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Friday, April 24: Gulfstream Park Wagering Strategies

by Jeff Siegel

April 24, 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: 1-Mr. Tito’s; 2-Plan of Attack; 3-Gran Champagne; 9-First in Line

Forecast: The Friday opener brings together maiden $16,000 claimers over a middle distance on grass. We’ll go four-deep in what on paper appears to be a wide-open affair with many possibilities. Mr. Tito’s was out-footed in a Churchill Downs maiden special weight turf sprint last summer in his 2-year-old debut and then disappeared. He returns with Lasix and as a first-time gelding for a barn that has excellent stats with layoff runners and also shows a pretty good foundation of workouts at Skylight Training center in Kentucky. In this modest spot, the I. Wilkes-trained son of Mr Speaker may be as good as any and from his rail post should enjoy a beneficial ground-saving trip. One race doesn’t make a career so if he can run at all, this would be a good spot to show it. First in Line is a lightly-raced Uncle Mo gelding that has a gradually improving pattern. A closing fourth vs. similar last month, the G. Weaver-trained 3-year-old gets an extra sixteenth of a mile to work with, retains L. Saez, and with just two career outings may have a bit more upside then most of the thoroughly exposed contenders. Plan of Attack returns to his claim level and his fourth place finish under these conditions two runs back charts pretty well here. After being stuck outside in his last pair, the son of War Front lands a comfortable inside draw and should draft into a ground-saving, mid-pack position and have his chance from there. Gran Champagne has the classic two-sprints-and-a-stretch-out pattern for a barn that traditionally does very well with this angle and also will be trying grass for the first time while plummeting from a maiden $50,000 sprint. Also, he gets a break in the weights with the switch to bug boy C.A. Torres, a “go to” rider of sorts for this barn.

RACE 2: Post 1:34 ET. Grade: B-
Use: 1-Amelia Madelyn; 4-Hartling

Forecast: Hartling is the 9/5 morning line favorite after she had her three-race winning streak snapped when pitched too high in a $50,000 claiming turf miler earlier this month. A winner over this track and distance two runs back in an optional claimer, the M. Pino-trained filly returns to her claim level and will get plenty of play, but on pure numbers she’s really not that much better than a few of the others. We’ll use her but we can’t single her. Amelia Madelyn, a solid second when claimed for $20,000 by trainer K. Breen two races back, stretches out to a mile and was a winner at this trip by five lengths in a slightly tougher spot in late December. She switches to the barn’s favorite rider J. Bravo and should be prominent throughout from the rail. She may offer pretty good value at her morning line of 7/2 if you can get it.

RACE 3: Post 2:07 ET. Grade: B-
Use: 3-Panarea; 6-Perfectcombination; 7-Kozy Dreams

Forecast: Perfectcombination had a rough trip when a non-threatening sixth in her debut vs. straight maidens at Tampa Bay Downs last month but should have every opportunity to improve in this softer assignment for for a barn that shows a solid percentage with second-timers. Realistically spotted as a 4-year-old in this maiden $25,000 main track sprint, the daughter of Bodemeister didn’t break well at all in her first start and probably won’t be able to pull that same stunt today, but if she leaves with her field the G. Motion-trained 4-year-old should fit very nicely with this group. Kozy Dreams has burned money in her last pair but is comfortably drawn outside and will have a big look if she can repeat her race before last, a runner-up effort with a competitive speed figure over this track and distance while almost six lengths clear of the others. Instead of gunning to the lead, she might be better served if stalking tactics are employed. Panarea was returning off a layoff when finishing third in a maiden $50,000 sprint in late February, not a bad try under the circumstances. However, she’s been away for almost two months since and is dropping significantly in class, not a healthy pattern. We’ll use her on a ticket or two as a backup but nothing more.

RACE 4: Post 2:39 ET. Grade: C+
Use: 2-Borrowed Angel; 3-I’m Prayingforthat; 6-Cultivation

Forecast: Here’s another maiden claimer, this one for $16,000 older fillies and mares sprinting five furlongs on grass. Tread lightly. I’m Prayingforthat faded in a maiden special weight state-bred grass miler last time out but ran well under these conditions when a solid runner-up with a par rating two runs back while seven lengths clear of the rest. That effort, if repeated today, probably will be good enough to beat this field. Cultivation is a nine-race maiden with a race two back that charts well here. Beaten a nose from off the pace, the daughter of Soldat switches to V. Lebron and with good racing luck should be heard from in the final furlong. Borrowed Angel, far back in straight maiden company in her debut last month at 92-1, gets realistic today and seems likely to improve with the addition of Lasix and blinkers and the switch to L. Saez. Today we’ll find out if she can run at least just a little.

RACE 5: Post 3:11 ET. Grade: X
Use: 2-Tiger Blood; 6-Frenchmen Street

Forecast: Tiger Blood has won three of his last four starts and overall he’s seven-for-nine sprinting over the local lawn, so it’s hard to get past this tough-as-nails veteran gelding in this allowance optional claiming turf dash. Quick enough to make the lead but just as comfortable stalking and pouncing, the S. Klesaris-trained son of Cowtown Cat is even money on the morning line and on form looks it. Frenchmen Street seems worth including as a back-up in the rolling exotics for protection. Not quite as fast on speed figures as the favorite, the M. Maker-trained gelding remains protected on the raise in his second start since being claimed and should be in the fray every step of the way. He’s another versatile type that can adjust to any pace scenario.

