Early Pick 4 at Gulfstream intriguing and playable
Gulfstream Park has a fine card set for Saturday, with five stakes races among the 11-race day. While I have touched on some of the races later in the day in a previous posting, the early Pick 4 (Races 2-5) is very appealing to me with some interesting prospects in the sequence. Here's what my ticket will look like.
Sophomores will run 7 1/2 panels in an optional claiming turf race and the opening leg is a tough one. #1 RIDE TO THE SUNSET, #6 COMETIN, #7 ROYAL HOLIDAY, #8 ALIEN INVASION are the four most likely to me and I will have to side with the morning-line choices to get things underway in a competitive field.
Limehouse Stakes at six panels on the main oval for three-year-olds has a field of six, three of which coming off of wins in their latest tries. #3 PIVEN will make a dirt debut shipping here from Canada and will be especially tough if he runs to his pair of local, half-mile drills in preparation of this -- :47 and :46 2/5 bullet moves. Kevin Attard pupil should get a swift and contested pace to run at in the lane and is the one to beat despite being a mystery on the surface.
#2 AEQUOR has put in a pair of fine runs since adding blinkers, with a stakes second in the slop here last out among them. $140,000 son of Flatter can win from off the pace in my opinion and is a must use.
Tricky turf optional claiming event at 7 1/2 furlongs attracted a big field and I will spread in this spot in hopes of getting good value. #3 WHAT POWER, #5 SPORTSCASTER, #6 STARSHIP ROCKY, #7 THE SON WILD, #8 FORALL THE MARBLES, #9 BEYOND SMART, #10 MODERN TALE, #11 BOLD ANIMAUX.
Sophomore fillies go six panels in the Glitter Woman Stakes in a race that I am really looking forward to. Larry Pilotti's #2 OTHERS WILL FOLLOW led at every call en route to a 10-length debut tally and the daughter of Jimmy Creed shows a trio of swift morning drills in the interim. Kentucky-bred bay was bet to 4-5 odds in that unveiling and might be a nice one.
#4 CICATRIX did what juveniles rarely do -- win at first asking for conditioner Ian Wilkes. $85,000 daughter of hot young sire Violence broke sharply and was never headed in posting a superb 7 1/4-lngth score at Churchill Downs in the fall. Dark bay lass cruised home over a big field and I really like that Leparoux will be in the saddle once again. I think this filly is a fantastic prospect destined for big things in 2018.
#7 ELEVENSES caught a sloppy, sealed oval in her debut at Aqueduct in November, and it would suffice to say that this daughter of More Than Ready relished in it. $50,000 yearling purchase broke on top and never looked back in securing a visually impressive 10-length triumph. Kentucky-bred should benefit from drawing outside of the two aforementioned fillies and gets a nice rider upgrade to Jose Ortiz.
I prefer Cicatrix for a win play, but will go three-deep to close out the wager.
$.50-cent Pick 4: 1,6,7,8 with 2,3 with 3,5,6,7,8,9,10,11 with 2,4,7 = $96.
(Lauren King/Adam Coglianese Photography)