Friday, 02 March 2018 13:00

Key Bets & Races for Saturday, March 3

Written by

Davona Dale – Race 8 at Gulfstream Park – Post 3 PM Eastern Time

 

Cache made my very small "horses to watch" list off her career debut win in January, a race in which she drifted into a horse to her outside then was pinched by the horse to her inside. Breaking nearly last, she moved up of her own accord, was not intimidated at all on the inside of two other horse, angled off the rail, made the lead easily, then was driven out while green (not knowing entirely what to do). Big improvement is expected off that effort particularly with an outside post and Castellano riding back and the race became a KEY race when both the 3rd, 5th and 11th horses all won their next starts. Noting how much even money morning line favorite Fly So High improved from her 1st start to her 2nd, Cache becomes a very intriguing horse opening at 6/1.

 

Take Charge Paula only needs to get an extra furlong to run well enough to win as she did in the Forward Gal Stakes over the track last month, and she should improve 2nd off the layoff as well. She has never run a bad race in six career sprints and Paco Lopez is the key to all those "A" efforts. Sultry was a non-threatening 2nd to Take Charge Paula last month but she too is making her 2nd start off a layoff and it's not out of the question she could leap frog over the horse that beat her. Except for her career debut last June, Sultry has never been worse than second sprinting and she must be considered a win contender.

 

Fly So High is two-for-two at the one turn mile trip and I really like her improving pattern of Equibase figures (78-99-102), the last of which is the best in the field and even better than the one Take Charge Paula earned in a stakes. On the other hand, the 1/4 race Fly So High won hasn't produced a single good effort from the four horses behind her that have since come back to run so I'm on the fence about what to do with her, particularly as I want to beat her as the morning line favorite at even money.

 

One horse I don't plan to ignore, opening at 15/1 odds, is Alter Moon, a last out maiden winner at 7 furlongs over the track. I'm not concerned about going from maiden to stakes as young three year olds can make that change and the 95 figure last out matches up well with the main contenders. If Zayas decides to use her speed in a race without a lot of "Early" pace types, she could run well at high odds.

 

Win Bets: Bet Cache and Take Charge Paula to win at odds of 5 to 2 or more.

Note: When wagering to win on more than one horse, use a "Dutching" tool to help allocate the amount you want to bet to achieve the same profit depending on odds. Amwager has a free "Dutching" tool to help you do just that.

 

You might even consider a win bet on Sultry at 3 to 1 or more, considering she opens at 8/1 because Fly So High is a prohibitive morning line favorite.

 

Make a small win or win/place bet on Alter Moon at 5 to 1 or more.

 

Exactas: We're going to take a shot here and play favorite Fly So High in second position only. This cuts down the cost of the ticket and even though it could be a losing play, if it wins it will be well worth the risk. Play an exacta consisting of Cache, Take Charge Paula, Sultry and Alter Moon over Cache, Take Charge Paula, Sultry, Alter Moon and Fly So High.

 

Canadian Turf Stakes – Race 10 at Gulfstream Park – Post time 4:00 Eastern Time

 

Conquest Sandman has won three in a row, all on this course, and all since coming back from a layoff in January from the previous August. The first two wins came off the Maker claim the FIRST time ever the gelding was dropped into the claiming ranks and the third win came off the claim for a measly 16K. Stepped up off that claim, Conquest Sandman won the non-graded Old Man Eloquent Stakes on 2/17 with a career best 114 figure that suggests he can run just as well at this grade 3 stakes level, particularly with Lezcano riding back after being up for the first time just two weeks ago.

 

 

Galleon Mast loves to win and loves the GP turf just like Conquest Sandman does, with 7 of his 8 career wins over the course including four of his last five races. ALL of those were non-graded stakes but similar to Conquest Sandman, Galleon Mast earned 113 figures in a pair of them and only one other horse in the field, March, has run that well. With red hot Luis Saez riding Galleon Mast as Ortiz moves to Hogy (who is trying a mile for the 1st time in his 50th career start), Galleon Mast has every right to add to his record here and combined, I think Conquest Sandman and Galleon Mast have a big edge in win probability over the rest.

