenheim

Forecast: Battle of Blenheim, a winner of his last two but dropping from $50,000 to $35,000 in his first start since early January and drawing a bit farther out (post 10) then is ideal, nonetheless deserves the edge on top in this middle distance turf affair for older horses. Despite the class drop, the veteran gelding remains above his $25,000 purchase price and a bullet recent five furlong dirt workout (1:01 1/5, fastest of 10) gives indication that the son of War Front, who has run well fresh several times in the past, is ready to resume his winning ways. There’s nothing attractive about his probable price (he’s the 9/5 morning line favorite) but he’s a versatile sort who can win on the lead or from off the pace, so L. Saez can assess the situation and pick the proper path. Supreme Aura is worth including in rolling exotic play as well. A sharp winner over a sloppy track in a $40,000 seller at Aqueduct in February, the Candy Ride gelding makes his first start off the claim for new trainer D. Fawkes and has main track numbers that make him competitive on this circuit. His one grass race – a five furlong sprint at Fair Grounds last year vs. tougher - wasn’t bad (he finished a closing fourth) so we doubt the surface switch will be an issue. At 6-1 on the morning line, you can use him as a back-up or a saver.

RACE 12: Post 5:54 ET. Grade: B-
Use: 4-Liza Star; 7-Heiressall; 9-Pacific Gale

Forecast: This is a good, competitive third-level allowance main track sprint for fillies and mares. Our top choice is Liza Star, a veteran win-machine from the P. Walder barn fresh from a sharp score with a strong figure in a softer allowance dash here two weeks ago. She’s most comfortable on the lead but can stalk and pounce if necessary, so M. Vasquez has that option if he senses that J. P’s Delight, drawn inside of her, is hellbent on going to front. ‘Star, a winner of nine races over the Gulfstream Park main track, is listed at 6-1 on the morning line, a good value at that number for such a professional race mare. Heiressall was overmatched in the Herecomesthebride S-G3 last month but should go much better in this league. She’ll likely draft into a second flight early position and then try to rally from there. It may be significant that she switches to P. Lopez and her career top speed figure was earned when Lopez rode her to a runner-up effort in a state-bred stakes over this main track last summer. Pacific Gale, away since last summer when she was consistently competing and getting pieces of the purse in graded stakes races at Belmont Park and Saratoga, has worked slowly and easily for her return, and it’s possible she’s a race away from behind dead tight. The other concern is her lack of good gate zip from an extreme outside post at this six furlong distance. However, it’s been awhile since she’s seen this level of competition so we’ll include her in rolling exotic play.

RACE 13: Post 6:25 ET. Grade: C+
Use: 4-Flyoff; 7-Bondurant; 9-Twenty Four Seven

Forecast: The finale is a $16,000 claiming turf miler, a split of today’s seventh race and every bit as challenging. With no strong opinion, we’ll use three in our rolling exotics and hope to get a decent price home. Twenty Four Seven, once good enough to compete in the 2018 Arlington Million S.-G1, has been sparingly raced since but won a race over this course and distance in early February and was claimed by S. Joseph, Jr. The veteran gelding returns at the same level following a two month vacation and picks up the barn’s go-to rider, L. Saez, so if he’s feeling up to it the son of City Zip could score right back. Bondurant is winless in nine career starts over the Gulfstream Park turf course but needs to be held up and allowed to produce the last run and given that type of ride from L. Reyes he could make his presence felt in the closing stages. The M. Maker-trained gelding is worth consideration at 8-1 on the morning line. Flyoff, nosed out by Twenty Four Seven two runs back but sixth with a wide trip vs. tougher in his most recent outing, is back where he belongs today, switches to E. Zayas, and should be primed for a big effort in his third start off a long layoff. He’s a lightly-raced six-year-old that has hit the board in six of 10 career starts.