Early Pick Five analysis for Saturday afternoon at Gulfstream Park

Profile Picture: Scott Shapiro

February 8th, 2018

The Grade 1 Gulfstream Park Turf run at a mile and an eighth headlines Saturday’s card in Hallandale, Florida. The $300,000 event for four year olds and upward will be conducted as the ninth race on the twelve race card.

Despite the lack of star power during the early portion of Saturday afternoon’s action, the early Pick 5 offers horseplayers a chance to build their bankroll for the stakes action during the latter part of the day.

Here are my thoughts on the sequence that commences in Race 1:

Race 1

The opener is a non-winners of two event for $16,000 claimers going seven and a half panels over the Gulfstream lawn.

I will take a shot against 3-1-morning line favorite #7 Barbados Kitten. The five-year-old mare failed to break her maiden over her first six starts for one of the better win early trainers in the game in Wesley Ward. Ward had seen enough of the daughter of Kitten’s Joy and dropped her for $20K last December and it still took her 3 starts at that level to find a group she could handle.

Instead of using the Drawing Away Stable mare, I will focus on a few others.

#4 Dynamic War drops in class for hot training Danny Gargan and should find herself prominently placed under jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr. She is the most likely winner, but I also give a serious look to #2 Voices Only.

The Richard Malouf owned mare makes her second start of the form cycle after encountering a troubled voyage when #3 Perfect State clipped heels and lost her rider last month. The daughter of Artie Schiller was unable to fully recover, but did show some heart in running on late to finish fifth. With the start under her belt in 2018 and a cleaner voyage under Luca Panici she could spring the upset at 10-1.

Race 2

The second half of the early Double is a low level maiden claimer run at the tricky six and a half furlong distance.

I lack a strong opinion in this one, so I will use several including my top choice #11 Candy Blu. The daughter of Sidney’s Candy goes turf to dirt, cuts back in distance, drops in class and draws favorably to the far outside for trainer Kathleen O’Connell. She has a big shot to get her picture taken for the initial time.

Race 3

The hopes of my Pick 5 ticket will rely on a winning effort from #2 Song of Melody.

The daughter of Flat Out drops out of an optional claimer spot into this open $16K event for three-year-old fillies. She has shown tactical speed in races around two turns on the lawn and attracts the services of hot riding Luis Saez. Saez and trainer Armando De la cerda have connected on 28% of their mounts together dating back to the start of 2017.

Look for Saez to sit a few lengths off the early pace and get the best of likely pacesetter #7 Golda in the final furlong.

Race 4

The fourth is a $25,000 maiden claimer for three-year-olds run at three-quarters of a mile over the main track.

#1 Honza and #4 Chase Your Dreams are obvious contenders, especially Chase Your Dreams who drops in class after a speed and fade effort against protected maidens last month. I will include them both.

I will also throw in first-time starter #2 My Brother Wayne. The son of Anthony’s Cross is out of a Lil’s Lad mare that won her debut by nearly ten lengths and comes into the race off a series of solid drills for trainer Joe Orseno. He appears spotted to win on Saturday.

Race 5

The payoff leg in the early Pick 5 is a maiden special weight event at five panels over the lawn. I will use a few in here, but like the chances most of a pair of 8-1 shots on the morning line.

#7 Stormy Action did not impress in his debut over the synthetic surface at Woodbine in early December, but trainer Roger Attfield is having a solid meet and this son of Stormy Atlantic has every right to move forward with a start under his belt and the move to the grass.

#8 Be Gone Daddy makes his first career start for trainer George Weaver. The son of Scat Daddy is out of a Benchmark mare that won at first asking for Jerry Hollendorfer, so there is pedigree on both sides to support him being able to perform well right away. Additionally, Weaver is 21% with first-timers debuting on the lawn over the last five years. He appears live.

Here is how I will play the Saturday afternoon Pick 5:

Ticket 1: ($.50 Pick 5)

Race 1: 2+4

Race 2: 1+5+6+7+8+11

Race 3: 2

Race 4: 1+2+4

Race 5: 1+7+8+10

Ticket Cost: $72