Log In

Saturday, May 09: Gulfstream Park Wagering Strategies

by Jeff Siegel

May 9, 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-Mayito; 5-Jack Beanstalk; 9-Traffic Trouble; 10-Sweet Giant

Forecast: Mayito has been a beaten favorite vs. slightly tougher maiden-claiming foes in his last pair, but he has numbers that are par for this level and with this drop to the bottom-rung the S. Joseph Jr.,-trained gelding is certain to leave as the public choice once again. However, in each of his five career starts, the son of Declaration of War has found himself within range in the final furlong but just doesn’t seem capable of punching it in under pressure, thus making him difficult to trust. Maybe against this group he’ll find his confidence but while we’ll include him in our rolling exotics he hardly qualifies as a solid pick. Jack Beanstalk is another money-burner, having failed as the chalk in each of his last three starts. The N. Casse-trained gelding will be forwardly placed throughout, and with L. Saez staying aboard he has to be considered a contender at 6-1 on the morning. Sweet Giant and Traffic Trouble, two-three finishers vs. similar over this course and distance last month, are solid fits on speed figures and both have a right to be factors. ‘Giant was 68-1 when producing a form reversal despite a poor draw and while stuck outside again the son of Giant’s Causeway won’t have to improve much to win. The latter picks up I. Ortiz, Jr. and will be running on late. In a race that looks quite chaotic, we’ll go four deep in our rolling exotics while otherwise sitting it out.

RACE 2: Post 1:15 ET. Grade: B
Use: 4-Breakthrough; 7-Full Send; 8-Hyperfocus

Forecast: Maiden 2-year-olds meet over four and one-half furlongs with top stables (Pletcher, Ward, etc.) represented by runners with credentials to win right now. Full Send is quite intriguing as a debut runner bred to be very quick (Cajun Breeze) and from an excellent barn whose juveniles have run very well so far this season. With a bullet three-furlong work last month (:35 3/5, fastest of 38), this homebred speedster looks cranked up and ready to fire while being ridden by the barn’s “go-to” jockey M. Vasquez. There are a few others in here who look just as dangerous but at 6-1 on the morning line we’ll put the M. Yates-trained colt on top. Breakthrough is the first starter from the first crop of Nyquist and has done some good work in the a.m. that should have him plenty fit. The W. Ward babies haven’t lived up to expectations so far this season but at 9/5 on the morning line this $330,000 yearling purchase is certain to get plenty of play. Hyperfocus has a bullet half-mile drill at Palm Beach Downs last month (:48 2/5, fastest of 20) that catches the eye and is comfortably drawn outside while landing I. Ortiz, Jr. The son of Constitution is bred to more of a distance type than a pure sprinter but the barn hits at a strong 21% with first-time time starters and this colt is likely to show plenty of run.

RACE 3: Post 1:45 ET. Grade: B-
Use: 10-Midnight Marvel; 11-Dur a Cuire; 12-Cat Lady

Forecast: Cat Lady is listed as the 8/5 morning line favorite and has much in her favor except an extreme outside post position that she’ll have to deal with. Originally a $300,000 yearling, the daughter of Kitten’s Joy is being culled from the stable while dropping for the first time into a maiden $40,000 affair despite having decent numbers and finishing a good second vs. maiden-special-weight company two runs back. She really has little to beat here, and with the switch to I. Ortiz, Jr. the T. Pletcher-trained filly is the deserved top pick, her poor draw notwithstanding. Dur a Cuire, drawing just inside the favorite in the 11-post and showing a similar maiden-to-maiden claiming class drop, may be worth including as a back-up or a saver. She’s fairly competitive on numbers after finishing third vs. tougher last time out and, and because she brought only $30,000 at auction as a yearling her class drop is less troubling. She’s run well both on the lead or from far off the pace, so C. Landeros has the option to assess and then adjust to the race flow. Midnight Marvel shows up in a seller for the first time – always a good long shot angle - and had a decent sort of breeze around dogs on grass since being pulled up at the start last month. Hard to say if she can run, but at 15-1 she’s worth using on a few tickets as blow out possibility.