 

 

For exotics, we should use March based on his win one before last and on the drop from grade 1 to grade 3 stakes. We should also use Shakhimat, who won the similar Tropical Park Turf in December with a 106 figure then ran poorly in the Grade 2 Fort Lauderdale in January. We will also use Derby Champagne, who has run the two best races of his career lately, missing by a nose two back with a 108 figure then wining by a head over the course in January with a 107 effort.

 

Win Bets: Bet both Conquest Sandman and Galleon Mast to win at odds of 5 to 2 or more. Add a place bet at 6 to 1 or higher (very likely with Conquest Sandman opening at 15/1).

Consider a smaller win bet on Derby Champagne at 4 to 1 or higher.

 

Exactas: Play Conquest Sandman and Galleon Mast over Conquest Sandman, Galleon Mast, March, Shakhimat and Derby Champagne.

 

Then also play the reverse of that exacta above as well, so if Conquest Sandman and Galleon Mast finish first and second, we cash the bet twice.

 

Doubles: Conquest Sandman and Galleon Mast in Race 10 with Personal Time, Country Squire, B I Moody, Rare Form and Travelling Midas in Race 11.

 

Also, Conquest Sandman, Galleon Mast, March, Shakhimat and Derby Champagne in Race 10 with Personal Time in Race 11.

 

Optionally play all five contenders in race 10 with all five contenders in race 11 in the double, at least for the minimum $1. If Personal Time does not win race 11 the return will be worth the risk.

 

Pick 3:

Race 10 – Conquest Sandman, Galleon Mast, March, Shakhimat and Derby Champagne

Race 11 – Personal Time, Country Squire, B I Moody, Rare Form and Travelling Midas

Race 12 – Extravagant Kid, Classic Rock, Favorable Outcome, Mr. Jordan, Unbridled Outlaw and Rock and Fellers

 

Gulfstream Park Race 11 – Post time 4:31 Eastern Time

 

I'm not going to go into a lot of detail here because although the race might be interesting in and of itself, the most important thing is it kicks of the last pick 4, which should have tremendous interest given the full fields in the four races that make up the sequence. Personal Time stands out on paper on an improving pattern of Equibase figures (99 last out) and making his 3rd start off a layoff but he is a deep closer and could come up short. Just the same, to cut the cost of the pick 4 I am singling him as the rest are far in arrears in terms of win probability.

 

For pick 3 tickets we should try to cover other horses in case Personal Time doesn't win. In addition, there is one longshot of note, B I Moody, who ran a lot better than it looks last month in his 2nd career start and first route when fifth of 13 at 120 to 1. He's bred to improve with distance and is handled by a trainer (Guillot) known for popping at a big price now and again. The other horses I will use on double and pick 3 tickets are Country Squire (fourth in the same race B I Moody was fifth), Rare Form and Travelling Midas.

 

Across the board bet: B I Moody at odds of 5 to 1 or more.

 

Doubles: Personal Time, Country Squire, B I Moody, Rare Form and Travelling Midas in Race 11 with Extravagant Kid, Classic Rock, Favorable Outcome, Mr. Jordan, Unbridled Outlaw and Rock and Fellers in race 12

 

Also, Personal Time in Race 11 with Extravagant Kid, Classic Rock, Favorable Outcome, Mr. Jordan, Unbridled Outlaw and Rock and Fellers in race 12

 

Pick 4:

Race 11 – Personal Time

Race 12 – Extravagant Kid, Favorable Outcome, Mr. Jordan and Rock and Fellers

Race 13 – Sadler's Joy, Some in Tieme, Muqtaser, Gold Shield, Patterson Cross, Nessy, Run Time and Oscar Nominated

Race 14 – Free Drop Billy, Storm Runner, Good Magic, He Takes Charge, Marconi and Gotta Go

Note: To cut the cost of the ticket from $96 (before scratches) to $64 I would remove He Takes Charge and Marconi in race 14.

