How to bet the 2019 Sunshine Millions stakes

Profile Picture: Jen Caldwell

Jen Caldwell

January 17th, 2019

Four black-type stakes races top the Sunshine Millions card at Gulfstream Park on Saturday. A total of $600,000 in stakes purses is on the line and I have given some thought on each of the events. CLASSIC The David Fawkes-trained Noble Drama (#6) (8-1) could be the value of the feature. The four-year-old son of Gone Astray had a very solid 2018, with some of his top results coming at Gulfstream Park. The dark bay gelding has been more than competitive when racing against fellow contender and 3-1 second choice Mr. Jordan. Noble Drama’s odds are also inflated in this one after he ran into a buzzsaw in the talented World of Trouble in a sprint stakes at Tampa Bay Downs most recently. Nik Juarez will ride the late runner. FILLY & MARE TURF A total of 13 fillies and mares are signed on for the 1 1/16-mile turf affair. Defending champ and morning-line choice Starship Jubilee (#13) (9-5) gets a demanding far outside post, but I think she will be tough to keep out of the top two. The multiple Grade 2 heroine and Canadian champion from the Kevin Attard barn owns seven wins on the Gulfstream turf and has the early speed to be involved from the start. Warranty (#4) (10-1) could be sitting on a big race at a number. The Mike Maker trainee has a solid turn of foot and is training steadily in advance of her seasonal debut. She gets a nice jockey upgrade to Jose Ortiz, and the six-year-old Artie Schiller mare will have a healthy pace to run at in the stretch. I will use both Starship Jubilee and Warranty in exactas while also putting some win money on the latter at nice odds. TURF Eight will go in the grassy event at 1 1/16 miles. The Sunshine Millions Turf is loaded with early speed and I will take a shot with an off-the-pace runner for an upset. Salute the Colonel (#8) (10-1) is inconsistent but he is worth a flier at the price. The Colonel John gelding has run some poor races on this lawn, though he also has proven capable of firing some big shots too. The Joseph Orseno trainee was a neck third in the Mr. Steele Stakes on the Gulfstream course in the fall in addition to being a stakes winner locally in the summer. My top pick runs some of his best races off the layoff like he will on Saturday. Having top pilot Luis Saez on board is another positive. SPRINT Defending champ X Y Jet (#1) (3-5) is a two-time winner of this race and towers over his foes for trainer Jorge Navarro. The superb son of Kantharos is Grade 1-caliber sprinter when on his game and is training in rapid fashion in preparation for this one off a near seven-month break. Trying to beat him seems like a fruitless endeavor so I will key the gray gelding over two horses in exacta plays. Quijote (#5) (10-1) will make his first run in this spot since being transferred to the Georgina Baxter barn. The Pomeroy gelding closed out 2018 with a trio of nice efforts following a three-month layoff. The dark bay six-year-old picks up Irad Ortiz Jr. for the ride and has the right running style to make a run in the lane for an exotics piece. Ray’swarrior (#6) (6-1) ran too well last time to exclude in this spot. The Jason Servis pupil beat only claiming foes in his initial try at Gulfstream Park, though he earned a whopping 101 BRIS Speed figure for the 9 1/4-length romp. The seven-year-old gelding has shown marked improvement since joining this barn in 2018. Luis Saez takes the reins atop the dark bay son of Majestic Warrior. Playing X Y Jet over Quijote and Ray’swarrior is the suggested course of action. Good Luck! Photo: Noble Drama and jockey Nik Juarez prevail in the Wildcat Heir division of the Florida Sire Stakes at Gulfstream Park on September 29, 2018 (c) Adam Coglianese Photography/Leslie Martin