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Saturday, May 2: Gulfstream Park Wagering Strategies

by Jeff Siegel

May 2, 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 12:45 ET. Grade: C+
Use: 2-Coach Temple; 5-Turn of Events; 7-East Lex

Forecast: The Saturday opener brings together maiden 3-year-olds over a mile on grass. It’s not a particularly strong field, so we’ll go three-deep in our rolling exotics and hope to get a bit of a price. Turn of Events is solid in the speed figure department but has managed to hit the board only once in five career starts. However, he switches to L. Saez and has faced tougher fields of late, so against this group he may be the one to beat. East Lex displayed considerable improvement when rallying to be third in his second career outing at Fair Grounds and with another forward move today he’ll be a major player. Drawn much better today (he was 14 of 14 last time out), the M. Maker-trained son of City Zip seems a bit better than his morning line of 6-1 gives him credit for. Coach Temple is a first-timer by Curlin running long on the lawn for the S. Joseph, Jr. barn, which is reasonably competent with debut runners. His works have been okay and one of the stable’s main guys V. Lebron takes the call, so in an open affair he’s worth including in your rolling exotics.

RACE 2: Post 1:15 ET. Grade: C+
Use: 6-Nacho Papa; 7-Luckytobeinamerica; 8-Gran Causeway

Forecast: Here’s a low-level $8,000 claiming sprint for older horses that looks somewhat challenging. We’ll use three, you may find the need to go deeper. Luckytobeinamerica dropped to this level and finished third over this track and distance vs. similar last month, retains T. Gaffalione, and should draft into an ideal pace-stalking position and have every chance to seal the deal in the final stages. The D. Schettino-trained gelding has several back numbers good enough to win in this league and though primarily a grass sprinter so far in his career, should eventually prove to be just as effective on dirt . Nacho Papa didn’t get out well and was no factor in a similar sprint in late March but with a clean start today should be able to draft into a good second flight position and then make some noise from the quarter pole home. This jockey-trainer combo has been red hot of late, and the son of Brethren is good enough to win at this level with his best effort. Gran Causeway, a solid runner-up in the same race that Luckytobeinamerica just finished third in, should be a solid contender right back but has low percentage connections that are hard to back with confidence. The son of Giant’s Causeway has finished first or second in four of eight career starts over the local main track, so he should at least get a piece of it.

RACE 3: Post 1:45 ET. Grade: X
Use: 4-Or’effice; 7-Newsworthy

Forecast: Or’effice just finished second in a fast, highly-rated race that earned him a stakes-quality speed figure, one that is far superior to par for this level. Almost eight lengths clear of the rest when missing by less than a length to the promising Candy Machine over this track and distance last month, the son of Medaglia d’Oro will be a very short price to graduate. For protection, you may want to consider on a back-up ticket Newsworthy, a debuting son of Tapit from the W. Mott barn with a solid, healthy series of drills over the deep Payson Park training center. He’s probably a decent prospect and is worth watching closely for future reference.

RACE 4: Post 2:15 ET. Grade: C+
Use: 1-Teenage Kicks; 3-Invaluable; 9-She So Naughty

Forecast: Teenage Kicks is the best of the known element in this maiden $50,000 claiming sprint for older fillies and mares, and if she can avoid trouble from the rail the daughter of Into Mischief figures as a major contender under I. Ortiz, Jr. The concern is that she’s not particular fast on speed figures and doesn’t have a lot of gate speed, so while we’ll include her in our rolling exotics she could be susceptible to one of the two intriguing newcomers in the field, neither of which have be world beaters to win. She So Naughty is comfortably drawn outside for the always-dangerous T. Pletcher/E. Zayas combo and debuts in a soft but realistic spot for a barn that wins at a strong 21% with first time starters. Let’s put her slight on top. Invaluable shows a bullet gate work at Palm Meadows last month in :48 4/5, the fastest of 22 for the distance, so the daughter of the old but well respected “filly sire” Include should be given consideration as well.

