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Sunday, May 3: Jeff Siegel's Gulfstream Park Wagering Strategies

by Jeff Siegel

May 3, 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: X
Single: 3-Etana

Forecast: Etana is even money on the morning line and really should handle this modest $12,500 maiden claiming field after dropping drastically into a seller for the first time from straight maiden company. She actually finished first in a race last November at Laurel but was disqualified. Removing blinkers, turning back to a one turn mile and switching to I. Ortiz, Jr, the S. Joseph, Jr.-trained sophomore filly should be along in time as a no-value rolling exotic single.

RACE 2: Post 1:14 ET. Grade: X
Single: 3-Candy Crushem

Forecast: Here’s another unplayable race, a one-turn mile bottom-rung $6,250 claimer featuring another even money morning line favorite, Candy Crushem. The Twirling Candy gelding, third in a pair of tougher $12,500 recent races while earning solid speed figures, is reunited with I. Ortiz, Jr. but this class drop is more than suspicious, especially from a low profile outfit, and at a short price there’s no value to be found. You can use him a short price rolling exotic single or better yet, simply pass the race.

RACE 3: Post 1:45 ET. Grade: B
Use: 1-Joe Benjamin; 7-Budget Buster

Forecast: Joe Benjamin, in the frame in his last three with rising speed figures in each of his four career starts, appears ready to earn his diploma despite being raised from the maiden $20,000 ranks to the $32,000 level. The Hard Spun colt, a sharp runner-up while well clear of the rest last time out, is assured a good ground-saving, second flight trip from his rail post position, switches to E. Jaramillo, and offers a bit of value at 9/2 on the morning line if you can get it. Budget Buster already has had eight chances without breaking through though he’s hit the board six times and just finished a solid second vs. similar last month with a career top speed figure. He’s still slower on figures than our top pick, so we’ll include him on our ticket as a back-up or a saver but the main push goes to Joe Benjamin.

RACE 4: Post 2:15 ET. Grade: B
Use: 3-Competitive Saint; 6-Getthe Muny Bernie; 8-Thrill Ride

Forecast: Older maidens sprint six furlongs in the fourth race with several first-timers appearing to have the credentials to make some serious noise. Getthe Muny Bernie finally makes it to the races at age four for trainer S. Joseph Jr and draws the barn’s main guy T. Gaffalione. The son of Munnings has winning connections and a work tab at Gulfstream Park West that includes a bullet five furlong drill in 1:00 flat, the fastest of nine, and a bullet half mile gate work in :48 flat, best of 41 for the distance. You’d have to think he’s well-meant at 7/2 on the morning line. Competitive Spirit breezed a furlong in 10 seconds flat at the 2019, OBS March sale while carrying his head a bit high but displaying good speed and power. The son of Competitive Edge hails from a barn that has superior stats with first-time starters and shows a healthy if unspectacular series of workouts at Palm Meadows that should have him fit enough first crack out of the box. The G. Weaver-trained colt is interesting at 8-1 on the morning line. Thrill Ride has done some good work in the a.m. for I. Wilkes and is worth a close look as well. The son of Candy Ride worked a half in 47 1/5 at Palm Meadows last month, the fastest of 16 for the distance after shipping in from Lambholm South Training Center. At 6-1 on the morning line, he’s worth tossing in somewhere.

RACE 5: Post 2:46 ET. Grade: C+
Use: 3-Conquer; 10-Wild One Forever; 121-Poppy’s Destiny

Forecast: The fifth race is a messy five furlong turf sprint for restricted (nw-2) $12,500 claimers. We’ll go three-deep in a wide open affair and hope to get by. Conquer has the route-to-sprint angle that we like plus a logical class drop from $25,000 while retaining L. Saez. The son of Congrats has plenty of speed and at 6-1 on the morning line and at an abbreviated sprint distance that he should like the L. Pilotti-trained colt seems as good as any. Wild One Forever, fourth in his last pair vs. stronger, is a fit on numbers and should be a late threat in a race in which the speed types may be suspect under pressure. Poppy’s Destiny gets the worst of the draw but in his second off a layoff, his first on grass, and with the switch to E. Zayas, the son of Orb may offer some good value at 6-1 on the morning line.

RACE 6: Post 3:17 ET. Grade: B
Use: 2-Tournesol; 7-Joyous Times

Forecast: Tournesol lost all chance when clipping heels at the head of the lane in a similar starter’s optional claimer over this course and distance last time out but with the switch to T. Gaffalione and good racing luck the daughter of Karakontie should be capable of regaining her winning form. Two runs back she finished a solid third in an overnight stakes race and blew out recently in a sharp :47 1/5 seconds, the seventh fastest of 112 for the distance. Days of Spring looked pretty good winning a $20,000 claimer over this course last month while earning a good figure, and today goes for new connections while being protected on the raise. She’s a fit on figures and will be running on strongly late. These are the two we’ll be using in our rolling exotics with preference on top to Tournesol.

