Key Horse Races & Free Expert Picks for Saturday, January 4Written by Ellis Starr
Glitter Woman Stakes - Race 8 at Gulfstream Park - Post Time 3:30 PM Eastern
Tale of Success, Sound Machine and Spanish Point comprise the top three contenders to win this six and one-half furlong sprint for three year old fillies. Of the trio, Tale of Success is the ONLY one playable to win if her morning line odds of 8/1 hold up (or anything close), compared to 3 to 1 and 5 to 2 for the other two. Tale of Success showed a ton of maturity winning her only start on 11/29, relaxing in fourth/fifth early then moving up to lead by a length at the eighth pole before coasting to the wire on top. She’s a half-sister to stakes winner C Z Rocket so there’s no doubt she’s got the quality to run well, improving nicely off the experience of a race and getting John Velazquez to ride as well.
Sound Machine and Spanish Point finished second and first, respectively, in the somewhat similar House Party Stakes one day following the day Tale of Success earned her maiden win. It was the second career start for Spanish Point, who had won her debut, which is pretty analogous to Tale of Success, and it was the second start off a layoff for Sound Machine. Both can improve and would be no surprise but whereas the House Party was run at six furlongs, Tale of Success, by virtue of winning already at this 6 ½ furlong trip, may have an edge in the familiarity department.
Win: Tale of Success at odds of 5 to 2 or more.
If either Sound Machine or Spanish Point is near 5 to 2 at post time, consider win bet on the one at the higher odds of the pair as well.
When making multiple win bets, use a "Dutching" tool to do the work of allocating your wagering dollars for the best edge. Amwager has a great dutching tool available, among many other great features.
Exacta: Box Tale of Success, Sound Machine and Spanish Point.
Pick 3 (Ticket A)-
Race 8: Tale of Success, Sound Machine and Spanish Point.
Race 9: ALL 10
Race 10: Chance It, As Seen on TV, Sole Volante
(At the $0.50 minimum, the cost of this bet is $45)
Pick 3 (Ticket B)-
Race 8: Tale of Success, Sound Machine and Spanish Point.
Race 9: Sunset Promise, She’s My Type
Race 10: ALL 7
(At the $0.50 minimum, the cost of this bet is $21)
Ginger Brew Stakes - Race 9 at Gulfstream Park - Post Time 4 PM Eastern
Cheermeister has only one way to go- to the front as hard and fast as she can, and gets the rail. Hear My Prayer has only one way to go, and MUST get over from the nine post to the inside as quickly as possible, which isn’t much of a problem as she stretches out from five furlongs to a two-turn race. Queen of God is likely to be close up early on fast fractions, leading to a very hot early pace none of the pacesetters and pressers are likely to survive from.
The two horses set up the best by this pace scenario both open at quite nice odds and can be played. They are Sunset Promise and She’s My Type, the latter getting the 12 post but that not being an issue as she dropped back to 10th of 12 last time out when winning in her debut, at a similar mile turf trip, and can drop back and circle the field late again. Gaffalione rode last month in that win and rides back and the filly has tons of improving to do, physically and mentally, off the experience of a race as well as already possesses the second best last race Equibase figure (93) in the field, that being second to likely heavy favorite Abscond, who earned a 101 figure winning the Natalma and duplicated it with a 100 figure when a poor seventh in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf. She’s My Type is in the very fine Clement barn, and she adds Lasix to boot even though she won last out, more of a “level playing field” move. Opening at 12/1 she’s very playable in this situation.
Sunset Promise finished second in the similar Wait a While Stakes on the course at the end of November, at three to one odds. Although she gets a big jockey change (Rendon to Jose Ortiz), she opens at 8/1 here. She also finished second in the Selima Stakes in September, to eventual Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf winner Sharing, so she really has no knocks and as she finished fast in the last eighth in the Wait a While, this gal is another likely to be flying into contention in the late stages.
A number of horses can finish second, and considering the odds on the two main contenders I’ll play the exacta for those two to win, or finish second, as well as play one of the two pick 3 tickets starting in the eighth race using all 12 entrants here.
Win: Sunset Promise and She’s My Type to win at odds of 3 to 1 or more, adding a place bet on either or both at 6 to 1 or higher.
Exacta: Sunset Promise and She’s My Type over Sunset Promise, She’s My Type, Cheermeister, American Giant, Moral Reasoning, Abscond, Our Little Jewel and Runway Dreamer.
Then, reverse the exacta and play Sunset Promise and She’s My Type in the second position.
Mucho Macho Man Stakes - Race 10 at Gulfstream Park - Post Time 4:30 PM Eastern
This race is very similar to the eighth race in that there are three contenders, but the likely high odds on one of the three squarely tips the scales in favor of that one for win bets. The three contenders are Chance It (9/5 morning line), As Seen on TV (5/2) and Sole Volante (8/1). Sole Volante opens at much higher odds although a stakes winner like Chance It because the win came on turf, where he’s two for two. He’s moving to dirt for the first time, but the pedigree on the dam’s side SCREAMS okay. The ONLY other foal of the dam has a record of 6-4-2 in 12 dirt races, so although the sire is Breeders’ Cup Mile winner Karakontie I’m not concerned a bit. Trainer Biancone is especially strong moving his horses from turf to dirt, with a 8 for 22 record in the past two years, and although it’s likely Sole Volante may be last in the early stages, there’s a lot of early pace to set up his late kick as Chance It, Smash Factor and As Seen on TV all have “early/presser” running styles.
Chance It has won three of five and finished second in the other two. Three were stakes, however all five were restricted to Florida breds only and he is facing open company for the first time. His figures of 106 and 102 in his last two races say he can handle open company fine and run big again, but I must point out Sole Volante earned a very similar 105 figure winning the Pulpit Stakes on grass and if able to run similarly well on turf is just as likely to win at Chance It. As Seen on TV has improved in both starts since winning his debut in August, first when finishing second in the Smoke Glacken Stakes in September with an 84 figure then improving big to win the Juvenile Sprint Stakes at Gulfstream Park West (Calder) with a 103 figure. However, just as with Chance It, that last stakes was restricted to Florida Breds, which isn’t a knock per se, but must be noted.
Win Bets: Sole Volante at 5 to 2 or higher adding a place bet at 5 to 1 or more.
Box Sole Volante, Chance It and As Seen on TV.
Sole Volante, Chance It and As Seen on TV over ALL.