Mucciolo: Gulfstream Park stakes plays

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February 3rd, 2018

A fine Saturday card awaits us at Gulfstream Park, with a handful of graded races led by the $200,000 Holy Bull S. (G2). I will take aim at each of the five.

Swale (G3)

This is a race that I like a lot, as four of the six who will go postward have previously bagged a stakes trophy. Mark Hennig’s sensational debut winner STRIKE POWER will hope to build upon his fine sprint score and I think he is the real deal.

Chestnut son of Speightstown overcame a rail post at first asking to run foes off their respective feet, coming home in stylish fashion for a conditioner not known for his prowess with debut runners. Strike Power gets an ideal outer post slot today and top pilot Luis Saez should get a clean voyage atop the budding star.

Sweetest Chant (G3)

Sophomore fillies will go one mile on the turf in a nine-horse field and I really fancy the chances of the Tom Albertrani-trained ANDINA DEL SUR. Chestnut filly by Giant’s Causeway was a sharp debut sprint winner on the Belmont lawn in the fall and finished a respectable third in the Ginger Brew on this green in her 2018 debut.

Kentucky-bred is out of a very nice mare and was well clear of her nearest foe when third in her Gulfstream bow off the shelf. With a good post slot and more ground to work with, I find it tough to see this group holding off her late kick beneath repeat rider Rosario -- as long as Andina Del Sur avoids another eight-wide trip in the lane.

Forward Gal (G2)

MORNING DESTINY came up a neck short to a filly I like a whole lot, Cicatrix, in the Glitter Woman S. last time out on this oval. Daughter of Morning Line finally gets a chance to run more than six panels, which is a plus in my view, and I am not in love with anything else in this affair. A 15-1 morning-line price has me in Morning Destiny’s corner with Irad Ortiz coming back.

Dania Beach (G3)

Summer S. (Can-G2) star UNTAMED DOMAIN was a bit unlucky not to have bagged the BC Juvenile Turf (G1) in the fall, though his defeat could be a blessing for those looking for a reasonable price on the colt. Trained by Graham Motion, well-bred son of Animal Kingdom is improving with every performance and his 8-5 morning-line price might be a bargain. I find it tough to imagine Untamed Domain losing this tilt with his best.

Holy Bull (G2)

The feature on the card is a fine one that lacks a clear-cut standout. Two of the horses that I like as long-term players are expected to scratch (Hollywood Star and Mississippi), leaving a likely field of nine. This race comes down to pace and ENTICED gets the nod.

Talented son of Medaglia d’Oro either leaves from the rail or tracks in second behind stretch-out sprinter Aequor before taking command and getting first run on the group of talented late runners in this cast. Enticed shows four steady drills and the move to Joel Rosario is never a bad one.