Anthony Fontaine has dissected the Gulfstream Park Saturday card. He provides his selections and thoughts on who he feels are the top contenders in each race and why.
Gulfstream Park January 11th, 2020
Race One: Selections 3-5-6-7
#3 Silver Ratio out of the great runner Liam’s Map makes his debut for the ever potent Pletcher/Velazquez duo in this competitive first race. Works are ok and pedigree is good this runner should give a good account first time out the gate.
#5 deserves some consideration at a price in this event debuting for Shug. Had a nice work at Payson in December and a couple of maintenance drills after. The key with Shugs firsters is for them to get away alertly, if this runner does, he can have a say at the nice price. #6 Sag Harbor was fractious and nervous first time out and should improve with experience. Had a scintillating work 4 January indication this one is on his toes.
Race Two: Selections 6-5-7-2
#6 KW Captain Hook had a nice debut and in the second start ran for a half then faltered. This runner has put in some nice work in preparation for this event and if runner can find the form from their first race can have a major impact.
#5 Disk Jockey goes first out for top trainer Saffie Joseph who posts great numbers with runners right off the claim. Has even works and should be able to be competitive against this field. #7 Neverstopdreaming had a nice debut although the waters get a little deeper today. This runner should be able to get a good slice of this pot in this event.
Race Three: Selections 5-7-2-3
#5 Eminent Domain debuts for Mott going long who does alright under these conditions. This runner boasts a nice pedigree for this event and rider is more than capable. This one can surprise at a good number.
#7 Awesome Party has a wonderful turf pedigree and if this one ever gets to the lawn will back with both fists. Today this runner should be able to get a good trip providing gets out the gate well. Willing to give this firster a long look for a potent duo. #2 Telephone Talker looks like the prohibitive favorite in this spot based on performance and connections however as much as I will respect this runner, I feel this one has the look of a money burner, running well without entering the winners circle.
Race Four: Selections 2-1-4-5
#2 Violent City debuts for a trainer that does not do well with firsters as he prefers to race them into shape, however Violence is a sire I absolutely love to play the progeny and the rider has been having a nice meet so far so willing to take a shot with this runner today.
#1 Palm Springs has been working like out for the debut and gets the ever-dangerous Castellano in the irons. My only apprehension is playing first timer on the rail as they tend to duck in and lose some momentum at the start. With a clean break everyone else may be running for second. #4 Epic West first timer for the connections of Maximum Security. Works are moderate but not surprising with conditioner. As much as the trainer’s numbers are way above average, first time starters do not seem to really be a specialty of this barn. Horse may be any kind but price may be a bit unattractive and there are a number of viable options at a better number particularly in multi race wagers.
Race Five: Selections 7-6-4-2
#7 La Venezolana won the debut in a surprise then followed up against a group that may have been a bit too tough. This level should suit this runner just right and with a good trip can make some noise today.
#6 Wicked Solution showed an affinity for this course last out closing to win as the favorite. Will hope for a similar setup today, and may just get it. None in this field look like a world beater and runner looks dangerous right back. #4 stretches out and takes a precipitous drop to the 20k level. Will need luck navigating through the traffic but should close for a slice.
Race Six: Selections 8-11-9-4
#8 Holy Muchacho was off slow in a sloppy debut back in November at Churchill. Runner closed for the show and with the experience and a better start can surprise and be formidable at a nice number.
#11 Battalion debuts for Mott albeit from difficult outside post. Works are ok at best and rider will have to workout a trip from this post but horse looks to have some ability and can boost exotic payouts. #9 Don Bourbon has the benefit of racing experience and goes to a top rider in Castellano who is adroit at getting the most out of his mounts. This one is a good trip way from the winners circle.
Race Seven: Selections 8-6-4-1
#8 Moon Over Miami had a so so debut sprinting but really exploded when stretching out in the second race. Horse will look to build off that effort in this spot and gets HOF rider in tow. Look out!
#6 Genghis always seems to run a good race falling a bit short of getting back to the winner’s circle. Has faced some of the better Florida Breds in previous races however the waters are deep today with many invaders from up north. Still feel this one can be competitive at a nice number. #4 Sounion has good speed that has been on display in last two races. Racing experience is always a plus and rider has been having a good meet should be prominent throughout.
Race Eight: Selections 5-2-3-4
#5 Andina Del Sur looks tough in this spot. She has ran well albeit without a victory on this course which may be the only knock however on pace and speed ratings should handle this field if rider can avoid traffic.
#2 Piece by Piece is a young runner with a few starts that has shown speed in the last few races. Velazquez will have to ration this speed judiciously and save enough for the stretch but runner is still developing and we may not have seen her best. Taking a shot at a price play. #3 Magic Star had a difficult trip last out and did not have the chance to show her best. With a better trip can have a say in the outcome.
Race Nine: Selections 2-1-3-10
#2 Endorsed launches his 4 yr old campaign in this NW2 spot which he looks tough to deny. Trainer is capable at bringing them off the bench ready to go and look for a big effort today.
#1 Fortune Cookie has speed which is always dangerous and breaking from the pine can gain a significant early advantage. If this runner is allowed to waltz on an uncontested lead may prove difficult to reel in. #3 Army Scout tries conventional dirt for the first time however pedigree suggests this runner can be any kind. Lightly raced so far willing to give this runner a long look and major consideration in this event.
Race Ten: Selections 4-8-5-9
#4 Gidu has speed which is always a dangerous commodity. Runner has had difficulty closing the deal as of late however this field does not appear to be that tough and this one can pull a wire to wire job in this spot.
#8 A Thread of Blue gets back to the races in this spot today and appears to tower over this field. One word of caution for those thinking to single, this is not this horse’s main objective just a race to get back into the swing. #5 Gunnison is my longshot play of the day. Runner will hope for lots of speed to set up late kick and if Gidu and A Thread of Blue engage in such, this one can swoop by and pick up a major slice.
Race Eleven: Selections 12-8-1-6
#12 Blakey ran some of the best numbers last year on this course and providing this one is healthy may surprise at a huge number.
#8 Iconic has the red flashing clearance sale on as this one takes a precipitous tumble down the class ladder searching for a victory, a buyer, or both. Runner has shown ability in the past and should be highly competitive against this group. #1 Saratoga Colonel rana nice race off the layoff last time and will look to build off that effort. Should get a nice trip and with racing luck can gain a share.
Enjoy the races everyone and win those photos!