Key Horse Races & Free Expert Picks For April 18

Race 9 at Gulfstream Park – Post Time 4:53 PM Eastern

Mintd was coming back from a pretty long layoff of 20 months off last month yet won like a good thing at the one lower NW1X allowance level, rallying from ninth of 10 after breaking slowly and going wide into the first turn. She put in two very strong workouts, on grass, since raced at Palm Meadows and gets Gaffalione for a very sharp trainer in Walsh. As she’s logical to improve second off the long layoff and has been off for 42 days, which reduces any chance of regression, she gets slight preference among three win contenders here.

Rideforthecause also makes her second start off a layoff. She returned from three months off on March 27 and ran fourth from start to finish. She improved significantly second off a 14 month layoff last October to win a turf route so we can expect a nice move forward back to that kind of form here.

Dark Artist has run in 9 straight stakes races but takes a small but significant drop in class into an allowance/optional claimer. She also returns off a six month layoff. Coming back from a layoff at a mile on turf can be problematic but she has a couple of factors which mitigate my concerns. First is she’s been working consistently for her comeback and her last two workouts were on turf. The second is she won off a shorter (three month) layoff into a turf route previously. Berrios has a pretty good turf route record from limited starters, a lot better than many of the jockeys in the race, and considering Dark Artist was a previous stakes winner in a turf route she rounds out a trio of win contenders in this race.

For some exacta tickets I want to throw in Starship Nala, who opens at 30/1. She’s been first or second in 6 of 9 races, all on dirt. However she returned from 10 months off last month and finished fourth in a good turf sprint prep. She’s a half-sister to Starship Jubilee, who has earned $1.5 million, mostly on turf, and I think she’s got more of a shot to at least hit the board than her very high odds make it appear.

Bets:
Win: Starting with Mintd, make a win bet at 7 to 2 or higher. I would also bet either Rideforthecause OR Dark Artist, whichever of the pair is the highest odds near post time.

Probably for $2, I will bet Starship Nala to win and place 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.

Exactas:
Box Mintd, Rideforthecause and Dark Artist
Box Mintd, Rideforthecause, Dark Artist and Starship Nala

Double: Mintd, Rideforthecause, Dark Artist and Starship Nala in Race 9 with Like You, Plato and Causalistic in Race 10

Pick 3:
Race 9
: Mintd, Rideforthecause, Dark Artist and Starship Nala
Race 10
Like You, Plato and Causalistic
Race 11
: Miss Auramet, Charmaine’s Mia and Hidden Facts

Race 10 at Gulfstream Park – Post Time 5:25 PM Eastern

Causalistic and Plato finished second and first, respectively, when separated by a neck in an open (not restricted) $40K claiming race last month at this one turn mile trip. Causalistic gets slight preference to turn the tables here off the claim by Maker with a jockey change to Gaffalione but both are very playable as they open at 6 to 1 and 8 to 1 when they were 6 to 5 and 5 to 2 last month. This is a restricted starter allowance for three year olds only so carries nearly the same conditions as the race last month, in which both colts earned strong 88 Equibase figures.

Like You also ran big at this one turn mile trip in his most recent start, nine days before the common race of the top two. He led from start to finish to win by almost seven lengths with the same 88 Equibase figure. Figures in wire-to-wire wins are sometimes inflated and Gaffalione, who rode him in victory, moves to Causalistic, which is good for the chances of Causalistic but not necessarily bad for Like You as Vasquez has won 9 of 47 races (nearly 20%) for trainer Spatz going back to January, 2019.

Bets:
Win: Causalistic and Plato at odds of 5 to 2 or more.
Consider a smaller win bet on Like You at odds of 7 to 2 or higher.

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 Causalistic, Plato and Like You

Double: Causalistic, Plato and Like You in Race 10 with Miss Auramet, Charmaine’s Mia and Hidden Facts in Race 11.

Race 11 at Gulfstream Park – Post Time 5:57 PM Eastern

At first glance, this five furlong turf sprint appears to be loaded with “early” pace types, but on a second look it appears Miss Auramet may be too fast in the early stages for any of the others. She opens at 9 to 2 and has to be considered a win contender, but opening at 10/1, Charmaine’s Mia is a bit more interesting as a win bet. Charmaine’s Mia finished 10th and last in the Captiva Island Stakes last month at this trip on turf over the course and fourth in a similar stakes race at the end of January. The race which is representative of what she can do today came three back, at THIS NW2X allowance level, when she rallied from fourth to win gamely by a head under Zayas. Zayas did not ride last out and gets back on as the filly DROPS back to the level of the win, this time in for the optional claiming condition in order to “have her cake and eat it too” so to speak, and I think she can do just that.

Miss Auramet, as previously mentioned, could be too fast for these. She’s won two in a row since adding blinkers and perhaps needing her race three back when returning from a year on the bench. She gave no horse a chance in both recent wins in the last eighth of a mile and could clear the field early and successfully play “come catch me” once more.

Hidden Facts has been first or second in 6 of 11 career turf races and if you ignore her last three two-turn tries, all poor efforts, she’s run even better than that. Just like Charmaine’s Mia, Hidden Facts drops out of two stakes and three back, the last time she ran in an allowance race, she led late and missed by a head, to Charmaine’s Mia. As such, she gets a strong look in this situation.

Bets:
Win: Because we’re looking for value and because all three contenders have about the same probability to win in my opinion, the best way to bet is to bet TWO of the three among Charmaine’s Mia, Miss Auramet and Hidden Facts, but ONLY at 4 to 1 or higher.

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 Charmaine’s Mia, Miss Auramet and Hidden Facts.
For the minimum $1, Play Charmaine’s Mia, Miss Auramet and Hidden Facts over Charmaine’s Mia, Miss Auramet, Hidden Facts, Originator, Lady Grace, V J’s Bet, Kitten’s Covergirl and Celia’s Song.