Player Quick Pick: Gulfstream for 4/20/2014

Profile Picture: Molly Jo Rosen

Molly Jo Rosen

April 20th, 2014

by D.S. Williamson

Gulfstream Park has a terrific Easter Sunday card!

Gulfstream Park 5 | 3:29 pm ET Claiming (20) for 3&up going 6f

8 – Facundo – After breaking his maiden, trainer Efren Loza Jr. put Facundo into a 6.5 furlong $32,000 claiming race where he got the lead but faded to third by 2.5 lengths.  Facundo gets a much easier spot here and even though he faces other speed, he gets a nice draw on the outside.  Loza’s numbers are fantastic:  36% winners in claiming races, 35% winners in sprints, and 33% winners with all of his dirt starters.

3 – Kiton – It’s tough for me to look past anything that trainer Jorge Navarro sends to the racetrack these days since Navarro is winning at 32% this year.  Kiton was just terrible in his last race over this track and at this level but Navarro is 42% first after the claim and 40% with horses second time off of a layoff.  Those are percentages that I just can’t look past.  Besides, these are $20,000 claimers, meaning that Kiton probably won’t have to improve too much to make his presence felt.

1 – Quarton Lake – Trainer Phillip Gleaves drops Quarton Lake from the $75,000 optional claiming level to this $20,000 claiming race.  It makes sense since the son of Graeme Hall got drilled by 11 lengths in that event.  He’s got a first and second out of 3 tries over the Gulfstream Park dirt and the horrible last race occurred over the turf.  All of it adds up to Quarton Lake having a big shot to win this but he’ll definitely go off at underlaid odds to do so, which makes him a worse play for the win slot than both Kiton and Facundo.

Gulfstream Park 8 | 5:02 pm ET Safari Queen for 3&up F&M going 5f (T)

7 – Claiming Victory – Claiming Victory goes into this after a terrific victory over the Gulfstream turf and at this distance in a $20,000 optional claiming event.  Sure, she’ll be tested for class, but Claiming Victory should get a nice spot about 2 to 3 lengths off of the speed.  Jockey Rajiv Maragh has 2 wins out of 6 mounts at the Gulfstream meet and trainer Joseph Orseno has been spotting this four-year-old filly well.  She’s got 4 wins, a second place finish, and 2 thirds out of 11 lifetime starts.  I’ll take a shot and put her on top.

3 – Madame Giry – The positives are many.  First, she’s the class of this field.  Second, she has 4 wins and 3 second place finishes out of 11 starts at this distance and over the turf.  Third, she should get a decent trip breaking from post-position 3.  The negatives?  You’re dreaming if you think you’ll get 2 to 1 on her.  Not only that, but she might be too far behind as they turn for home, like she was in her last when she finished fourth at odds of 1.90 to 1.  She looks like a vulnerable favorite to me.

1 – Angel’s South – She usually runs close to the pace but that’s in routes and this is a 5 furlong sprint.  Her route experience might actually serve her well here if things open up for her in the lane and jockey Jilver Chamafi doesn’t get her too far back once they break from the gate.  She’s certainly classy enough to win this and that work on April 11, 4 furlongs in :47, says she’s ready to give it her best shot.