Maiden Focus by @ThoroBredPicks (Gulfstream, February 2)

0-for-1 on Sunday, with ST. JOE LOUIS finishing second by a length.

Gulfstream – Race 10


Mark Casse entrant ran a much-improved race when switching to grass last time out, showing good speed to grab a nice spot sitting just behind the two pacesetters CANDACE O and STUCK ON KITTEN, each of whom I had backed in that race ( a win bet on CANDACE O and an exacta box w/STUCK ON KITTEN, write-up available here: ). There were a couple of nice peripheral contenders in that race also, including eventual second-place finisher CADENCIA, so it looked to be a pretty strong race overall, and that seemed to hold up last weekend when CANDACE O returned to run a solid race in the Sweetest Chant Stakes (beaten 2.5 lengths by impressive winner WHITE FROST after a rough trip @ 19/1 odds). Back to CAUSINGAHULLBALOO, she made a pretty nice bid to challenge CANDACE O before she lost the ground back on the turn, but stuck to her job nicely down the lane, as only CADENCIA was able to get past her in the stretch despite a swarm coming at her from both sides. Looked pretty game and did not appear to be tiring much, as she was able to run pretty evenly (a couple of lengths behind) with CANDACE O all the way down the stretch. Interesting to note that this will be CAUSINGAHULLBALOO’s second start around two turns (and first w/Lasix), while this will be the 8/5 ml favorite SIMPLY THE BEST’s two-turn debut (and she had Lasix last time). Also interesting that Casse has apparently taken care to bring CAUSINGAHULLBALOO into this race exactly the same way he did last time, with a four-furlong turf drill coming 8 days before the race (and both races @ 7.5 furlongs, of course). Speaking of SIMPLY THE BEST, CAUSINGAHULLBALOO figures to sit another good trip here just off that one’s flank, and it should be noted that the horse SIMPLY THE BEST chased home last time (MADEMOISELLE NOVA) came back to finish third as a 6/5 favorite in a maiden turf sprint last weekend. No reason for the difference in odds here (other than the perceived pace advantage), as CAUSINGAHULLBALOO figures very competitive and probably rates a slight edge. IMO she seems more likely to improve than the favorite does, and may be twice the price.

ThoroBredPicks record:
Win record: 24-for-81 (30% winners)
Total mutuels: $206.30 ($8.60 average win price)

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