Hello and welcome…. (back)
As with last year, these posts are geared to give new players a look inside how to approach handicapping and wagering like a seasoned “regular Joe”, the way PTF and JK taught me through the podcast a handful of years ago. My opinions and wagering strategies are always going to have flaws, so check back for recaps on what we learned.
Race 8: 5f (AW) OC$40k
Speed drawn everywhere in this 5f dash. There should be enough pace in this race to setup for a move from a horse still in touch with the leaders.
Best Value: #8 Mustn’t Grumble (10-1): Well over matched last out, first time dirt at Gulfstream Park. Regroups with the AW surface and has shown ability to stalk or be loose on the lead. We always like to see that type of versatility.
Most Logical: #3 Sea Lily (4-1): has natural speed and is likely to wire the field.
Exotic Use: #5 Storm Gauge (20-1): Putting up respectable TimeForm US final figures. If too many sprinters go too fast early could setup for this plodder. With the two speeds drawn next to each other with #2 Ladies Signature and #3 Sea Lily, there’s a chance.
Race 9: 7.5f (T) Alw $112k
Many of the obvious favorites are, in my opinion, playing at a disadvantage. #2 Souper Escape, #5 Red Cabernet, #7 Amalfi Coast, #10 Lunar Garden are all getting their first start of 2020. I’m betting there’s rust that needs to be shaken off for many of these hopeful stakes horses in 2020.
Best Bet: #6 Another Time (20-1): Sometimes to form an opinion of a race, a story needs to be told to explain the hidden significance on display from poor results. Starting back at Keeneland (4/7), the horse gets put onto a sloppy track with other graded stakes horses (Baffert trainee Mother Mother, most notably) in the G3 Beaumont. Something clearly wasn’t right that day as the horse goes on the shelf for almost a year. The debut back was visually impressive in March at Tampa. She was spotted 5 lengths back with a heavy favorite loose on the lead with fractions coded normal (thanks to TimeForm US on DRF Formulator). The best part about that win, the horse came across the wire an open lengths winner with just a few reminders of the whip after an 11 month layoff. Lastly, the most recent try might as well have been a grade stakes race. Jockey had no option but to try and send to gain position out of the 13 post (Gulfstream’s first turn comes up quick, so it’s easy to get stuck 4-6 wide). Close to the hot pace with the leaders that eventually collapsed. The jockey at the 1/8 pole clearly conserving the horse for the next battle.
Now to today and how this horse fits. The good post draw, bullet last work, with limited speed to the inside will let this horse sit comfortably. Expect a 2-3 wide bid as #2 Souper Escape sets that pace. For the record, I predict this horse will be a graded stakes horse by the end of the year. And… it’s a Munnings.
Most Logical: #7 Amalfi Coast (2-1) Loved this horse last year, overcoming bad trips and pace setups where the horse really had to run in the final closing stages. The big pause for me is the long layoff not racing since November. The workout report shows the bullet, so let’s assume this one is ready to roll as a fan favorite being 4-2-1 with only one off the board finish (due to a bad trip)
Next Best: #2 Souper Escape (9/2) Will be up on the lead and given a chance. The long layoff is a bit concerning, but maybe there’s 4 y/o untapped potential here.
Bet Against: #3 Get Explicit (7/2) Classy horse running well in grade stakes company but can never seem to get the job done. The distance doesn’t appear to fit either, as 0 for 4. Big things in the future going longer.
Race 10: 5f (AW) Alw n1x
What a murky race that has one clear standout. The lone speed on the rail should setup nicely for the Ward runner.
Most Logical: #2 Artie’s Princess (5/2) Expect this one to drop down to even money. The lone speed on the rail with Ward firing at 22% off a 90+ days layoff. Wire-to-Wire.
Next Best: #8 Fact Checking (3-1) Will try the stalking trip. To win will need #2 Artie’s Princess and a few other horses to sprint fast during the first two furlongs.
Exotic Use: #9 Mintaka Belle (20-1) If can get away cleanly, this cut back might be what puts this longshot onto the board.
Wagering $35 budget
- R9 $15 Win: #6 Another Time
- R9 $8 (base bet $4) Ex: 7,2 w 6
- R8: Pick 3*
- $6 (3 w 6 w 2)
- $3 (8 w 6 w 2)
- $2 (3 w 2,7 w 2) – backup ticket
- $1 (8 w 2,7 w 2) – backup ticket
*Check out ticketmarker.drf.com for more information on ticket construction