 

Pick 3: (This ticket includes two horses in the 12th race left off the pick 4 ticket to keep the cost down)

Race 11 – Personal Time

Race 12 – Extravagant Kid, Favorable Outcome, Mr. Jordan, Classic Rock, Unbridled Outlaw, Rock and Fellers

Race 13 – Sadler's Joy, Some in Tieme, Muqtaser, Gold Shield, Patterson Cross, Nessy, Run Time and Oscar Nominated

 

Gulfstream Park Sprint Stakes – Race 12 at Gulfstream Park – Post time 5:02 PM Eastern

 

Rock and Fellers appears to be the speed of the speed and with an outside post could have these at his mercy for Navarro, who wins 36% of the time in similar races. That win percentage and the fact Lezcano is riding back after getting to know him last out is the reason he's my top pick opening at 12/1 where he was the 3 to 2 favorite last month in a second level allowance race and was second, beaten just two lengths. I am intrigued that Extravagant Kid was claimed out of his last start for $75K, likely as trainer Walsh saw this race coming up. His 107 last race Equibase figure is good enough to win a grade 3 stakes like this one and John Velazquez agreeing to ride for a trainer he rarely if ever rides for adds extra incentive to reasons to use this horse on any and all tickets played involving the race. It is possible he could stay in touch with Rock and Fellers in the opening stages and have enough to go by late for the upset.

 

Favorable Outcome doesn't offer nearly the value of the other two, who open at 12/1 and 15/1, respectively, as he opens as the 3/1 favorite. He won the 2017 Swale and most recently finished third in the G1 Malibu Stakes in California, which has turned out to be a key race, so those factors and the fact Chad Brown is his trainer is reasons to consider him a contender for exotic bets at the least. Mr. Jordan is a multiple stakes winning professional cutting back from a route to a sprint which may help him to hold better in the stretch then in his two most recent starts when leading late and settling for second. Classic Rock has some value off a "ridden out" win over the track when taking blinkers off and with Saez riding him back. Unbridled Outlaw beat Rock and Fellers last month and is making his third start off a layoff so has potential to run competitively again. Opening at 15/1 it would likely be regrettable if we left him out and he ran big again.

 

Win Bets: Bet Rock and Fellers and Extravagant Kid to win at odds of 3 to 1 or more and add a place bet if 6 to 1 or higher.

 

Exacta: Rock and Fellers and Extravagant Kid over Rock and Fellers, Extravagant Kid, Favorable Outcome, Mr. Jordan, Classic Rock and Unbridled Outlaw.

 

Play the reverse of that exacta as well, because particularly as Rock and Fellers and Extravagant Kid are likely to go to post at decent odds, even finishing 2nd in the exacta should make for a profitable wager.

 

If you played the pick 3 and pick 4 in race 11 there is no reason to play a pick 3 here. If not:

Race 12 – Extravagant Kid, Favorable Outcome, Mr. Jordan, Classic Rock, Unbridled Outlaw and Rock and Fellers

Race 13 – Sadler's Joy, Some in Tieme, Muqtaser, Gold Shield, Patterson Cross, Nessy, Run Time and Oscar Nominated

Race 14 – Free Drop Billy, Storm Runner, Good Magic and Gotta Go

Alternately, you can add He Takes Charge and Marconi in race 14 as well.

Fountain of Youth Stakes – Race 14 at Gulfstream Park – Post time 6:09 PM Eastern

 

The pace scenario in this year’s Fountain of Youth will dictate its outcome. Strike Power has earned both of his wins while leading from start to finish and is stretching out from a sprint to a route, as is Machismo, who nearly led from start to finish in his 11 length win over the track last month. Promises Fulfilled not only led from start to finish when winning his first two starts but with the outside 10 post it will be incumbent on jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr. to push his horse from the beginning to get good position and not go wide on the first turn. All three horses have run just over 45 seconds to the half-mile mark in front and there is no reason for them to run any differently in this race. It will only take two of the three to contest the pace on faster than average fractions and that could easily mean they will get tired late and set up the horses who are relaxed off the pace from the opening of the gate.

