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Thursday, April 23: Gulfstream Park Wagering Strategies

by Jeff Siegel

April 23, 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: B
Use: 7-Calentita; 10-Laska

Forecast: Laska plummets to the bottom and may have found her friends in this maiden $12,500 middle distance turf affair for fillies and mares. She’s more than fast enough on speed figures to handle this assignment and should be capable of laying a bit closer to the pace than she normally does in a field without very much early speed. We’re expecting J. Bravo to have her along in time. Calentita is worth including in rolling exotic play as well. She makes her first start since last summer and her first for S. Joseph, Jr. while showing a healthy series of workouts at Gulfstream Park West that should have her plenty fit. The blinkers off angle also catches the eye along with the presence of one of the stable’s go-to jockeys, E. Zayas. At 7/2 on the morning line the California shipper is the one to fear most.

RACE 2: Post 1:34 ET. Grade: B
Singe: 6-Cabrina

Forecast: Cabrina may be a tad hard to trust due to her low percentage connections but if the daughter of High Cotton can build on her reasonably decent debut performance three weeks ago she’ll be along in time in this weak maiden claiming $16,000 extended sprint for fillies and mares. Completely ignored on the tote at 98-1, she was forced to steady at the start and lost early position but then the E. Azpurua-trained filly finished with some interest to wind up fourth while earning a decent speed figure, one that’s good enough to beat this group. Additionally, she shows a nice, easy breeze since that race and gets an extra furlong to work with, so at 5/2 on the morning line we’ll make her a win play and rolling exotic single.

RACE 3: Post 2:07 ET. Grade: C+
Use: 3-Awesome Light;4-Princess Avril; 6-Make a Mint

Forecast: This bottom-rung maiden claiming turf sprint for fillies and mares boils down to three main players. Princess Avril tries grass for the first time and shortens up a furlong after looming a strong threat and then weakening late in a reasonably competitive race for this level earlier this month. With another forward move today, the daughter of Fast Anna could be on or near the lead every step of the way. Make a Mint ran much better than expected at 130-1 when fourth in a solid race for the level over this course and distance in late December and returns in a similarly bleak affair after three recent easy breezes at Gulfstream Park West. The speed figure she earned last time out puts her in the hunt. Awesome Light is a first-timer with a few good workouts showing in her pp’s and the daughter of Awesome of Course should be plenty fit for a good effort first crack out of the box. Low percentage connections notwithstanding, she’s a contender by default.

RACE 4: Post 2:39 ET. Grade: C+
Use: 1-Samoa; 3-Stormy Boss; 4-Time to Two Step; 6-Paynter Fest

Forecast: This is a difficult, wide-open affair requiring a deep spread in rolling exotic play. Time to Two Step didn’t earn much of a number when beating a maiden $12,500 field over this track and distance last month so owner/trainer P. Walder, who appears on the verge of getting hot, realistically drops her to the bottom-rung and replaces injured jockey P. Lopez with one of his go-to guys, M. Vasquez. The daughter of Two Step Salsa should find herself in a good stalking position and have every chance to extend her winning streak to two. Paynter Fest, first off the claim for V. Barboza, Jr. (sensational stats with this angle), seems very likely to improve for her new connections while dropping from $12,500 to $6,250 in her first outing since February. She has back numbers that are good enough to win and gets a break in the weights with the switch to one of this barn’s main riders, bug boy C. A. Torres. Samoa is buried on the rail but if she breaks cleanly the daughter of Brethren seems likely press the early issue. She crossed the wire first under these conditions two runs back but was disqualified for drifting out and causing interference in the late stages. The speed figure she was assigned in that race was fairly decent so at 6-1 on the morning line she may be a contender with a bit of value. Stormy Boss missed by a neck when facing a similar group sprinting last month and today stretches out to a mile for the first time. She’s certainly bred to enjoy the trip (Mucho Macho Man) and projects to be prominent throughout.

RACE 5: Post 3:11 ET. Grade: B
Use: 3-Tricky Magician; 6-Willing to Speed; 7-Valdolobo

Forecast: Valdolobo made his local debut in January and was sharp in handling a restricted (nw-2) $16,000 claiming field in a fast, highly-rated race. The Irish-bred gelding, off for more than three months since, returns protected in a starter’s allowance affair and shows a steady series of well-spaced workouts to have him ready to roll for the strong B. Walsh/L. Saez team. Capable of dominating on the lead or settling and stalking, the son of Lope de Vega is a 5-year-old with just eight career starts, so further improvement is likely and offers value at 7/2 on the morning line if you can get it. Willing to Speed likes to finish second or third more than win but he’s in good form for J. Kimmel and should fire another good shot from an early mid-pack position. Tricky Magician was a clever winner over this course and distance vs. a restricted (nw-2) $30,000 claiming field two runs back and is comfortably drawn inside. He’ll need to improve on speed figures to beat this field, but with the switch to E. Zayas he may have it in him. We’ll have tickets including all three in our rolling exotics and then press keying Valdolobo on top.

