Layoff horse a key in tough Gulfstream Pick 5 sequence

Profile Picture: John Mucciolo

December 29th, 2017

A challenging and potentially lucrative opportunity awaits us at Gulfstream Park on Saturday in the late Pick 5 (Races 7-11). This all-grass sequence will feature a quartet of turf stakes races and looks appealing to me in hoping to conclude 2017 on a high mark.

Race 7

Tough start to the wager pits a baker's dozen of sophomore fillies going 1 1/16 miles in the first division of the Tropical Park Oaks. #11 STORM ON THE HILL is the top selection in making a debut for Eddie Kenneally. The recent $275,000 purchase gets a tough post coming off the layoff but showed some class with a stakes win to date, and she was a pretty good third in the Autumn Miss last time after a wide trip behind a sharp winner. Luis Saez rides. #3 DREAM AWHILE, #5 MOMENTIEMPO, and #9 WESTIT are the others that I will use in a wide-open affair.

Race 8

Turf claiming event is the lone non-stakes run in the late five and I will make my single in this spot. #7 ROCCIA D'ORO is coming off of a layoff of more than a year in a first outing for conditioner Mike Maker, who claimed this one in December of 2016. Class dropping five-year-old is the class of this field when he is right, and I have a ton of faith that this barn will have him ready to roll after some solid morning drills in advance of this race. Winless in four runs against tons better on this lawn, the son of Rock of Gibraltar gets Jose Ortiz and is my key in the wager. After him I could use a whole bunch of contenders.

Race 9

Second division of the Oaks also attracted 13 fillies, and this looks like a most competitive affair. #3 GHOSTLY PRESENCE has gotten back in form for conditioner Roger Attfield and will get a slight nod from this corner. Ghostzapper filly was a big second two races prior to a very talented filly on the Woodbine lawn and a repeat of that run will give her every chance in this field. Chestnut has been training in very swift fashion at Payson of late and I love that regular pilot Hernandez comes along to be in the irons. #2 TAPERGE, #6 FLYING HARMONY and #10 SPEIGHAL make the cut, too.

Race 10

A dozen fillies and mares will go 1 3/16 miles in another testing race with players from some of the top barns in racing comprising the field. Race has a nice amount of early foot in it and could set up well for one coming from off the early tempo. My two choices are both big morning-line prices -- #4 TEXTING (10-1) and #5 FLIPCUP (12-1) -- but I have decided to add another pair. #3 GALILEO'S SONG is consistently good, while #7 INVOLUNTARY proved capable of running big against some very good divisional foes at Woodbine in the spring and summer and will come in fresh for this tilt.

Race 11

Tropical Park Derby has an overflow field of 15 and four look most logical to me to cap this sequence. #3 PROFITEER might be the one to beat for Shug McGaughey, but I will also include #10 DANCE STRIKE, #12 SMALL BEAR and #13 FUNTASTIC. I would feel very confident with this quartet to cash my wager.

The Play:

$.50-cent Pick 5: 3,5,9,11 with 7 with 2,3,6,10 with 3,4,5,7 with 3,10,12,13 = $128.