Let’s look at a few spots today between Aqueduct and Gulfstream.
Gulfstream Race 7 (Sunshine Millions Turf) – #1 Our Way (3-1) is the horse to beat. We’ve always been fans, but he has a lot of layoff lines and is tough to trust as the likely favorite. #3 Spring Up (8-1) is the pick. 8-1 might be generous, but at around 9-2 he’s still our play. He ran a good race last time at Tampa Bay Downs behind Scholar Athlete, a solid Graham Motion runner that set a slow pace that day. Before that, he tracked a very fast pace that ultimately fell apart in a Claiming Crown race. He was the only horse near the pace around at the finish. Spring Up is in better form than it appears and is the upset pick.
Gulfstream Race 9 – This Florida-bred Maiden Special Weight has a few interesting runners but we’ll take a shot with #4 Moon Pistol (10-1). He had a bit of a trip going long on the grass in his debut for trainer Angel Penna, breaking slowly and trying to move wide. He moves to a dirt sprint today for his second start. By Malibu Moon out of a Grade 2 winning dam, Pomeroys Pistol, who was a very good dirt sprinter, and with a seemingly improved workout out from Monday, he looks ready to take a step forward. The rider switch to Julien Leparoux is a plus as well.
Gulfstream Race 10 (Sunshine Millions F&M Turf) – #10 Jodesanimeaux (8-1) has faced some tougher fields over the last year and hopefully can tuck in and get a nice trip behind the two favorites. #6 Daddy’s Boo (5-2) will be the pace-setter but will be dealing with a top-class presser in #4 Starship Jubilee (2-1). That one pressed a moderate pace last time in the Claiming Crown race and just didn’t have enough late. Maybe they hit go too soon but she should have finished better and I wonder if she’s trending slightly down. She’ll be a very short price. #2 Bonita (6-1) will be running late and beat our top pick last in September, but she hasn’t been out since September 30th and she might find herself too far back off what shouldn’t be too fast of a pace. This is a very interesting race.
Aqueduct Race 5 – I don’t want to take a short price on #7 Benevolence (5-2), who is 1-18 with seven second place finishes. As an alternative, we’ll try #8 H Man (5-1), who goes out third time for Jeremiah Englehart. H Man was claimed at Saratoga but had something go wrong in his first start off the claim, necessitating a four month layoff. He flattened out late last time but now is second off the layoff, drawn well outside, and has some back races fast enough to win here.