RACE 6: Post 3:43 ET. Grade: X
Single: 2-United

Forecast: United returns to the first-level allowance ranks seeking a confidence-building win after finishing second in both the Gotham S.-G3 (to Mischevious Alex) and before that in a strong Tampa Bay Downs allowance affair (behind Gouverneur Morris). He’s fast on speed figures, shows a recent five furlong bullet work at the Casse Training Center in Ocala and broke his maiden over the Gulfstream Park main track by 11 lengths in his debut last December. At 6/5 on the morning line and likely to go lower, he’s a short-price rolling exotic single in a race that we’ll otherwise pass.

RACE 7: Post 4:15 ET. Grade: B
Use: 9-Grand Journey; 11-Dr. Edgar

Forecast: Dr. Edgar has faced stakes competition in each of his last seven starts and today gets much appreciated class relief in this starter allowance $50,000 affair over a mile on grass. A two-time winner over this course and with two nice breezes since finishing a close fifth in the Appleton S.-G3 last month, the son of Lookin At Lucky can be tough on the front end or from a stalking position, and with his best effort the B. Tagg-trained gelding should be able to regain his winning form. Grand Journey is a true horse-for-course, having won five times from nine starts over the local lawn. The Giant’s Causeway gelding has been freshened since mid-February, shows a healthy series of recent drills, and is relatively lightly-raced with room to improve. Toss him in on a ticket or two as a back-up.

RACE 8: Post 4:46 ET. Grade: B+
Single: 5-Bird Map

Forecast: Bird Map, first off the $50,000 claim for S. Joseph, Jr. (a massive 40% with a flat-profit from a huge sample with this angle), broke her maiden sprinting here last month and is protected today by her new connections in starter optional claiming company. With the proper stalking style for this seven furlong trip, the daughter of Liam’s Map should is likely to produce a forward move and with the switch to E. Zayas should be hard to contain from off the pace. She’s listed at 7/2 on the morning line and there’s value at that price both in the straight pool and as a rolling exotic single.

RACE 9: Post 5:17 ET. Grade: B+
Use: 1-Temple; 11-Arthur Kitt

Forecast: Temple appears fairly solid in this second-level allowance nine furlong grass event. A three-time winner over the Gulfstream Park turf course and in the frame in each of his last four starts including a win at the Big A in the Gio Ponti Stakes last November, the son of Temple City shows a recent bullet main track workout to have him right on edge for the always-powerful M. Maker/L. Saez team. With an ideal ground-saving, second flight trip guaranteed due to his good inside draw, the genuine and versatile gelding seems the logical top pick and one to beat. Arthur Kitt is interesting at 9/2 on the morning. Unplaced off the plane in the Nijinsky Stakes at Woodbine last summer, the English-bred colt, who had finished a close fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf-G1 in his only prior North American outing, returns for new trainer C. Clement following a short but impressive recent work tab. Victorious as a 2-year-old in the listed Chesham Stakes at Royal Ascot, the son of Camelot won’t be outclassed as this level and is a “must use” in rolling exotic play.

RACE 10: Post 5:47 ET. Grade: C
Use: 1-Bahama Kitten; 5-Trilby; 7-Retro Street; 10-Sweet Story

Forecast: The finale is a grass grab bag for $12,500 claiming fillies and mares over a mile, many of whom are familiar with each other. Use as many as you can afford to. Trilby adds blinkers for the first time and drops below her claim level after taking the worst of the race-shape when fanned very wide and making up ground too late to wind up third last time out. With some help up front and a ground-saving trip, the R. Spatz-trained daughter of Hat Trick, a four-time winner over the local lawn, could easily regain her winning form, so at 7/2 on the morning line we’ll put her slightly on top. Bahama Kitten and Sweet Story, the second and fifth place finishers in the same race Trilby exits, both have credentials and should be included. The former projects to enjoy a nice-ground saving trip from her rail draw and is a three-time winner at Gulfstream Park, while the latter, with six career local grass victories, always is dangerous from off the pace and can be right there with one of her better efforts. You can also toss in Retro Street, another who on occasion can produce a dangerous late kick. With the switch to L. Saez, the R. B. Hess, Jr.-trained daughter of Street Sense certainly has a look.