Gulfstream has an all turf late-pick four on Saturday that includes two graded stakes races.
Race 9 – The G1 Gulfstream Park Turf is headed by #1 Heart to Heart (5-2), who is looking for an elusive Grade 1 win. The front-runner returned from the Breeders Cup, where he was cooked in a speed duel, in the Fort Lauderdale last month but blew the break and that race can be safely tossed. There are a few others that could challenge him, but he loves the course and is likely clear again. I’ve always felt that nine furlongs was pushing it for him, though he is 2-3 going the distance, granted with soft pace scenarios. Our top pick, however, is #5 Money Multiplier (3-1) for Chad Brown. We’ve always been fans of this horse and while he’s run well going marathon distances, he did impressively win at Monmouth going this distance off a layoff on Haskell Day where he was the only wide winner on the grass. The concern is that his last two races of 2017 were not up to snuff. He didn’t run well in the Turf Classic but did have some traffic in the Red Smith over a deeper Aqueduct turf course (he’s always preferred the firmer courses of the summer, and Gulfstream falls in line there). We will use #4 Hi Happy (4-1) as a backup as he makes his first start for Todd Pletcher as the new face in here. He had a very wide trip in the San Marcos last year and in the November 2016 Seabiscuit, his only other US start, he faded late but it was his first start in 11 months. We’ve always been fans of #8 Channel Maker (10-1) but thought that he had a great trip in the Hollywood Derby and just wasn’t quite good enough. He now has to face quality elders. Ultimately, we will chalk out in this first leg and think that the two favorites are likely winners.
A – 1, 5
B – none
C – 4
Race 10 – The G3 Suwanee River is headed by #9 Kitten’s Roar (2-1), who was wide from a bad post in the G1 Matriarch and is better suited to this nine furlong distance. #8 Elysea’s World (7-2) always fires but never wins, though she was hurt by a slow pace last time in California and was blocked in the lane two-back at Aqueduct. We do want to use #5 Dream Dancing (9-2) who was hurt by a very slow pace and by losing a lot of ground last time in the Marshua’s River and in the G1 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup two-back at Keeneland. She’s a G1 winner going this nine furlong distance. #2 Beauly (15-1) was bizarrely ridden, pushing a strong pace going 12 furlongs last time. It is probably a little risky leaving out both #3 Midnight Crossing (6-1) and #6 Ultra Brat (8-1), who will likely be together on a moderate pace, but we don’t trust either and think they are facing better (and think this is too far for Ultra Brat). Finally, #1 Westit (20-1) should be better suited to nine furlongs than the 7.5 of the South Beach when she was buried inside. Kitten’s Roar is logical but there are some alternatives.
A – 5, 9
B – 8
C – 1, 2
Race 11 – There should be some pace in here and we don’t really want #5 Mojovation (7-2), who has been a little disappointing since an impressive dirt debut win. #8 Sand Dancer (5-1) ran well behind Maraud, a likely stakes performer, in his last start. Trainer Tim Hills is having a good meet (18: 3-2-3). #10 Power of Attorney (9-2) got stopped cold in the lane last time.
A – 8
B – 10
C – 5
Race 12 – The sequence closes with a typically brutal $16,000 claimer going 8.5 furlongs on the turf. #8 Laythatpistoldown (3-1) is the one to beat. He dusted a similar field last time but they did not try him at the next level. #12 Sportscaster (5-1) had some traffic in a similar spot two-back and defeated a $16k field last time but drew terribly. #6 Conquest Sandman (4-1) can win but is taking a bit of a suspicious drop off a win and they claimed him for $50k in August. #2 Here’s to Mike (8-1) might be a cut below but should get a good trip from the inside. We want to throw in #9 Midnight Notes (15-1) who moved way too soon at the Meadowlands last time (though did ride a gold rail two-back). #11 Modern Tale (15-1) was awful last time but does have some previous races that could give him a shot.
A – 6, 8
B – 2
C – 9, 11
The Play – We’ll play the 4A ticket for $1.50, the 3A/1B ticket for $1, and the 2A/2B and 3A/1C tickets for 50-cents. The total play is $47.