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Sunday, April 12: Gulfstream Park Wagering Strategies

by Jeff Siegel

April 12, 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 12:00 ET. Grade: B
Use: 2-Grimpante; 8-Toffen

Forecast: Grimpante was sent to Tampa Bay Downs for her debut in straight maiden company and wound up a moderate fifth, so today she’s being culled from the barn in this maiden $25,000 seller for 3-year-old fillies. She’s clearly no world beater but against this group the daughter of Empire Maker should be in her element. Drawn comfortably inside, switching to T. Gaffalione and a strong fit on speed figures, she offers wagering value at or near her morning line of 4-1. Toffen is listed at 12-1 on the morning line and also is worth including considering that price. The daughter of Cairo Prince had an unsuccessful try sprinting on dirt in her debut in December and returns for a tag, stretches out, and switches to grass for new trainer B. Lynch. A bullet 47 seconds workout around dogs on grass (fastest of 34) certainly catches the eye.

RACE 2: Post 12:29 ET. Grade: B-
Use: 2-Followhisfootsteps; 9-Lucktobeinamerica; 12-London Werewolf

Forecast: Class-dropper Luckytobeinamerica has been sprinting on turf and finding five furlongs a bit too sharp, especially against the tougher competition he’s been seeing. If he handles the dirt, he can beat this field. The D. Schettino-trained gelding has hit the board just once in four previous main track starts, all against tougher than he's facing today. Followhisfootsteps wound up a distant second as the favorite in a similar spot last month behind a runaway winner and clearly ran below his best form. It was his first start in more than two months, so maybe he needed it. Back in 17 days, the Field Commission gelding retains L. Saez, goes from outside to inside, and both of his career victories were accomplished over the local main track. London Werewolf looked good blowing away a bottom-rung field over this track and distance last month, earning a career-top equaling speed figure, and if he can duplicate that type of effort today he at least should outrun his morning line of 10-1.

RACE 3: Post 12:58 ET. Grade: B
Use: 3-Victory Tower; 6-Whiskey Sunrise

Forecast: Whiskey Sunrise flashed plenty of speed and promise when second in his debut last April but then disappeared. The son of Cajun Breeze returns protected as a first-time gelding and shows a bullet three furlong blowout (:35 flat, fastest of 29) last month, so we’ll assume he’s returning as well as he left. Victory Town has an improving pattern for M. Casse, and with another forward move certainly will be the one to fear most. These are the two we’ll be using in rolling exotic play with preference on top to Whiskey Sunrise.

RACE 4: Post 1:27 ET. Grade: B
Use: 1-The Girl Herself; 4-Saratoga Affair; 8-Pilot Episode

Forecast: Two very promising first-time starting fillies surface in this six furlong sprint and both appear capable of winning first crack out of the box. The Girl Herself is a daughter of American Pharoah from the T. Pletcher and has shown plenty of speed in the a.m., though the workout times don’t really tip her off her true ability. Assuming a clean break from the rail, she will take some catching, and at 5-1 on the morning line she offers plenty of wagering value. Saratoga Affair brought $400,000 at the 2019 OBS April Sale, where she was impressive breezing a furlong in 10 seconds. She missed her entire juvenile season and finally makes it to the races a year later. Although bred more for distance (Paynter from a Street Sense mare), the C. Brown-trained filly appears to have plenty of speed and with P. Lopez taking the call she won’t be waiting around for anybody. Pilot Episode has the benefit of a couple of prior runs, and with improving speed figures and adding Lasix for the first time the daughter of Speightstown is a “must use.” This appears to be a very good race on paper and it should take a pretty good filly to win it.

RACE 5: Post 1:56 ET. Grade: B-
Use: 2-Blue Magic; 7-Heir Ball; 9-Fiber Optic

Forecast: Blue Magic is logical on form but is dropping drastically from $35,000 to $16,000 in just her second start off the claim, so clearly trainer M. Maker isn’t particularly happy with the merchandise. Her lack of gate speed is always a concern in these abbreviated dashes but she has won twice over the course, so with decent fractions and a clear path she’ll be more than capable of producing a winning late kick. Heir Ball, first or second in 10 of 21 career starts, employs a nice pace-stalking style and won at this level three races back over this course and distance. Her numbers are solid and regular jockey V. Lebron always gets plenty of run out of her. Fiber Optic seeks her third straight score and is solid in the speed figure department. Undefeated in three prior outings over the Gulfstream Park lawn, the lightly-raced five-year-old mare isn’t being raised in class by new trainer R. Dibona, so there may be an issue, but if she has at least one good one left she certainly can win. At 8-1 on the morning line you have to include her somewhere.

RACE 6: Post 2:25 ET. Grade: B+
Use: 4-Risk Model; 5-Primacy

Forecast: Risk Model and Primacy, stable mates in C. Brown’s barn, make their second career starts in this one-turn mile maiden affair for fillies and mares and both seems certain to move forward considerably. The barn has a remarkable record with second-times starters, hitting at 35% with a flat-bred profit from a huge sample. Primacy, a daughter of Union Rags and therefore bred to improve with distance and experience, stretches out from six and one-half furlongs after finishing with a flourish but running out of room when second to Finding Fame, who came back to frank the form when winning on the raise earlier this week. She very likely will go lower than her morning line of 5/2. ‘Model was a respectable third over this track and distance after a bit of a slow start and a wide trip in a race that didn’t rate as highly in the speed figure department as the one Primacy exits, However, the runner-up in Risk Model’s event came back to win, so it was at least a fairly decent affair. Both should be included in rolling exotic play with preference on top to Primacy.

