Some Saturday Stakes Plays

Our last two posts looked at the Louisiana Derby and the Florida Derby but let’s take a quick look at some of the other stakes on these cards today.

Gulfstream Race 7 (Sir Shackleton) – $100k, 7 furlongs – This race has collapse potential with three speed horses to the inside, two of whom might be better going six furlongs than seven. #4 Mr. Jordan (6-1), who has been facing much tougher horses (Tommy Macho, Bird Song, Realm) in back to back one-turn miles, could wake up here for Eddie Plesa on the turnback. One concern is that he is 0-7 here at 6-12 elsewhere, but he should be a fair price.

Gulfstream Race 8 (Senibel Island) – $100k, 8 furlongs, turf, 3yo fillies – A few horses come out of the Herecomesthebride from March 4th, though the top three finishers are passing this race (likely for upcoming assignments at Keeneland). The fourth place finisher from that race, #5 Happy Mesa (7-2) for Graham Motion is our pick. Happy Mesa, like a few in there, had serious traffic issues and got stopped cold at the top of the lane before closing well from there.

Gulfstream Race 13 (Pan American) – Grade 2, 12 furlongs, turf – As noted in previous posts, we’re big fans of #2 Sadler’s Joy (3-1), an improving son of Kitten’s Joy for trainer Tom Albetrani who ran a big race in the McKnight on January 28th to just miss to perfect trip winner #3 Taghleeb (7-2). Sadler’s Joy had a pretty good trip that day but just missed and has only seven career starts. He’s coming into his own at the right time and I don’t think he’ll be 3-1, but likely closer to 4 or 5-1. Taghleeb is very solid but has had some great trips this meet and has less room to improve. #5 Patterson Cross (4-1) had a good shot for Bill Mott, running two straight good races at this meet. But we think today is the breakthrough day for Sadler’s Joy.

Fair Grounds Race 8 (New Orleans Handicap) – Grade 2, 9 furlongs, dirt – We’re looking for a new face from the horses exiting the local prep, the Mineshaft, and settled on #1 Breaking Lucky (8-1) for trainer Reade Baker. What chance did he really have in the Pegasus against Arrogate? But his form before that is very good. Two-back, he ran a big race in the Clark when second to Gun Runner. Maybe he didn’t like the wet-fast track in the Lukas Classic but ran a good race when fourth (beaten a neck) to Shaman Ghost in the Woodward. He should get a nice trip from the inside today under Luis Contreras.

Good luck!

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