Current Trends to Watch for at Gulfstream Park
There have been 12 days of racing through Thursday at Gulfstream Park, and below are some things to watch for going forward.
A total of 56 races have taken place on the main strip to this stage of the meeting that began on December 2. A combined 21 horses have led at every call throughout on the surface (38 percent), with 16 coming in sprint events and the other five in races contested at a mile or longer.
Of the 56 first-place finishers, 37 were in at least the top three at the time of the second call (66 percent). These numbers are fairly consistent as to how the surface has played in the past, although I am intrigued that 34 percent of the dirt winners have rallied from off the pace at this juncture.
There have been 67 events on the lawn since the inception of the meeting. A total of 15 winners have earned success in wire-to-wire fashion (22 percent), with 11 of those occurring in sprints. In addition, 34 of the 67 winners (51 percent) have been in the first three positions at the second call en route to victory. Overall, pace has carried much better in dashes on the sod compared to route events.
I have long perceived the Gulfstream turf course to play more to speed types, but that has not been the case through two plus weeks of racing at the South Florida venue. I will pay extra attention to deep closers that I would have often shunned at times in the past, especially when running long.
With 123 races in the books through Thursday, favorites are winning at a 37 percent clip overall. And it has been spread equally on both surfaces, with favorites making good in 38 percent of the dirt tilts and 36 percent of the events on the green.
Despite a solid number of betting selections coming home first, there has been money to be made in the vertical, and especially, horizontal exotics. Covering the first 10 days at Gulfstream Park, the average Pick 3 payout exceeded $1,000.
Even more impressive are the average returns for the Pick 4 ($14,000) and Pick 5 ($25,000). With an honest amount of favorites coming in, these returns are very generous.
There is opportunity for bettors that can identify a winning favorite to still receive a healthy dividend when cashing in on a multi-race wager.