RACE 7: Post 3:22 ET. Grade: B+
Single: 2-Token

Forecast: Token finished second in a fast, highly-rated two-turn main track maiden affair last month, backs up to a one-turn mile today, switches to T. Gaffalione, and looks well-placed to earn her diploma. The daughter of Curlin shows rising speed figures with every outing and has the perfect stalking style for this distance. At 8/5 on the morning line, the the W. Mott-trained filly is a logical short price rolling exotic single.

RACE 8: Post 4:21 ET. Grade: B
Single: 6-Moon Eyes

Forecast: Today’s eighth race is a $12,500 claiming scramble for fillies and mares over a mile on grass. Rather than spread the race, we’ll take a stand and hope to be right. Moon Eyes switches to the barn’s “go-to” rider I. Ortiz, Jr. and stretches out to two-turns for the first time. If the daughter of Kantharos is ever going to stay this trip it probably will be in her first try and based on the projected race flow she seems very likely to inherit the role as the controlling speed for a barn that has good stats with stretch-out plays. At 7/2 on the morning line, the M. Maker-trained filly is a straight play and rolling exotic single.

RACE 9: Post 4:53 ET. Grade: B
Single: 6-Boerne

Forecast: Boerne seeks her third straight score and this time has the luxury of a comfortable outside draw. She’s listed at 5/2 on the morning line and we suspect she’ll go lower based on her proven ability at this extended sprint trip and the option that E. Zayas will have to either pop and go or stalk and pounce, though we suspect he won’t be waiting around for anybody. The daughter of Fed Biz is facing tougher foes today but should be up to the task as a straight play and rolling exotic single.

RACE 10: Post 5:25 ET. Grade: B-
Use: 2-Souper Courage; 3-Devoted Kitten; 4-Machiavelli

Forecast: The three main players in this $20,000 turf claimer exit the same race, the April 12 event over this course and distance at this level that was won by Zippy. Souper Courage finished second in that race after moving up midway (too soon?) to hit the front and take a clear lead in mid-stretch, only to be worn down late. He’s drawn nicely inside, should enjoy a ground-saving trip, and can win with patient handling. Devoted Kitten, a closing third in that race, is lightly-raced (eight starts) with room for a bit of improvement. He’s drawn much better today and with some help up front should be dangerous from off the pace. Machiavelli is solid in the speed figure department, is another that gets a better draw today, and retains E. Zayas, who knows him well. He’s a late threat at 6-1 on the morning line and at that price is worth including.

RACE 11: Post 5:24 ET. Grade: B+
Single: 1-Aurelia Garland

Forecast: Aurelia Garland was very impressive winning her debut when trained by W. Ward early in her two-year-old season, was subsequently entered in the Schuylerville Stakes at Saratoga two months later but had to be scratched and turned out. She returns for new connections off a long layoff while facing some seasoned older sprinters in this first-level allowance dash. There may be a concern that the daughter of Constitution now is being trained by R. Brisset, whose record with comebackers is poor, but In viewing a couple of her recent workouts on xbtv.com she appears to be returning as well as she left, her modest workout times notwithstanding. A quick-action, athletic filly with an economical stride, she strikes us as one that probably doesn’t need a lot to get fit, so at 4-1 on the morning line with L. Saez taking the call, we’ll make her a win play and rolling exotic single while keeping our fingers crossed that she leaves cleanly from her inside draw.

RACE 12: Post 6:29 ET. Grade: B-
Use: 2-Till the End; 5-Keep Quiet; 10-Bourbon in May

Forecast: The Sunday nightcap is a $16,000 turf claimer over nine furlongs. Bourbon in May is the 9/5 morning line favorite while dropping drastically in class from a first-level allowance event in yet another “cleaning house” maneuver by T. Pletcher. The son of More Than Ready makes a major switch to I. Ortiz, Jr., has good consistent speed figures that are better than par for the level, and has been first or second in eight of 11 career starts. If he has at least one good one left, he’ll beat this field. Fair Grounds invader Keep Quiet, freshened for a couple of months and now in the R. B. Hess, Jr. barn, is another taking a significant class drop and should make his presence felt from a second flight, stalking position. With three career wins and 11 seconds and thirds, he may not be one to count on, but at this level he could get a confidence boost. Till the End returns to his claim level, should be forwardly placed from his favorable inside draw, and has three prior wins over the local lawn. He’ got a chance to at least hit the board at 6-1 on the morning line.