Player Quick Pick for 3/9/2014

Molly Jo Rosen

March 9th, 2014

by D.S. Williamson

Best Bet – Race 5 – $52,000 Optional Claimer, 1 mile over turf

For Four Year Olds and Up Which Have Started for a Claiming Price of $25,000 or Less

5 – Screenplay – 6/1 – Saving ground around that first turn is a doozy, meaning that jockey Joe Rocco Jr. should be able to tuck this 7-year-old gelding right behind likely favorite Rose Briar and Console before they hit since he breaks from post 5.  That might make all of the difference because trainer Jason Service wins with 30% of his horses who won their last race and Screenplay loves Gulfstream’s lawn.

9-Hello Leroy – 5/2 – This Manuel Azpura trainee has a win and a second out of 3 races at the distance.  Hello Leroy drops into this off of a second place finish behind Kaigun in a $62,500 optional claimer for n2x.  The class relief may help, but Leroy has proven that he’s capable of finishing second no matter what the level.  He’s finished second in his last 3 races.

3 – Rose Brier – 3/1- Jane Cibelli trains this five-year-old gelded son of Mizzen Mast that has gone 4-1-1 in his last 5 races.  Jockey Joel Rosario, who did the best he could with Hear The Ghost in yesterday’s Santa Anita Handicap, rides.  There’s very little not to like about Rose Brier in this spot, but the odds are going to be much less than 3/1.  Horseplayers are looking at 8/5 at best.  This might be a good time to play against since he goes into this off of two top speed ratings and could bounce.


Any Limit Stakes – Race 8 - $75,000

7 furlong, For Fillies Three Years Old

7-Whomping Willow – 5/1 – This might be the perfect spot for this freshly minted maiden winner trained by Dale Romans.  Willow was spectacular in the maiden score, taking the lead from the outset and then running on for victory.  Sure, Sweet Whiskey is a proven commodity, but Willow did break her maiden at this 7 furlongs distance and over this track.  Jockey Corey Lanerie will have her close to the chalk from the outset.

1-Sweet Whiskey – 9/5 – She’s got a class edge as well as a pace edge in this contest.  Jockey Javier Castellano, who is pulling a Russell Baze at Gulfstream by winning on 30% of his mounts, takes the call.  Trainer Todd Pletcher wins 30% of his races as well.  Unless Castellano makes a mistake or someone tries to go with her early, she could roll.  But the odds will be short, which is why I didn’t put her in the win slot.

5-Naive Enough – 4/1 – Trainer Igancio Correas has saddled only 12 horses this year.  He’s won with 3 of them.  This gal finished 4th in the Grade II Golden Rod at Churchill Downs last November.  She’s been training well at Payson and she’s definitely bred to be something special.  Her father is Street Sense and her mother, Light From Above, was sired by A.P. Indy.  She could surprise, but she’s at a pace advantage in this contest.  Still, I wouldn’t argue with anybody looking to build a wager around her.