RACE 7: Post 2:57 ET. Grade: C+
Use: 3-Combination; 7-Ray’swarrior

Forecast: This $8,000 claiming sprint appears to have two main players in a race that we’re not really planning on getting too involved in. We’ll try to survive using just two. Ray’swarrior, claimed in each of his last five starts, finds himself in the K. Breen barn (good stats with the first-off-the-claim angle) and we suspect the hard-hitting gelding will display considerable improvement after tossing in a clunker as the favorite when competing in a starter optional $12,500 affair last time out. He’s an eight-time winner with two victories over the local main track and should be part of the pace throughout. Combination won the race Ray’swarrior exits and could easily extend his current winning streak to four after earning a career top number in that race. The son of Alternation does his best work from off the pace and gets an extra half furlong to work with today.

RACE 8: Post 3:28 ET. Grade: B+
Single: 1-Dyn

Forecast: Let’s go for a bit of a price in this maiden claiming turf mile. Dyn tries two-turns, grass, and maiden claiming company for the first time and from the rail seems certain to employ gate-to-wire tactics. Bred for the lawn on the dam’s side (Candy Ride) and switching to T. Gaffalione, the B. Lynch-trained gelding sports a pair of sharp grass drills, most recently a bullet :47 flat breezing move that was the fastest of 27 for the distance. Exiting a hot one-turn dirt mile, the grey sophomore should be able slow down the pace during the early stages as the controlling speed and then be fresh for the drive. At 8-1 on the morning line he’s a strong straight play and rolling exotic single.

RACE 9: Post 3:59 ET. Grade: C+
Use: 2-Merseyside; 4-Prospective Diva; 5-Cory Gal; 8-Shes All Woman

Forecast: We’ll sit out this very difficult first-level allowance sprint for fillies and mares and go four-deep in our rolling exotics while hoping to get home a decent price. Merseyside was blown away in the final furlong by Up in Smoke, but that talented filly came back to do the same thing on the raise, and Merseyside did hang on to finish almost four lengths clear of the others, so it was actually a pretty good effort. The main issue is that she’s drawn inside all of the other speed – and there’s plenty of it – so there’s a possibility of becoming a pace casualty. Cory Gal has only one way to go – on the front end – and won’t be waiting around to see what Merseyside is up to. The daughter of Corfu crushed a restricted (nw-2) $25,000 band by five lengths last month and did so with a speed figure that is better than par for this tougher spot. It was his first outing since being claimed by G. Delgado and her Beyer figure improved 17 points, so who knows where she’s level off? Prospective Diva and Shes All Woman will doing their best work from off the pace and will benefit if a pace duel develops. Both usually settle for minor awards but are capable of tagging the speed if things go their way.

RACE 10: Post 4:30 ET. Grade: C+
Use: 2-Sir Seamus; 10-Machiavelli; 11-Devoted Kitten

Forecast: Here’s another spread race, a one mile grass grab bag for restricted (nw-3) $20,000 older claimers. Devoted Kitten is solid on numbers, lightly raced, and capable of improving. Beaten a neck in a fairly strong race for the level, the son of Kitten’s Joy moves up a notch and will be dangerous if he can get over and secure a decent trip from outside post 11. His 5-1 morning line seems about right. Sir Seamus does his best work as the controlling speed, so from where he’s drawn the Handsome Mike gelding seems sure to employ gate-to-wire tactics, just as he did when winning a lesser race over this course and distance last month. The number was quite strong but was accomplished under pristine (lone speed) conditions. He may have to deal with more pace today, courtesy of need-the-lead BrasstownMachiavelli won a $40,000 non-winners of two in good style in early February but then was away for more than two months and shows up for half that amount today. If he’s okay for at least one more. The M. Casse-trained gelding certainly can win again.

RACE 11: Post 5:01 ET. Grade: B
Use: 3-Ms Meshak; 7-Naked Avenger; 8-Guacamole

Forecast: Naked Avenger has been doing some very good work over the Gulfstream Park West main track in preparation for her first start since October, and the T. Hills-trained filly, a stakes-winner in New York bred company as a 2-year-old, figures to be very live in this second-level allowance field if she returns as well as she left. She’s not a quick type but can turn it on late, and because she won her debut she clearly can fire fresh. L. Saez knows her well and will have her rolling late. Ms Meshak, in the money at this level in her last pair and solid in the speed figure department, is another that likes to settle and produce a good late run. Five times successful over the Gulfstream Park main track and a Florida-bred stakes winner, the daughter of Shackleford will need strong handling from the 7-pound bug to have her best chance. Guacamole backs up from a mile, lands the cozy outside post, and should be comfortably placed pressing or stalking the pace. Include her in your rolling exotics, at least as a back-up.

RACE 12: Post 5:32 ET. Grade: B-
Use: 4-Drama in Dixie; 10-Blazing Desire

Forecast: The finale is a $20,000 claiming turf miler restricted to 3-year-olds. We’ll use two, but if you feel the need to spread, go right ahead. Drama in Dixie is a first-time gelding exiting a tougher optional $25,000 claimer and should go better in this straight seller after a rough trip last time out. He’s most effective on or near the lead and projects to secure an ideal stalking spot from a comfortable draw. There’s a bit of value here at 8-1 on the morning line if you can get it. Blazing Desires is the 2-1 favorite and has to be included, though he’s drawn a bit farther out in the 10-hole than is ideal. The M. Maker-trained gelding takes a sharp drop in class (typical of this barn) and switches to L Saez, so if he fires his best shot, the son of Munnings will most likely verify his backing.