Our Saturday late pick-4 play got de-railed when our key horse Sand Dancer never lifted his feet in Saturday’s 11th race. Let’s try again today. The Sunday sequence includes, like Saturday’s, four turf races and while there are no stakes races, there are two high-end allowance races (legs two and three) that will produce future stakes performers.
Let’s go through the sequence.
Race 9 – This is the most open of the four races and we’ll go deep in this 7.5 furlong turf maiden-claimer. #1 Stay on Base (6-1) draws inside for the first time and was very wide last time in a similar heat. The runner-up from that race came back to win and improve his figure by nine points. #4 Troopingthecolor (10-1) is by turf sire Parading out of a dam that won twice on grass. A competent first time starter should fit here, so #10 Christmas Treat (7-2) fits. #11 Paco Encaso (4-1) tracked a fast pace and lost to a 6-5 winner last time but is drawn poorly today.
Our backups include three more. #3 We Take Checks (9-2) is half to several multiple turf winners and stretches out after running evenly in his debut for Jorge Navarro. #7 Rider of the Blue (15-1) is first off a Marcus Vitali claim (from Mark Casse, however) and is worth throwing in this wide open race. #8 America’s Simmard (12-1) made an early inside move last time in a tougher field and faded only late.
A – 1, 4, 10, 11
B – 3
C – 7, 8
Race 10 – #2 Black Sea (9-5) goes out for Chad Brown and Javier Castellano and will be a short price. He’s in for a tag for the first time and his last race wasn’t great, but still makes him the obvious one to beat. He also should be close to what is likely going to be a slow pace. #4 Lucullan (2-1) fits on figures but Kiaran McLaughlin is 3-38 with a $0.58 ROI in 61-180 day layoffs in Gulfstream turf races, which says his runners might need a race. The longshot we’ll use is #1 Bern James Bern (15-1) for the sole reason that he should be loose on the lead. #8 Rocketry (6-1) is talented but we think he wants more ground.
A – 2
B – 4
C – 1
Race 11 – #1 Saham (9-2) should be right up on a moderate pace and has shown some ability. #4 Hockey School (10-1) should make the lead in here and the pace should be slower than it was for him last time. Maybe he’ll get brave in a race where the favorites have some questions of their own. #8 Profiteer (7-2) is a Shug runner that should get better with age and experience, but his last two races were not great and he might want more ground than the flat mile he gets here. #7 Ring Weekend (9-5) is the favorite but he’s turned into a deep closer, is off a four month break, and seemed to lose a step last year.
A – 1, 4
B – 7, 8
C – none
Race 12 – #4 Cosmic Thunder (4-1) made a big wide early move last time and switches to Jose Ortiz for today’s contest. He’s the one to beat. #12 Wannabeaplayer (7-2) is logical but had good inside trips in his last two starts, especially last time, and is now marooned out in post 12. #1 Mr. Pinocchio (7-2) is a first time gelding and comes out of a solid run last time but had a good trip while Cosmic Thunder made the early wide move. Cosmic Thunder also has more room to improve having only made five career starts.
A – 4
B – 1
C – 12
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 $63. Good luck!