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Friday, April 17: Gulfstream Park Wagering Strategies

by Jeff Siegel

April 17, 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: 6-Flowzano; 7-Lookn Fine as Wine; 10-Harmonic Thunder

Forecast: The Friday opener is a messy affair, a pick-a-number-out-of-a-hat type race. We’ve rated it a “C” (least preferred, or pass). Harmonic Thunder has winning connections and a solid runner-up effort over this course and distance at this level last month, so she’s the obvious top pick in this maiden $16,000 turf miler for 3-year-old fillies. However, she certainly doesn’t have to win – according to her speed figures she really hasn’t made any progress in her four race career – but with little else to latch on to the daughter of Honor Code will get plenty of play by default. Lookn Fine as Wine, fifth as the favorite in the same race Harmonic Thunder exits, has the blinkers off angle that we like and numbers that fit but is hardly one to trust. Flowzano, away since early January and from a barn that has very good stats with layoff runners, shows the two-sprints-and-a-stretch pattern that always catches the eye and also will be adding blinkers. Could she get loose on the lead? Nothing would surprise us, so if you’re playing rolling exotics, use as many as your budget allows.

RACE 2: Post 1:34 ET. Grade: X
Single: 7-Golden Pal

Forecast: Golden Pal, a colt by Uncle Mo from the brilliantly-quick Lady Shipman, is 7/5 on the morning line but surely will go lower. The W. Ward-trained colt has done some exceptional work in the morning, including a breathtaking grass drill around dogs last week. This race is on the main track but the surface shouldn’t be an issue. There are a few others in here that have shown a bit of ability in their a.m. preps but nothing like this colt. He’ll be fun to watch.

RACE 3: Post 2:07 ET. Grade: C
Use: 3-Love Nest; 4-Summer Mischief; 8-Millionaire Runner

Forecast: Love Nest makes what would seem to be a favorable barn switch while returning to his winning level in this bottom-rung ($6,250) claimer and should settle into a comfortable stalking position and have every chance to seal the deal when the pressure is turned on. First or second in five of eight career starts over the Gulfstream Park main track and with recent speed figures good enough to beat this field, the son of Tizway switches to a stronger jockey and may offer some value at or near his morning line of 6-1. Summer Mischief finished second but was moved up to the top spot in a sloppy-track Tampa Bay Downs two-turner at this level last time out and today shortens to a one-turn mile. He’s been basically a need-the-lead route type throughout his career and received some good news this morning when his projected pace adversary Sensational Ride was scratched. He could easily get loose on the lead. Millionaire Runner represents the most dangerous of the closing types. The Warrior’s Reward gelding doesn’t often get there – he’s 3-for-44 overall – and would greatly appreciate some help up front but may not get as much as he needs. We’ll toss him in as a saver.

RACE 4: Post 2:39 ET. Grade: C+
Use: 5-Fast Fraction; 7-Garner State Park

Forecast: At first glance Fast Fraction doesn’t have what you’d call a healthy pattern. She finished a good second in a maiden $25,000 affair over this course and distance in December and makes her first start since while dropping into a maiden $16,000 event. However, her recent work pattern looks good (including a bullet :47 flat half mile drill, fastest of 34 April 4) and the aggressive placement of its claiming stock contributes to the impressive 25% win percentage of the S. Joseph, Jr. barn, so at 4-1 on the morning line the daughter of Algorithms looks like the one to beat. Garner State Park, a closing third in her debut under these conditions last month for T. Pletcher, has a right to improve for a barn that hits at 23% with second-timers. She’s obviously for sale but with L. Saez riding her back she could easily produce the last run. We’ll try to get by using just these two in rolling exotic play with a slight preference on top to Fast Fraction.

RACE 5: Post 3:11 ET. Grade: B-
Use: 2-Philly Special; 8-Polished Copper

Forecast: Here’s another T. Pletcher garage-sale play, a $300,000 yearling purchase dropping into a maiden $25,000 seller in just her fourth career start. Philly Special, a close fourth in a maiden $50,000 event over this course and distance last month, lands a good inside draw, retains L. Saez, and is listed at 9/5 on the morning line with the likelihood of going lower in a soft field for the level. She projects to inherit a comfortable second flight, stalking position and then have dead aim at the head of the lane. Polished Copper is slower on speed figures that ‘Special but showed a bit of improvement last time out in her first-off-the-claim for D. Fawkes when finishing a willing second (while more than three lengths clear of the rest) in a maiden $30,000 affair. She’ll certainly be a considerably higher price at 10-1 on the morning line. Both should be used in rolling exotic play.

