Gulfstream Spot Plays and Pick 3 with Sunshine Filly and Mare Turf and Sunshine Sprint
Gulfstream Park will host a pair of stakes on Saturday, including the one-mile Sunshine Filly and Mare Turf and the six-furlong Sunshine Sprint for Florida-bred four-year-olds and up.
Below we offer spot plays for the stakes, along with a loaded one-mile maiden special weight, then provide a Pick 3 ticket covering Races 8-10 in which we back a trio of longer shots in the first leg.
Race 8: one mile, maiden special weight, three-year-olds
#6 Weyhill Road (8-1) finished far back in fourth behind two next-out winners in a $100,000 maiden special weight at Keeneland in October. The Quality Road colt will stretch out from 6 1/2 furlongs to a mile for trainer Shug McGaughey, a 21% winner with horses running a route for the first time. Weyhill Road will also add Lasix for the first time in his first start in nearly three months. Tyler Gaffalione, a 19% winner this meet, will stick with the dark bay, who has posted a series of sharp workouts ahead of this event. He's worth backing at the longer price.
#5 Prairie Dunes (8-1) is another longshot to consider for Bill Mott. The Curlin colt was beaten a neck in second two back at his only try at a mile and will drop in class today while adding Lasix.
Let's also include #10 Equal Protection (8-1) in a Pick 3 ticket. The Chad Brown runner was heavily bet on debut but finished far back in sixth in a 6 1/2-furlong maiden special weight. He'll stretch out to a mile for the first time, a winning move for Brown 26% of the time, and will add Lasix while getting Joel Rosario in the stirrups.
Race 9: one mile (turf), Sunshine Filly and Mare Turf S., four-year-olds and up
#7 Sugar Fix (2-1) will look to earn her first win since joining the barn of Robert Hess four back and may rebound in her return to Gulfstream, where she's 8-3-2-0 lifetime. She also has eight victories from 15 tries at today's distance of a mile, and the switch to Gaffalione may improve her chances. But she faltered late in her last two at a mile, and I find her morning line price a bit too low. Instead, I will take a chance with #6 Crystal Coast (8-1), who moves up in class after winning a one-mile allowance optional claimer at this track on Dec. 9. The five-year-old mare is 13-2-3-2 at today's distance with a career-best 86 Brisnet Speed rating and is 16-3-4-2 at Gulfstream. Trainer Carlos David is a 21% winner with horses that won their last race and an 18% winner in non-graded stakes. Luis Saez will stay in the saddle and is winning at a 22% rate at Gulfstream.
#2 Avow (4-1) is also an intriguing play in her first start on grass. The Todd Pletcher pupil flashed a 93 Speed figure when second in a one-mile allowance optional claimer on dirt. Pletcher is an 18% winner with horses racing for the first time on turf and a 23% winner in non-graded stakes. Hot jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. (27% winner at Gulfstream) will pick up the mount and wins at a 24% clip on turf.
Race 10: Six furlongs, Sunshine Sprint S., four-year-olds and up
#4 Legends Can't Die (3-1) recorded a 99 Brisnet Speed rating last out when setting the pace in the two path but got caught by a late-charging foe to finish second by 1 1/2 lengths in an allowance optional claimer at Gulfstream. He has the early speed to improve with the cutback in distance, and he posted a sharp, four-furlong workout on Jan. 7 in preparation for his season debut. Trainer George Weaver is winning at a 25% rate at Gulfstream, and Joel Rosario — a 25% winner at sprint distances — will inherit the mount.
I'll also play #3 Unsociable (7-2) in a Pick 3. The colt makes his first start for Mike Maker after sprinting between five and 5 1/2 furlongs on Gulfstream's all-weather while under the guidance of Saffie Joseph Jr. and posted Speed figures in the low-to-mid 90s in his last three. The Pioneerof the Nile grandson has an 8-5-2-0 record at Gulfstream, and Irad Ortiz hopping in the saddle is a huge plus.
Pick 3 ticket, Races 8-10
$1 Pick 3 ticket: 5, 6, 10 with 2, 6 with 3, 4 ($12)