RACE 5: Post 2:46 ET. Grade: C+
Use: 2-Followhisfootsteps; 5-Valdocco; 8-Phish Fan

Forecast: Here’s another modest claiming sprint, this one a bottom-rung $6,250 affair that seems fairly wide open. Slight edge on top goes to Followhisfootsteps, a recent winner in a restricted (nw-3) $8,000 affair that produced a career top speed figure, one that is significantly better than par for this level. Regular pilot L. Saez stays aboard and should have this Field Commission gelding on or near the lead throughout, assuming he can turn in two-alike. If ‘Steps bounces off that recent win, Valdocco, who just finished second vs. similar last month, has to be considered a strong threat despite his low percentage trainer/jockey combo. The son of Tapizar can stalk and pounce or press the issue, so if he can secure a clean trip he’ll be right there. Phish Fan was in too tough in his first start since returning from Parx last month and was no factor in a starter $8,000 optional claimer, but E. Jaramillo stays aboard and the 10-year-old gelding, a winner of 13 races in his long career, should be given a chance to bounce back at 6-1 on the morning line.

RACE 6: Post 3:17 ET. Grade: B-
Use: 3-Loriloupies; 5-Customerexperience; 8-Fast Fionnuala

Forecast: A stronger-than-par starter optional claimer for 3-year-old fillies has three legitimate candidates. Customerxperience, fourth over a sloppy track at the Big A in December when facing a stronger first-level allowance field as the favorite, may have not cared for the wet going and is solid fit on the basis of her debut score the previous month on fast ground. She was claimed out of her first start for $75,000 and won at 6-1 – somebody knew something – and remains protected in a sign of confidence. The work tab at Gulfstream Park West is very impressive for new trainer S. Joseph, Jr., who hits at a powerful 26% with layoff runners. Fast Loriloupies, another Joseph, Jr. entrant and a major contender in her own right, crushed maiden $50,000 rivals by almost seven lengths in early February but shows a spotty work pattern since. She may be the quickest of the contenders and if she can shake loose early the daughter of Rattlesnake Bridge could be hard to overhaul. Fionnuala probably didn’t beat much when graduating at first asking vs. $40,000 maiden claiming foes last month at Tampa Bay Downs but did it like a filly who can be very competitive on this tougher circuit. The D. Bennett-trained daughter of Verrazano earned a speed figure that makes her dangerous right back, picks up L. Saez, and figures to be on the front or comfortably placed outside in a stalker’s role.

RACE 7: Post 3:22 ET. Grade: C+
Use: 3-Positive Phil; 12-Notsosubtle

Forecast: Positive Phil was a beaten favorite in a similar restricted (nw-2) $20,000 claimer over the local lawn last month but ran a winning race in defeat while more than three lengths clear of the rest and earned a career top speed figure in the process. You would think that a repeat of that effort today should be good enough, but the son of Paynter is winless in nine career starts over the Gulfstream Park turf course and may not be one to trust. We’ll reluctantly put him on top in a weak affair while also including the 20-1 morning line bomber Notsosubtle. Yes, he’s drawn poorly outside in the 12-hole going seven and one-half furlongs, but he’s a second-off-a-layoff play for a barn that has excellent stats with this angle and retains E. Jaramillo. He had a rough trip vs. much tougher in his first outing in 19 months, should move forward off that race, and has back numbers that make him dangerous, so you should try to find a spot for him somewhere on your ticket.

RACE 8: Post 3:48 ET. Grade: B
Single: 3-Kid Bourbon; 9-Beau Luminarie

Forecast: Kid Bourbon earned a giant speed figure – a career top – when a sharp runner-up in a fast, highly-rated turf miler at this level last time out but his dirt form is strong, too, and the son of Lemon Drop Kid, with an ideal second-flight style for this main track mile trip, should continue his improving pattern for M. Hennig. We’ll give him the edge on top. Beau Luminarie also is a contender off his best race. A big figure maiden winner over this course and distance two runs back, the son of I Want Revenge flopped badly in his next start as the favorite but lands the cozy outside post today and is very likely to inherit an easy pace-pressing trip that should bring out his best. Toss him in at 6-1 on the morning line.