RACE 6: Post 3:43 ET. Grade: B+
Use: 5-Do Share; 6-Sniper Shot

Forecast: Sniper Shot was quite impressive winning his comeback by four widening lengths in mid-January but then took the next three months off. The son of Shackleford returns on the one-level raise for T. Pletcher following two recent bullet drills at Palm Beach Downs, so we assume he’s plenty fit and ready. With the proper style for this seven furlong trip the T. Pletcher-trained gelding looks every bit the 6/5 favorite that he is on the morning line. On pure numbers, Do Share must be given a look. The hard-knocking Candy Ride gelding was overmatched in the Gulfstream Park Mile-G2 in late February but is back where he belongs today, switches to E. Jaramillo, and should be rolling from the quarter pole home. We’ll have tickets using both in our rolling exotics with Sniper Shot clearly the one to beat.

RACE 7: Post 4:15 ET. Grade: B-
Use: 6-Souper Shenanigan; 11-Sovereign Warrior

Forecast: Woodbine invader Souper Shenanigan, away since November, returns in a proper spot for a barn that has solid stats with layoff runners and ran reasonably well in his only two prior races on grass. He’s a fit on speed figures, has a good stalking style, picks up. L. Saez and shows a bullet recent drill at an off-track training center to have him fit and ready. Sovereign Warrior drops again in class, has a prior win over this course and has several back speed figures that are close to par for this level. He switches to E. Zayas and should draft into a good stalking position and have his chance. We’ll have extra tickets keying Souper Shenanigan on top but use both in our rolling exotics.

RACE 8: Post 3:52 ET. Grade: B-
Use: 3-Poseidon’s Passion; 4-Jades Gelly; 11-Notorious R B G

Forecast: Jades Gelly, claimed back for $50,000 by W. Ward (always a positive sign), broke her maiden in January with a good speed figure and today is protected in a sign of confidence. She’s removing blinkers (an unusual move following a win) and appears most comfortable when held up early and allowed to run late. We’ll put her on top in this allowance optional claimer over five furlongs on turf for 3-year-olds fillies. Notorious R B G is stuck way outside but the daughter of Speightstown, a debut maiden winner over this course and distance, appears to have some quality and may be capable of winning right back. The C. Clement-trained filly was visually pleasing when stalking and pouncing to register the win in a race in which the third place finisher came back to gallop. Poseidon’s Passion sprung a 17-1 surprise in a first-level allowance turf sprint at Tampa Bay Downs despite getting loose and running off in the warm-up. It was her first start since beating maiden claimers at Keeneland last fall and she’s won on the lead and from a stalking position, so L. Panici can play it by ear. At 8-1 on the morning line, she’s certainly worth some consideration.

RACE 9: Post 4:23 ET. Grade: B+
Use: 2-Yodel E. A. Who; 6-Fortin Hill

Forecast: On pure form Fortin Hill should lay over this field. He’s unbeaten in two starts, both wins very impressive, and his numbers are powerful, but the son of Mucho Macho Man was off eight months after his debut victory as a 2-year-old and then, after returning a winner in a first-level allowance race last June, disappeared again. This time he’s returning off a 10-month vacation, but while it’s nice to know that he doesn’t require recent racing to be fit and ready, his recent workouts have been a bit less than impressive and it makes us wonder if he’s quite the same colt that he was cut out to be. The good news is that C. Brown is 28% with layoff runners so we’ll assume he’s fit enough, but there’s just enough uncertainty – especially as the 9/5 morning line favorite – to think he might be vulnerable, which is why we’ll prefer the better-priced Yodel E. A. Who on top. The S. Joseph, Jr.-trained gelding isn’t quite as fast on figures as the favorite but he’s a tough-as-nails veteran turning back from a series of longer races and can be just as effective if not more so sprinting. In the money in nine of 10 starts over the Gulfstream Park main track and freshened since mid-February, the son of Creative Cause has a history of firing huge off brief layoffs and should be primed and ready for a major effort.

RACE 10: Post 5:38 ET. Grade: B-
Use: 3-Cowtown; 10-Maverick Kitten; 12-Magic Street

Forecast: The nightcap is a maiden $65,000 middle distance turf seller that drew a full field and offers a number of possibilities. We’ll use three and hope that’s enough. Cowtown is another one of those T. Pletcher class droppers from maiden to maiden claiming and this colt, originally a $260,000 yearling purchase, has hit the board in each of his last four starts without being able to break through, so the class drop is warranted. Drawn nicely inside and switching to L. Saez, the sophomore son of Tonalist switches to grass for the first time and there’s no reason he shouldn’t like it. Maverick Kitten, runner-up in his last pair vs. similar maiden claiming company, is a fit on figures and really won’t have to improve much to win. Freshened since mid-February and switching to T. Gaffalione, the M. Maker-trained colt lacks tactical speed so he’ll appreciate some help up front. Magic Street, hung out in the 12-hole, has finished third in both starts, most recently in state-bred maiden special weight company. He’s a one-paced grinder but competitive on numbers, so if he can work out a trip he may have something of a say in the matter.