RACE 4: Post 2:15 ET. Grade: C
Use: 1-Algodonal; 2-Dana Grace; 6-Sand Drift; 10-Get Rewarded

Forecast: Here’s a difficult $16,000 grass grab bag for older fillies and mares requiring a substantial spread in rolling exotic play. Sand Drift, in the frame in all of her recent outings and a two-time winner over the local lawn, has winning connections and should fire her best shot in her first outing in three months for a barn that has superior stats with layoff runners. She should have every chance to wear down the speed from her usual second flight, stalking position. Algodonal is guaranteed a good ground-saving trip from her rail draw and can be effective as the controlling speed or from a stalking position. Solid at this level and switching to the barn’s main jockey E. Jaramillo, the daughter of Afleet Alex has recent numbers that are better than par for this level and after a month off should be set for a top effort. Get Rewarded looked pretty good winning over this course and distance from a lesser group last month and with another forward move today the daughter of Get Stormy could be competitive. At 8-1 on the morning line, she’s worth including somewhere. Dana Grace was 41-1 when turning in a form reversal to be second while more than three clear of the rest and earning a career top speed figure in the process last month. Up a notch in class but certainly not out of element, the daughter of Mucho Macho Man may have found a home on grass.

RACE 5: Post 2:46 ET. Grade: C+
Use: 5-Caepline; 6-Nenita

Forecast: This bottom rung maiden $10,000 claiming sprint for fillies and mares has very little in it. Ninita is a big price on the morning line (12-1) and is worth a close look if she leaves at close to that number. She has the route-to-sprint angle that we like plus a sprint speed figure over this track and distance earlier this year that would probably be good enough to win. She gets in with a feather thanks to the presence of seven-pound bug boy G. A. Martinez and is wheeled back on short rest by a barn that does this fairly frequently. Capeline drops significantly in class and is another sporting the route-to-sprint angle while trying dirt for the first time. She did flash some early speed last time out and could stick much better under these conditions. These are the two we’ll prefer but in a race like this nothing would surprise us.

RACE 6: Post 3:17 ET. Grade: B-
Use:3-Call Curt; 4-Riggins; 11-Reconvene

Forecast: This appears to be a stronger than par maiden $65,000 claimer for 3-year-olds over a mile on turf with several lightly-raced contenders appearing capable of stepping forward. Riggins was given a run in his debut vs. much tougher maiden special weight company and this class drop combined with the switch to I. Ortiz, Jr. gives reason to believe that today he’ll be much more serious. The son of Liam’s Map should settle somewhere in mid-pack and then have his chance from the quarter pole home. Even when finishing a non-threatening eighth, the T. Pletcher-trained gelding earned a speed figure that puts him right in the hunt at this level. Reconvene performed admirably when stalking a hot pace, opening up on the turn, and then feeling the effects of the quick early fractions while weakening late to be third in a solid debut last month. The B. Perkins, Jr.-trained son of Summer Front retains E. Jaramillo and with a softer early pace today he should remain a strong factor every step of the way. Call Curt has the classic two-sprints-and-a-stretch-out pattern after landing in the frame in a pair of turf sprints to begin his career. Bred to get the mile (Sky Mesa from a Maria’s Mon mare), the J. Avila-trained gelding retains E. Zayas, has rising speed figures, and is comfortably drawn toward the inside. He projects to be comfortably placed on or near the lead throughout.

RACE 7: Post 3:49 ET. Grade: B
Use: 3-Fast Scene; 9-Envied; 10-Compensate

Forecast: Fast Scene makes her first start since last October but because she won her debut we know she can fire fresh, and after a series of strong workouts at Tampa Bay Downs she vans down for this open allowance grass sprint for 3-year-old fillies. A two-time stakes winner during a highly productive juvenile campaign, the T. Hamm-trained daughter of Fast Anna gets a favorable pace scenario that projects her as the controlling speed. There’s value at her morning line of 3-1 if you can get it. Envied has the opposite style – she’s a prototype late-running sprinter – and will need a faster-than-par early pace to aid her closing kick. If ‘Scene fails to see out the trip she’s the most likely to pick her up.Compensate is stuck outside but has improving numbers and finished a solid second in an overnight stakes over this course and distance in her most recent start. She switches to L. Saez and appears to have found her niche as a grass sprinter.

RACE 8: Post 4:27 ET. Grade: C+
Use: 3-Cat Gone Quick; 5-Louie’s Kingdom

Forecast: Mixed signals here. Louie’s Kingdom was claimed back – always a good sign – by trainer L. Rivelli for $30,000 in early February but has been off for more than three months – not a good sign – while returning in a $16,000 restricted (nw-3) sprint for older horses. A repeat of his nice win over this track and distance in late December is good enough to beat this field, but with this type of shaky pattern we’re not really sure what we’re going to get. On the positive side, the son of Animal Kingdom attracts I. Ortiz, Jr. for a stable that has sensational stats with the first-off-the-claim angle. Cat Gone Quick earned a career top speed figure when graduating vs. soft maiden $12,500 foes last time out while on the pace throughout. He’ll need another forward move to be competitive on the raise, but the son of Gone Astray acts like a progressive type and could be dangerous right back.

