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Friday, May 1: Gulfstream Park Wagering Strategies

by Jeff Siegel

May 1, 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: X
Single: 10-Starship Bubba

Forecast: This race has been taken off the turf and will be run at seven furlongs. Starship Bubba, a distant second sprinting on dirt in his debut in January, turns back from a two-turn grass miler, picks up I. Ortiz Jr., and seems the likely choice and one to beat. But he’ll be a very short price in a race that lacks depth, so it looks either him or anybody. We can use the M. Maker-trained colt as a no value rolling exotic single or, better yet, pass the race.

RACE 2: Post 1:35 ET. Grade: C+
Use: 2-Lucky as a Seven; 4-Catching Fish; 7-Exchange Day

Forecast: In what is nothing more than an education guess, let’s tryCatching Fish on top in this completely unclassified maiden $25,000 abbreviated sprint for 2-year-olds. Farm a barn that does pretty well with first-time starters, the son of High Cotton attracts L. Saez and shows a healthy series of workouts at the New Haven Farm training center that should have him plenty fit first crack out of the box. He’s 8-1 on the morning line, and it’ll be interesting to see if he gets an unusual action on the tote or in the rolling exotics. Lucky as a Seven is listed as the 4/5 morning line favorite owning to his trainer (W. Ward) and his jockey (I. Ortiz, Jr.). It’s hard to make much of the work tab, but three gate drills and three half mile workouts on his resume the son of Tale of the Cat certainly won’t be short. Exchange Day sports a bullet three furlong gate drill (:35.4b, fastest of nine) last week so we must assume the E. Plesa, Jr.,-trained colt can run some. The barn’s go-to rider, bug boy Torres, gets the call, so this son of Itsnotmyluckyday looks like a live item at 9/5 on the morning line.

RACE 3: Post 2:09 ET. Grade: C
Use: 2-Interest; 5-Verdict Is In; 6-Chaos Kid

Forecast: This race originally scheduled for turf and therefore is a totally mess. Most of the “in form” runners have decent recent grass form but are suspect on the main track, so anything goes. Chaos Kid has raced only twice over conventional dirt without success but he does have a proper style for this one-turn mile trip and recent numbers on grass at Tampa Bay Downs that chart well here. At 10-1 on the morning line he appears a bit intriguing. Interest, now in the D. Hutak barn (good stats with the first off the claim angle), is a filly tackling the boys and has numbers that fit, so at 6-1 on the morning line we’ll toss her in as well. Tread lightly.

RACE 4: Post 2:41 ET. Grade: C
Use: 2-See the Pyramids; 11-Hail Michigan

ForecastHail Michigan is drawn comfortably outside in this one-turn miler and is certain to get plenty of play after finishing second over this track and distance at this level three weeks ago. The son of Bernardini has speed figures that have stagnated so we’re not sure there’s much improvement left to show, but in a soft field he rates top billing by default. See the Pyramids is a fit on speed figures and is shortening to a mile and switching to the main track. In seven career outings the Cairo Prince colt hasn’t taken a drop of money on the tote but this is the cheapest he’s ever run for so perhaps at this level he can make his presence felt.

RACE 5: Post 3:13 ET. Grade: B-
Use: 1-Deckology; 9-Awesome Action

ForecastAwesome Action is a first-off-the-claim for a stable that has super stats with this angle and attracts E. Zayas, whose stats with this barn are off the charts. Additionally, the Florida-bred colt adds blinkers for the first time, has hit the board in three of five career starts over the Gulfstream Park main track, and is stretching out to a mile for the first time with the proper style to excel at the trip. Deckology, claimed for $40,000 last summer and now in for $6,250, couldn’t make the course in a much tougher allowance race here last month and shows only two very slow breezes in two months, not exactly a pattern to embrace. But if he’s okay, at least for this race, the R. B. Hess, Jr.-trained gelding should enjoy a nice second flight trip and perhaps find new born confidence with the switch to V. Lebron. We’ll have tickets using both in our rolling exotics and then press keying Awesome Action on top.

RACE 6: Post 3:45 ET. Grade: B-
Use: 1-Mo of the West; 6-Key Biscayne

Forecast: This race has been taken off the turf. Mo of the West ran pretty well in her debut, finishing fifth, beaten just over three lengths despite being wide throughout, and based on pedigree has a right to run just as well if not better on dirt. She lands the good rail for a barn that hits at a solid 18% with second time starters and with the switch to T. Gaffalione the daughter of Uncle Mo looks very live at 9/2 on the morning line. Key Biscayne has good recent grass form but is another that is a total question mark on the main track. She’s probably most effective when held up early and allowed to run late but given that type of trip she’ll be having to deal with dirt clods for the first time. We can use her on a ticket or two as a back-up but the main punch goes to Mo of the West.

