On Saturday at Gulfstream Park, they’ll run both the Sunshine Classic at a mile and an eighth and the Sunshine Sprint at six furlongs. Both stakes are on the main track, and both are for Florida Breds.
Neither race drew a particularly large field, the Classic with six and the Sprint with eight, but maybe with a little luck we can make some noise or do some damage.
In the Classic I lean to the horse on the rail, Sir Ollie. Sir Ollie has only had four lifetime starts so he is obviously not the most durable horse on the grounds, but he has yet to run bad, and he is stretching out to two turns for the first time, and I like that scenario for him, especially from the rail. The inside draw should force jockey Junior Alvarado to get Sir Ollie in the game early, and I don’t see a lot of quality speed in here. While there is still a legit question on how good Sir Ollie is, I think he gets a nice trip up close if not on the lead, and that can put him right in the hunt.
The likely favorite Shamrocket has some class and clearly has run in the best races of any of these. All his starts have been on the grass however, and after 21 races he tries the dirt here. He has never had speed and often leaves himself with plenty to do.
In the sprint I think it is going to come down to the trip and ride. If I am correct about that, I think it can help Gatsby enough to possibly win this at a fair price even if he may not be the best horse in the race. He should sit a nice stalking type of trip from the 5 post under Luis Saez. I think Luis will push the button at the right time, like on the turn or coming off it and that could be the key to this race. There should be plenty of pace, and I want someone sitting close to it but not right on it and not too far back. That leads me to Gatsby.
Out west at Santa Anita they have a mandatory payout in the 20 cent Rainbow Pick 6 along with a bunch of California Bred stakes. I am going to take a shot with a risky single in the last race. Big Novel has always been highly regarded by the Sadler barn and he went off 5-2 in her debut. She is by Mr. Big who is a Dynaformer out of a Heatseeker mare and has always worked good on the dirt where all her races to date have been. She moves to the grass and red-hot John Velazquez takes the reins from Joe Bravo and I think she should take to the grass, move up on it and be right in this. It might be scary for some to wind up alive to a single who has never turfed especially if it turns out to be for a lot of money, but you want to know what I’m scared of? Nuthin.
Enjoy the races!