RACE 9: Post 4:53 ET. Grade: B+
Use: 1-Envoutante; 2-Highland Glory

Forecast: Envoutante destroyed a maiden field last month while earning stakes-quality speed figure, but she did it on dirt and today’s Honey Ryder Stakes for 3-year-old fillies will be contested on grass. Can she replicate her scintillating maiden victory on turf? The daughter of Uncle Mo finished third in her debut on the lawn when clearly needing the race, so we doubt the switch in surface will have much effect. Yes, this is a significant raise in class, but the K. McPeek-trained filly shows a bullet five furlong drill (:59 1/5, fastest of 26) since raced and strikes us as one that has plenty of further improvement in her. Dangerous on the lead or from a stalking position, she’s a logical top pick at 8/5 on the morning line. Highland Glory is considerably slower on speed figures that Envoutante but she’s a winner of her last pair including a listed stakes over this turf course and can really turn it on in the final furlong. The daughter of Sky Mesa is worth using as a back-up or a saver.

RACE 10: Post 5:25 ET. Grade: B+
Use: 3-Network Effect; 6-He Hate Me

Forecast: Network Effect clipped heels, stumbled, lost all position and then did as well as he could to wind up a game second with a career top speed figure in a second-level allowance event last time out. If he can leave cleanly today, the C. Brown-trained colt should be hard to deny in this Florida-bred seven furlong stakes. The lightly-raced son of Mark Valeski switches to I. Ortiz, Jr. and has the perfect style for this extended sprint trip. He’s 2-1 on the morning line and on paper looks every bit of that. He Hate Me returns to state-bred company after finishing a respectable third in the Sir Shackleton S. over this track and distance in late March. His numbers are consistent, he’s hit the board in 13 of 16 career starts, and is worth using as a saver in rolling exotic play.

RACE 11: Post 5:57 ET. Grade: B+
Use: 4-Gufo; 8-Proven Strategies; 12-Ever Dangerous

Forecast: Proven Strategies took seven races to finally break his maiden but now that he’s apparently figured things out the son of Sky Mesa appears on the verge of becoming one of the better 3-year-old turf performers in his class. After easily dispatching state-bred foes two runs back in a common gallop, the M. Casse-trained colt came back to win a first-level allowance on the front end while never really being asked for his best, earning a career top speed figure in the process. He’s tackling open competition in this listed stakes for 3-year-olds but could easily be up to the task, and at 6-1 on the morning line offers excellent wagering value both in the win pool and in rolling exotic play. Gufo is worth strong consideration as well. A son of Declaration of War with just three prior outings and rising speed figures in each, he’s won his last pair with authority while exhibiting a powerful late kick. He picks up I. Ortiz, Jr. and with some help up front looms the one to contain in the final stages. Ever Dangerous won at first asking like a very nice prospect. He’s tackling much stronger foes today and must leave from the extreme outside post, so the task is daunting, but at 10-1 on the morning line he’s worth using on a ticket or two as a saver.

RACE 12: Post 6:28 ET. Grade: C+
Use: 4-Britesideoftheroad; 5-La Incondicional; 8-Little Code

Forecast: The nightcap is a $16,000 turf router for older fillies and mares. No easy task, for sure. Britesideoftheroad drops to a realistic level and may regain her best form after fading in a tougher starter’s optional claimer last time out. Her two prior races were good, and a repeat of either one of them against this group probably will be good enough. La Incondicional crushed a restricted (nw-3) $16,000 field three weeks ago with good pace-stalking trip and career top number. If she can turn in two alike, she can be a threat right back. She has good tactical speed and all three of his lifetime victories have been accomplished over the local lawn. Little Code, now in the R. B. Hess, Jr.-barn and freshened since mid-February hasn’t won since the fall of 2018 but she has speed figures that fit and picks up L. Saez, who will have her doing her best work from off the pace. She provides a price chance at 12-1 on the morning line.