RACE 7: Post 4:17 ET. Grade: C+
Use: 3-Awesome Party; 4-Neverestopdreaming

Forecast: Awesome Party, a $700,000 yearling purchase, makes his fifth career start while being dropped all the way down to $12,500 in another one of those fire sales from the T. Pletcher barn. The son of Curlin was a maiden special weight winner at the Big A in February, so apparently the wheels have fallen off. The switch to I. Ortiz, Jr ensures that the lightly-raced sophomore who actually ran in the $100,000 Private Terms Stakes two runs back, will get plenty of play, but while we include him in our rolling exotics, we certainly can’t trust him. Neverstopdreaming returns to the main track and actually broke his maiden at first asking here in late December for a $25,000 tag, so his class drop isn’t as suspicious. He’s more than fast enough on speed figures to win should find himself in a very comfortable stalking position with every chance to return to winning form. We’ll try to get by using just these two in rolling exotic play with preference on top to Neverstopdreaming.

RACE 8: Post 4:48 ET. Grade: B-
Use: 1-Dalarna; 2-Flowmotion; 4-High Noon Rider

Forecast: This race remains on the turf and takes on a whole different look after the late scratching of the two committed speed types, Celebration and JakartaDalarna has much going for him because of good inside draw and his tactical speed that should allow for ideal pace stalking or pressing trip. Though he was beaten at 3/5 in a similar affair last month, the R. Dibona-trained gelding may have hit the front too sound in a quickly run race and paid the price late. Today he switches to L. Saez and should be capable of producing the last run. High Noon Rider came from far back to wear down Dalarna in that race but today’s race shape looks much different and may not compliment his style. A winner of 12 races during his career, the son of Distorted Humor just earned a career top speed figure in his 48th career start but had help in that race that he doesn’t figure to get today. Flowmotion seeks his third straight win but is another that may require quick fractions to compliment his late kick. We’ll have tickets using all three in our rolling exotics but most of the action will go to Dalarna.

RACE 9: Post 5:19 ET. Grade: B-
Use: 1-Snap Hook; 7-Beast Mode

Forecast: Snap Hook drops to his lowest level ever – he was claimed last fall for $30,000 and now competes for $8,000 – and while his pattern isn’t healthy the M. Pino-trained gelding did finish second in a restricted (nw-3) $16,000 affair two runs back over this track and distance while earning a speed figures that is probably good enough to beat this group. Exiting a pair of productive races (the winners of each race came right back to score), the son of Flower Alley switches to T. Gaffalione and would be best served if allowed to display his natural early speed from his inside draw. Beast Mode, claimed in three of his six career outings and now in the O. Gonzalez barn after being taken for $8,000 in late February, lands the barn’s “go-to” rider in E. Zayas and has speed figures that make him a major player off his best effort. A winner over this track and distance at this level in January, the son of Midnight Lute likes to settle and produce a run and given that type of trip could be hard to contain in the final furlong.

RACE 10: Post 5:49 ET. Grade: C+
Use: 3-All About Stella; 10-Song River

Forecast: This race has been taken off the turf and thus contains several key scratches. We’re left with an inscrutable five furlong main track sprint. Among those worth including – but with no real confidence – are Song River (okay dirt form) and All About Stella (barn has superior stats with comebackers) and anybody else you’d like to toss in. We’ll use both in our rolling exotics but otherwise pass the race.

RACE 11: Post 6:19 ET. Grade: B-
Use: 1-Reiterate; 10-Silly Notion

Forecast: This race remains on turf. It is an extremely challenging affair with a number of possibilities and perhaps the best advice is to go as deep as your budget allows. Small ticker player certainly should consider the two we have listed above. Reiterate stretches out for the first time, adds blinkers, lands the rail, and is certain to employ gate-to-wire tactics. Based on pedigree she should be able to stay a mile, especially if she is left alone early and allowed to relax, and with the switch to I. Ortiz, Jr., the M. Casse-trained filly offers wagering value at or near her morning line of 6-1. Silly Notion, first off a $12,500 claim, showed a good late kick in both of her career outings, most recently when a fast-finishing third despite a wide trip and a race-shape that played against her style. With improving speed figures and the switch to L. Saez, the daughter of Itsmyluckyday could be quite dangerous with another forward move and at 8-1 on the morning line is a “must use” in rolling exotic play.