Player Quick Pick for 3/8/2014

Molly Jo Rosen

March 8th, 2014

by D.S. Williamson

Gulfstream Park Race 8Maiden $47,000, 1 1/8 miles over turf for 3yo

9 – Picozza – 3/1 – Jockey John Velasquez is going to have to hustle the Todd Pletcher trained colt sired by More Than Ready to the front early before the first turn or he might be hung out to dry.  But, if the great Johnny V. does pull it off, or at least saves some ground, then he should put away his competition as they turn for home.

8-Hine’s – 6/1 – Pletcher saddles this guy as well.  One look at the price tage, $500,000 at the 2012 Keenland September Sale, and one has to believe that he’ll improve off of that 4th place finish by 6 lengths in his debut in January.  Pletcher gets 31% winners with horses in their second career race.  Not too shabby!

6 – Good Response – 10/1- Kiaran McLaughlin puts blinkers onto this maiden running in his fifth lifetime race.  That’s a 20% winning move for the Darley Stable trainer.  McLaughlin wins 26% with horses running on lasix for the second time with him and he wins 28% with horses running off of a layoff of 46 to 90 days.  Jockey Alex Solis, who used to dominate the lawn about 10 years ago over here at Santa Anita rides.

Grade II Gulfstream Park Handicap GP 9: 1 mile for 4&up

2-Golden Ticket – 5/1 – There’s no doubt that the Kenny McPeek trainee will get lost in the wagering in this.  After all, Golden Ticket hasn’t run since last November.  But, this now five-year-old son of Speightstown is classy enough to beat both It’smyluckyday and Palace Malice.  There’s a second place finish in the Stephen Foster and a second place finish in the BC Dirt Mile on his past performances.  His pace ratings say that he can keep up with Falling Sky early and he appears to run best off of a layoff.  He’s also 2 out of 3 at Gulfstream Park.  I’m definitely building a wager around him.

1-It’smyluckyday – 7/2 – He’s been training lights out and he should go off at a much better price than Palace Malice in this.  The key might be the fact that Paco Lopez, a terrific speed rider, takes the call.  Paco will have this guy closer to Falling Sky and Golden Ticket from the outset than his main rival and that could make all of the difference as they turn for home.

8-Palace Malice – 5/2 – How geared up is Pletcher going to have what everybody considers to be his four-year-old star for 2014 in his first race of the year?  It’s doubtful that TP is going to tell Velasquez to push the pedal all the way to floor in this race.  What it means is that this could be a prep for a Grade I later on this year.  Use but don’t go crazy in the win slot is my advice.