Santa Anita does not run again until Jan 6, so I have decided to cover Wednesday’s opening day card from Gulfstream Park. They are offering .50 cent Pick 4’s and a .10 cent Pick 6 at the Gulf this winter, and the plethora of great turf action always catches my attention. I hope you enjoy the full card analysis below and let’s start out the South Florida winter action on a high note.
Jarrod Horak’s Gulfstream Park opening day analysis – Wednesday (1-5-11)
Weather: Sunny. High 80.
Best Bets (races 4, 7)
GP 1 (Clm-15/2L, 3yo fil, 5.5f) #7 DREAMINGOF LILLIAN (5-1) was a smart stalk and pounce winner of her Maiden Claiming sprint bow at Calder. Paco Lopez/Nick Canani are 2-for-2 together recently and an outer tactical trip is anticipated. #1 Voodoointhevibes (5-2) is the returning inside speed for Trujillo/Ward. THE PLAYS: #7 to win, Exacta Box 1-7
GP 2 (Clm-6250k, 4up, 6f) #7 WOODLAND (8-1) does some of his best work at this distance and has been part of the Exacta in all three local outings. The realistically spotted gelding hails from a sharp claiming outfit and Gallardo knows him well. #9 Hyphen (10-1) was nabbed out of his last by a 28% first off the claim outfit. He exits a razor sharp $5,000 claiming win at Calder and should offer decent value today. #5 Convoy Ahead (5-2) is 3-for-3 here and 5-for-5 in dirt sprints. He is another returning speed threat for Trujillo/Ward. THE PLAYS: #7 to win, Exacta 7/5-9, Exacta 5-9/7
GP 3 (Clm-50k, 3yo, 8T) #1 YANKEE KITTEN (4-1) overcame a slow pace to capture his NY-bred turf route bow as the favorite at Aqueduct. He has the 42% Castellano/Chad Brown team in his corner and his aforementioned conditioner is an impressive 55% with his recent grads trying winners for the first time. #1A ERIC’S KITTEN (4-1) is a late running threat on the surface switch. Kitten’s Joy is a 17% first turf sire and dam has tossed four grass winners. #7 Duke of Doom (6-1) overcame a troubled start to win his Maiden Claiming turf route bow at Calder. He hails from a profitable barn and could be this good. THE PLAYS: #1 to win, Exacta Box 1-7
GP 4 (Clm-20/2L, 4up, 8f) #6 BULL HOLE (6-1) does not seem to care for synthetic ground so his last pair can be forgiven. He was having success on turf before that and ran well in a productive dirt route at Delaware Park second time out last May. His connections are easy to like and he should offer a hint of value. THE PLAYS: #6 to win-place
GP 5 (Alw-1x, 4up, 8.5T) #1 UPGRADE (3-1) looms large for Castellano/Chad Brown. The versatile sort came from far back to win at Aqueduct Nov 19. The $170,000 Keeneland sales grad frequently shows tactical speed and ran well in both turf starts here in 2010. #6 The Cognac Kid (4-1) has fired in all of his non-Stakes turf tries. The above average sales purchase will be finishing under new pilot Rajiv Maragh. THE PLAYS: #1 to win, Exacta Box 1-6, Trifecta 1/ALL/6
GP 6 (MSW, 3yo fil, 6f) #4 GAZILLION KISSES (6-1) is out of a 26% first time starter outfit (Wesley Ward) and is bred to hit the ground running in sprints. #2 La Rumba (7-2) was necked in her Dec 10 debut at Calder and the winner of that heat came back to score again. Matz is a profitable 16% with second time starters. #8 Media Starlett (10-1) has a pair of December bullets in her holster and hails from a profitable first time starter barn. Mass Media is a 19% win early sire and dam has tossed three winners from as many starters. THE PLAYS: #4 to win, Exacta 4-8/2, Exacta 2/4-8
GP 7 (Alw-1x, 3yo fil, 8T) My Horse Racing Nation play of the day.
GP 8 (Grade 3 Old Hat, 3yo fil, 6f) #5 QUANTUM MISS (2-1) exits back-to-back romping dirt sprint scores and she earned a strong triple digit number at Penn Nov 24. The fleet, versatile miss should make her presence felt throughout. #6 Roxy Gap (9-5) easily captured all three starts on synthetic/turf at Woodbine last year. The tactical miss tries dirt for the first time today. THE PLAYS: #5 to win, Exacta 5-6
GP 9 (Mcl-75k, 3yo, 7.5T) #12 VAPOR TRACE (8-1) ended up a respectable 4th in his mud route bow at Monmouth Aug 22. Ghostzapper is a 16% first turf sire and dam has tossed six turf winners. He sports six local drills and could go better for competent connections. #10 Classical Chant (6-1) finished an even 5th in his synthetic sprint special weight bow at Woodbine. The above average sales purchase is bred to handle turf (War Chant-Smart Strike) and could easily move forward second time out. THE PLAYS: #12 to win, Trifecta 10-12/1-10-11-12/1-10-11-12