RACE 6: Post 3:43 ET. Grade: B-
Use: 2-Simple Story; 3-East Coast Swing; 4-Golden Garter

Forecast: East Coast Swing will be trying conventional dirt for the first time in her seventh career start, and her pedigree suggests she shouldn’t have any issues with the surface switch. We like the route-to-sprint angle coupled with a class drop into a claimer for the first time, and with the addition of blinkers we suspect she’ll be let roll from the gate in an attempt to take advantage of her natural early speed. She’s a gambling number at 4-1 on the morning line. Simple Story was all out to beat a maiden $50,000 field here last month and is realistically spotted in this restricted (nw-2) $40,000 seller in what is just her third career start. She’s okay on numbers and does have the proper style for this extended sprint trip. With a faster than normal pace to set things up, she’ll be heard from in the final furlong. Golden Garter is a Woodbine shipper with unproven form on conventional dirt. Freshened since November, the daughter of Goldencents earned a speed figure last year when beating maidens that charts well in this spot and shows a healthy series of workouts at Payson to have her plenty fit. She should help insure realistic early fractions.

RACE 7: Post 4:15 ET. Grade: C+
Use: 4-Combination; 8-Kyle

Forecast: With the late scratching of major contender French Quarter, this race takes a different look. Combination had his four-race winning streak snapped when finishing third in an $8,000 claimer 12 days ago and is wheeled back on short rest by new trainer M. Sancal. The Alternation gelding likes to settle and make a late run and off his best race rates a slight edge on top with L. Saez taking over. Kyle has been below form of late but hails from a clever outfit and in a modest spot may be able to bounce back a bit. The pace scenario looks relatively soft so we’re expecting him to be within striking range throughout. The race looks a bit treacherous, so tread lightly.

RACE 8: Post 4:46 ET. Grade: B
Use: 1-Nope; 2-Secret Stash; 3-Eve of War

Forecast: Today’s feature race is a strong nine-furlong turf affair for entry-level allowance 3-year-old fillies. Eve of War was highly impressive winning her debut by more than seven lengths sprinting on dirt in early February but was beaten at 50 cents on the dollar when fourth in a first-level allowance dash 26 days later. She had a legitimate excuse – she stumbled badly at the start and was taken out of game plan – but with a healthy series of drills in the interim and stretching out and trying turf for the first time the daughter of Declaration of War certainly is bred to improve under these conditions. We suspect gate-to-wire tactics will be employed. Nope showed some promise during a five-race juvenile campaign overseas that culminated with a close fourth (beaten a half-length) in the Oh So Sharp S.-G2 at Newmarket last October. She makes her U.S. debut for B. Walsh (strong stats with a limited sample with this angle) and has trained quite well over the Palm Meadows grass course to indicate she’s fit and ready. The first-time Lasix user likes to settle and produce a run and thus should be well-suited by this mile and one-eighth journey. We suspect she’s better than her 10-1 morning line indicates. Secret Stash was a respectable third in the Florida Oaks-G3 at Tampa Bay Downs in her comeback in early March and has a right perform similarly in this spot. She’s a one-paced grinder (no real turn of foot) but at this longer distance the Irish-bred filly should have her best chance.

RACE 9: Post 5:17 ET. Grade: B
Use: 1-Slam Dunk; 4-Whispering Beauty

Forecast: The promising 3-year-old filly Slam Dunk faces older runners in this first-level allowance middle distance main track affair that she can win if she’s cranked up, but her readiness is uncertain. Her work pattern is okay, not flashy, and she raced herself into shape last year, so it’s entirely possible that she’ll be a race away. The daughter of Into Mischief finished a respectable third as a maiden in the Frizette S.-G1 last fall and then earned her diploma with a facile five-length romp over a sloppy track at Churchill Downs in November, so the talent is there, but the R. Brisset barn only has modest stats with comebackers. Whispering Beauty is quite interesting in that the daughter of Blame will be making her first start on dirt, and she’s certainly bred more for the main track (Blame out of a Storm Cat mare) than she is for grass. Fourth and then third over the lawn at this level in her first two local outings since arriving from England, the B. Walsh-trained filly adds blinkers in a field without much early pace, so it wouldn’t be a surprise to see D. Davis let roll her roll from the barrier, as her only win last year at Newmarket, was on the pace. These are the two we’ll be using in rolling exotic play; since Whispering Beauty (9/2 on the morning line) might wind up being a bit better price we’ll put her on top.

RACE 10: Post 5:47 ET. Grade: C
Use: 3-Kobe Fifty Two; 5-Nothin But Net; 8-Fifty Cents

Forecast: Two major contenders in this abbreviated sprint for bottom-rung ($12,500) maiden claimers are late scratches, Candy Coma and Annualized, leaving us with very little to work with. Nothing But Net, second in a $16,000 maiden claiming turf dash in late February, makes his first start since being claimed out of that race while returning as a new gelding, and on pure numbers is the one to beat. However, this barn has been cold as ice this year and nothing from the J. Orseno barn can be played with confidence. The first timer Kobe Fifty Two shows a series of slow workouts but is from a capable outfit and is a contender by default. Fifty Cents has shown a tad of ability and a bit of speed, so he’s another to toss in. These are the three we’ll be using in our rolling exotics but the best advice is to spread as deeply as you can afford to.