RACE 9: Post 4:59 ET. Grade: B
Use: 6-Halladay; 7-Hawkish; 9-Social Paranoia; 11-Admissions Office

Forecast: Halladay returns to the stakes ranks after a confidence-building win in an overnight allowance race that produced a career top speed figure. The T. Pletcher-trained colt does his best as the controlling but can stalk and pounce as well, and in a race that projects to a have moderate early fractions the son of War Front should draft into an ideal spot and be well-positioned for another major effort. He’s unbeaten in two starts over the local lawn and has the makings of a highly-productive four-year-old. Pletcher’s “other horse” is Social Paranoia, who seeks his third straight score and likewise is fresh from earning a career top speed figure in his late-charging score in the Appleton S.-G3 in late March. Similar to Halladay, he’s perfect over the local lawn (two-for-two) and with good racing luck this thoroughly genuine and consistent son of Street Boss will be heard from in the final furlong. Admissions Office is a deep closer that might find this distance a tad sharp, though there’s nothing wrong with his record at a mile and one-sixteenth (first, second, third, in three starts). He’s reunited with J. Rosario, who was aboard this son of Point of Entry in his last win more than a year ago. Hawkish (10-1) should be included somewhere on your ticket based on price considerations. Capable of firing a big shot fresh, training very well for his comeback, and with numbers that put him in the hunt, the son of Artie Schiller likes the local lawn and may at least get a piece of it.

RACE 10: Post 5:30 ET. Grade: B
Use: 6-Battle of Blenheim; 9-Honey Won’t; 11-Shootin the Breeze

Forecast: Battle of Blenheim returns to his claim level after a series of good races vs. tougher, and if he comes close to repeating any one of several of his recent outings the tough-as-nails gelding should be hard to beat at 2-1 on the morning line. Most effective on the front end but having the ability to settle behind the leaders and make a run if need be, the son of War Front is reunited with I. Ortiz, Jr., who has won twice on him in the past, and with a bullet half mile breeze (:47 1/5, fastest of 37) just six days ago, this M. Maker-trained 6-year-old is the logical top pick. The late-running Honey Won’t, sixth in the same race Battle of Blenheim just finished second in, may improve if the pace turns up faster than normal. A two-time winner over the Gulfstream Park turf course, the W. Mott-trained son of Soldat switches to L. Saez and is fairly priced at 4-1 on the morning line. Shootin the Breeze, second off a layoff for G. Motion (strong stats with this angle), switches to J. Rosario, has a steady, healthy recent series of workouts, and seems set to produce another forward move. Based strictly on speed figures, the son of Hard Spun should be right there at 8-1 on the morning line.

RACE 11: Post 6:01 ET. Grade: B
Use: 3-Tap It to Win; 4-I’ll Fight Dempsey; 5-R Mercedes Boy

Forecast: Tap It to Win launches a comeback for M. Casse and has trained like he’s fit and ready with successive bullet workouts, including a solo gate spin in 1:00 flat at Palm Meadows late last month. The son of Tapit was very impressive breaking his maiden at Saratoga with huge speed figure last August but then performed poorly in two subsequent stakes races and was stopped on. T. Gaffalione, who knows him well, returns and should have this well-regarded colt in a good stalking position, ready to pounce to just behind the speed types. At 5-1 on the morning line he’s worth a gamble. I’ll Fight Dempsey graduated at first asking in pleasing fashion over this track and distance in late February but then at 50 cents on the dollar when stretching out to seven furlongs weakened in the final stages and wound up fourth without any apparent excuse. Back at six furlongs today, the son of Into Mischief tuned up with a bullet half mile breeze (:49.1, fastest of six) nine days ago and certainly is eligible to bounce back for the high-percentage T. Pletcher/L. Saez team. R Mercedes Boy, second off a layoff for a high percentage barn, has speed figures that are all over the map, but if shows up with his “A” game he could have some say in the matter.

RACE 12: Post 6:32 ET. Grade: C+
Use: 2-Trappezoid; 3-Peppi the Hunter; 6-The Queens Jules

Forecast: The nightcap is a tough one-turn mile for starter optional claimers. Old-timer Peppi the Hunter is fresh from a sharp score with a big figure vs. $8,000 foes and is protected by his low profile connections. He’s 9/5 on the morning line, and while he’s certainly a major player right back we’re inclined to spread the race due to the negative barn and jockey switch. Trappezoid, a closing third in a similar spot last month, earned a number when winning a $12,500 claimer two runs back that charts very well here and in a race that should have enough early speed to compliment his closing kick the son of Trappe Shot appears the most dangerous of the late-runners. The Queens Jules returns to dirt, shortens to a mile, switches to I. Ortiz, Jr. and has back figures that put him right there. He should be part of the first flight throughout and seems capable of sticking around for a long while.