Homeracing

Affordable all-stakes Pick 4 ticket for Gulfstream Park on Saturday

Profile Picture: John Mucciolo

February 26th, 2021

A total of nine stakes events, with eight coming in the graded form, tops a sensational 14-race card at Gulfstream Park on Saturday. The $300,000 Fountain of Youth S. (G2), which is a 2021 Road to the Kentucky Derby contest, is the headliner, but the trio of races leading up to it feature some especially talented runners, too.

I am not expecting a flurry of major upsets in the Late Pick 4, but if at least one of the heavily backed favorites gets upended, then the sequence could offer a nice return without investing a substantial amount of money.

Here is my analysis and how I will form my ticket:

Race 11 -- Honey Fox S. (G3)

My top selection in the turf affair is Juddmonte homebred #4 Ricetta (5-1) for conditioner Bill Mott. Camelot four-year-old flashed good potential as a sophomore overseas, and I think that the cutback in distance will be ideal for her. Javier Castellano will be in the stirrups.

Grade 1 victress #2 Got Stormy (7-5) lands in a very good spot for her six-year-old debut for Casse. Chestnut has excellent tactical speed and figures to get a great trip to the top of the lane. I will go two-deep in the opening leg.

Race 12 -- Davona Dale S. (G2)

Champion #3 Vequist (7-5) makes her seasonal debut and will be a popular single for Butch Reid. Going a one-turn mile off the layoff seems like an ideal starting point for the two-time Grade 1 heroine, who will be forwardly placed from the break. Irad picks up the mount atop the standout filly.

While I don’t expect Vequist to be defeated, if she does fire a dud in her three-year-old bow I would like to have a back-up plan. I am taking a flier in also including #9 Hindsight (20-1) in her first run with winners. Vickie Oliver trainee ran a pair of good races at two, and she gives the impression of a lass who is begging to run long. Pioneerof the Nile filly is firing bullets recently at Payson Park and picks up Gaffalione.

Race 13 -- The Very One S. (G3)

The 1 3/16-mile turf affair for fillies and mares attracted a field of 11. German Group 2 vixen #6 Kalifornia Queen (4-1) is a must-use in her stateside debut for Chad Brown. The chestnut four-year-old has trained well since arriving in the U.S., and while the distance might be a bit short for her, the daughter of Lope de Vega would be no surprise.

Bill Mott has two live ones that I will have on my ticket. Saratoga Oaks victress #3 Antoinette (9-2) could be controlling speed and the Godolphin homebred ran two of the best races of her life at distances similar to this one. Hard Spun filly will be in front turning for home under Jose Ortiz.

#9 War Like Goddess (10-1) takes a huge class jump up from the first-level allowance ranks, but she was very impressive last season from two performances, and I love the aggressive move from a top-notch conditioner to put her in a demanding spot off the shelf.

Graham Motion’s #4 Tuned (6-1) was produced from the brilliant champion Zagora, and she might excel in her first extended trip on the green since her importation. The five-year-old mare has good value with Alvarado on board.

Race 14 -- Fountain of Youth

The once-beaten #1 Drain the Clock (5-1) is my top selection for trainer Saffie Joseph. Chestnut son of Maclean’s Music comes in off a dominant score in the recent Swale S. (G3), and he could surely take this field all the way around the oval from the rail in his route debut.

#8 Greatest Honour (9-5) is currently first on my early Kentucky Derby list and is a must-use. Shug McGaughey trainee looked the part in his Holy Bull S. (G3) romp and appears to be the real deal, but I always have minor fears with late-running types in route races on this surface.

#4 Fire at Will (7-2) is a wildcard that I would love to have on my ticket, as well. The Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) star has pointed toward this race for some time for the highly respected Mike Maker. He broke his maiden at Saratoga in his lone prior dirt outing.

Wager

  • 50-cent Pick 4: 2,4 with 3,9 with 3,4,6,9 with 1,4,8 ($24)

Good luck!

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