All in with Paranoia at Gulfstream

Profile Picture: James Scully

May 8th, 2020

Social Paranoia will make his second start of 2020 in Saturday’s $75,000 Sunshine Forever S. at Gulfstream Park, and I’m expecting a big effort.

The 1 1/16-mile turf affair has attracted a strong field, including 2019 Preakness winner War of Will. After showing high class on turf at age 2, War of Will successfully switched to the main track during the first half of 2019, recording three graded stakes wins, but he tailed off at the end of the season.

Trainer Mark Casse has expressed a desire to win a Grade 1 event on turf with War of Will this year, and I’ll be surprised if he’s the not the favorite by post time. For some bizarre reason, War of Will has been pegged at 10-1 on the morning line.

Social Paranoia is listed at 3-1 odds, more than fair value in my estimation, and he brings a 3-for-3 record over the course into this event.

The son of Street Boss opened his sophomore campaign with an eight-length maiden romp over Gulfstream’s turf in March 2019, and Social Paranoia followed with respectable placings in the American Turf (G2), Pennine Ridge (G3), and Belmont Derby (G1). The Todd Pletcher-trained colt finally broke through with a comfortable half-length score in the lucrative Dueling Grounds Derby in early September.

Just as he was starting to get good, Social Paranoia headed to the sidelines for the rest of the year.

He returned almost seven months later in the March 28 Appleton (G3) at Gulfstream. Social Paranoia displayed good tactical speed in his first eight turf starts, racing within striking range every time, but trailed by more than a dozen lengths at the tail of the 12-horse field after missing the break in his 4-year-old debut. The dark bay uncorked an outstanding rally to blow past six rivals in the stretch and win going away by a 1 1/2-length margin.

Social Paranoia registered his first triple-digit Brisnet Late Pace rating. I love the versatility, and improvement is expected off the comebacker. He doesn’t have to race as far back with Joel Rosario on Saturday. I am excited to play Social Paranoia, and will single the budding turf performer in all multi-race wagers.