 

Main contenders:

Storm Runner is a perfect two-for-two in two-turn dirt races, the most recent of the pair at Gulfstream Park four weeks ago. That win came at the distance of the Fountain of Youth and also showed a very mature horse that understands what his job is. Storm Runner rallied nicely from fourth early, to second with about three-quarters of a mile to go, before drawing off by three lengths with an eighth of a mile to go. He did get a bit tired late to prevail by a head at the end but considering that was only his second race following two months off it was to be expected. The 111 Equibase Speed Figure Storm Runner earned in that victory was stakes quality, as it was equal to the figure Strike Power earned winning the Swale Stakes and slightly better than the 109 figure Good Magic earned winning the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile last November. With improving to do in his third start off the layoff and with a very sharp workout coming into the race (fourth best of 39 on the day), Storm Runner can post the upset to win this year’s Fountain of Youth Stakes.

 

It is always a tough task for any horse to return from many months off in a two-turn race and run at peak form, but Good Magic may do just that. Good Magic raced just three times in 2017.He finished second in his debut in a maiden race at six and one-half furlongs in August, then he lead late before coming up a half-length short of winning the Champagne Stakes. Good Magic then posted the 11 to 1 upset in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile with a fairly dominant effort to win by four and one-quarter lengths. Trainer Chad Brown is very adept at getting horses ready to run this far off a layoff and off workouts alone, as Stats Race Lens tells us he is 13 for 39 in the past two years with horses coming back from 61 to 180 days in a dirt route. With workouts every six to seven days since returning to training in January, Good Magic has every right to run as well as, or better than, when earning a 109 figure in the Juvenile

 

Except for a ninth place effort in the Juvenile last fall, Free Drop Billy has done nothing wrong, finishing first or second in all five races. After missing by a neck in the Hopeful Stakes with a 94 figure last September, Free Drop Billy won the Breeders’ Futurity easily by four lengths in October. Rested three months after his poor Juvenile effort one month later, Free Drop Billy returned to finish second of nine in the Holy Bull Stakes last month and even though the 89 figure from that effort pales in comparison to the 109 Good Magic earned in the Juvenile and the 111 Storm Runner earned last month, we can always expect big improvement by some horses early in their three year old seasons. As such, Free Drop Billy is another contender to win this race.

 

Secondary contenders:

Gotta Go is a horse I will be sure to consider at least for any exotic wagers made as he should benefit from the contested early pace. He closed for second in the Swale, a race in which Strike Power controlled the tempo in front, a scenario unlikely to be repeated in this situation. Improving off his 105 figure from that effort gives Gotta Go a chance to be in the mix to be sure. Similarly, Marconi rallied from last of five to third in the Withers Stakes last month, in his first start of the year. That effort earned him a career- best figure but it was 90 and far afield of what it will take to win this race. However, Marconi is trained by Todd Pletcher and won a mile and one-eighth race in only the second start of his career so big improvement second off the layoff for this half-brother to 2013 Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Mucho Macho Man. Another horse with a chance to be part of the exacta or trifecta may be He Takes Charge, who like Storm Runner is a recent winner at Gulfstream Park at the distance of the Fountain of Youth. The 99 figure earned is decent enough and he too can benefit from the likely contested early pace scenario.

 

The rest: As previously mentioned, Strike Power is a very talented colt coming off a stakes win with one of the top figures (111) in the field. However, it appears the pace scenario conspires against him as he tried two-turns for the first time. Machismo (98 last race figure) dominated by 11 lengths in a sprint over the track when breaking his maiden last month and it may be a lot to ask him to step up to this level while trying two-turns at the same time. Promises Fulfilled earned a 90 figure last fall in the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes, his first try around two-turns, after a 94 figure effort at seven furlongs. He may have a bright future but his outside post and the fact he has early speed may work against his chances to succeed. Peppered earned an 86 figure when second in the Grey Stakes last October before a 12th of 14 finish in his first race on conventional dirt in the Juvenile.

 

Win Bets: Bet Storm Runner to win and place at odds of 3 to 1 or more

 

Exactas: Play exactas consisting of Storm Runner (5), Good Magic (6) and Free Drop Billy (2) over ALL.