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Sunday, April 26: Gulfstream Park Wagering Strategies

by Jeff Siegel Xpressbet Blog

April 26, 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 12:55 ET. Grade: C
Use: 7-I’m Cardinal; 8-New York’s Finest

Forecast: This race has been switched to the main track, so perhaps the best advice is to leave it alone. New York’s Finest can win with a repeat of his race before last but after a dull effort in a similar spot in early February, he returns off a nearly three month vacation with a shaky work pattern. The presence of L. Saez in the saddle gives a reason to believe he’s well-meant. I’m Cardinal is an old timer with 17 career wins and can improve on a couple of recent Tampa Bay Downs efforts that resulted in a pair of third place finishes at this level. He can stalk and win but always has preferred to be on the pace.

RACE 2: Post 1:24 ET. Grade: C
Use: 3-Island Song; 5-Queen’s Mason; 6-Brother Aaron

Forecast: The three main contenders in this $25,000 maiden claimer sprint are a combined zero-for-22. Tread lightly here. Brother Aaron flopped at 8/5 when far back in a maiden $50,000 sprint in early January. He makes his first start since while dropping considerably in class, so his current condition is questionable, but the D. Romans-trained colt has dangerous early speed, switches to L. Saez, and shows a figure on a wet track last fall that would annihilate this field. The recent work tab appears healthy so if he shows up with anything close to his best race the son of Majesticperfection may be hard to beat. Island Song, a solid runner-up in a similar spot on turf last time out, switches to the main track and has dirt form last year that wasn’t bad. He has several back numbers that are better than par for this level which in part explains his 5/2 morning line status. Queen’s Mason returned off a long layoff and was disappointing as the 7/5 favorite vs. maiden $50,000 foes two weeks ago. The effort was far below what he showed he was capable of last year but given the possibility that he was simply a short horse or perhaps had another issue, the M. Tomlinson-trained gelding probably deserves another look. These are the three we’ll be using in our rolling exotics but not with any real degree of confidence.

RACE 3: Post 1:53 ET. Grade: C+
Use: 5-Aznavour; 6-Toonie Loonie

Forecast: Toonie Loonie is an eight-race maiden and not really one to count on, but in this bottom-rung maiden $12,500 seller for fillies and mares she may have finally found a field she can beat. In the frame in her last three outings, the daughter of Tizway catches an extremely soft pace scenario and should be able to take control early and roll all the way to the wire. But at 8/5 on the morning line for low profile connections, she really won’t be offering any real wagering value. Aznavour makes her fifth lifetime start and will race without blinkers for the first time, so improvement is possible. She doesn’t have any tactical speed but might be heard from late if ‘Loonie can’t see out the trip. Both should be included in rolling exotic play in a race that we’ll probably otherwise pass.

RACE 4: Post 2:23 ET. Grade: C
Use: 1-Suzie Its Your; 10-Belladonia; 12-Madame Barrister

Forecast: This race has been taken off the turf. It may be a good race to pass. Belladonia is plenty quick, switches to I. Ortiz, Jr. and shows up in a seller for the first time. Her comeback race was poor but we’ll give her another chance at this level. Madame Barriste may have been a bit short in her comeback but and could move forward today after an okay fourth vs. slightly tougher over this course and distance earlier this month. Suzie Its You won a maiden claimer last August at first asking in decent fashion but soon disappeared. She returns cheap – not exactly a sign of confidence – but on numbers she’s a fit so we’ll toss her in.

RACE 5: Post 2:53 ET. Grade: B-
Use: 4-Thisismytime; 7-Starship Voyager; 10-Smooth as Glass

Forecast: Starship Voyager ran a winning race in her debut earlier this month but gave way grudgingly late and settled for second while well clear of the rest. The daughter of Big Drama is returns in three weeks with an easy half mile breeze eight days ago to tick her over and will be tough to beat if improves a bit or even runs the same race. Thisismytime flashed ability in her only outing last summer at Belmont Park, displaying good speed before weakening late to wind up third in a highly-rated race for the level. A $140,000 2019 OBS April purchase, she remains well regarded, adds blinkers, and seems certain to display dangerous early speed for new trainer K. O’Connell. The concern is a very light local work tab for a barn that does not have good stats with layoff runners but we have to make her a contender, nonetheless. We’ll also include the sneaky first-timer Smooth as Glass from the R. Nicks barn. She displayed pretty good speed in a half-mile gate work earlier this month while under a nice hold and could easily be a fit in this state-bred affair. She’s 6-1 on the morning line, and it’ll be interesting to see how much action, if any, she gets on the tote and in the exotics.

RACE 6: Post 2:52 ET. Grade: B+
Single: 4-Rhythmia

Forecast: As of this writing, the sixth race remains on turf. Weather may change that. Rhythmia remains protected by S. Joseph, Jr., picks up I. Ortiz, Jr., and can be dangerous on the front end or from a stalking position. First or second in 10 of 20 career starts, the son of Majestic Warrior sports a steady, healthy recent work tab for his first outing in three months, so we’re going to assume he’s spot on. At 6-1 on the morning line he’s a rolling exotic single and can be remain a play on either surface.

RACE 7: Post 3:53 ET. Grade: C+
Use: 1-Beyond Gone; 3-Captured by Fate; 8-Ain’t Wasting Time

Forecast: This is a very tough race, a six furlong sprint for $25,000 claiming 3-year-olds. Beyond Gone won from a similar affair two races back but then was brought back on short rest vs. starter optional $50,000 claimers and never landed a blow. This will be his third race this month and he’ll need some good racing luck from the rail, but the K. McPeek-trained colt switches to L. Saez and should be heard from late. Ain’t Wasting Time, drawn comfortably outside and switching to I. Ortiz, Jr., was third to Beyond Gone when they met earlier this month and given his favorable draw could easily turn the tables today. In a field without much speed, he’s likely to be on or near the lead throughout. Captured by Fate won an off-the-turf five furlong maiden special weight sprint last month in just his second career start but it wasn’t really much of a heat and his connections are being realistic with this return to the claiming ranks. He’ll need a bit of a step up in the speed figure department to win right back, but at 10-1` on the morning line we’ll find a spot for him on our ticket.

RACE 8: Post 4:25 ET. Grade:
Use: 6-Sneer; 8-Feeling Funny

Forecast: The first-timers in this extended dash for maiden special weight 3-year-old fillies don’t inspire, so let’s concentrate on the proven element. Sneer has produced a significant forward move according to her speed figures in each of her three career starts and with another bit of improvement today the daughter of Into Mischief should be able to earn her diploma. The C. Clement-trained filly, after three tries over a distance of ground, shortens to a sprint for the first time after being beaten a half-length while five clear of the rest in a one-turn miler last month. She switches to L. Saez, shows a healthy series of recent drills over the deep Payson Park training track and is the logical top choice at 9/5 on the morning line. Feeling Funny is worth consideration in rolling exotic play, at least as a back-up. Freshened since January and in the frame in both career starts, the daughter of American Pharoah picks up I. Ortiz, Jr., continues to impress in the a.m., and in her first start in more than three months could easily be a much better type now.

RACE 9: Post 4:55 ET. Grade: C
Use: 1-Projected; 11-Bourbon in May; 12-Morning Stride

Forecast: As of this writing, the race remains on turf. We’ll pass if the rains force a change to the main track. The three listed above all have credentials to win at this level and should be included in rolling exotic play. Bourbon in May is drawn a bit farther out than we’d prefer but against this group the T. Pletcher-trained will be tough if he has one good one left. Morning Stride always is poorly drawn outside and is dropping off a claim – not a healthy sign – but the M. Maker barn runs them where they can win and with I. Ortiz, Jr., taking the call we’re going to assume this son of Munnings is well-meant. Projected is yet another class dropper good enough to win with anything close to his best race. He has the benefit of a good inside draw and should be forwardly placed and have every chance.

RACE 10: Post 5:38 ET. Grade: B-
Use: 1-Sarasota County; 2-Hop Kat; 7-Ournationonparade
Forecast: This highly-competitive first-level allowance sprint has a number of legitimate contenders and some question marks, too. Ournationonparade shortens from a mile to six furlongs and his good third place performance in the Hutcheson Stakes over this track and distance two runs back makes him the one to beat. He switches to this barn’s go-to rider L. Panici and projects to be on or near the lead throughout. Hop Kat won at first asking like a future star at Churchill Downs last May but had to be stopped on and finally makes it back to the races 11 months later. The work tab doesn’t inspire but the barn is fairly solid with layoff runners so we have to account for the possibility that this son of Stay Thirsty will return as well as he left. Saratoga County returns to dirt and may actually be more effective on the main track. He’s fast on figures but switches to a low percentage rider and must leave from the rail, so we’ll use him on a back-up ticket but probably not much more than that.

RACE 11: Post 5:55 ET. Grade: C+
Use: 5-Jack Beanstalk; 6-Big Treasure; 10-Queen’splate Nolan

Forecast: This race – maiden $16,000 claimer for 3-year-olds - may come off the turf. If it does, we’ll pass. Queen’splate Nolan is a first-time-for-a-tag play from the M. Maker barn switching to I. Ortiz, Jr., so on those two angles alone he deserves strong consideration. Jack Beanstalk could be the pacesetter and if not pressured may take this field a long way. Big Treasure has numbers that give him a chance and could easily outrun his morning line of 12-1.