Ready for Rye can stay a few steps ahead of X Y Jet
If you're wagering sustenance is stakes races, like mine is this year, then Gulfstream Park is the place to pay attention to on Saturday. Of the 13 races on the marathon card that begins at noon (EST), eight are stakes events.
Unfortunately, as Ed DeRosa pointed out after the fields were drawn Wednesday, not all came up roses for bettors.
In addition to limited horizontal wager opportunities for stakes aficionados, several of the offerings have limited appeal in the win pool with Cathryn Sophia (Davona Dale [G2]), Catch a Glimpse (Herecomesthebride [G3]), and Mohaymen (Fountain of Youth [G2]) looking hard to beat at odds-on. Heart to Heart (Canadian Turf [G3]) is another probable favorite that looks dangerous.
However, we'll try and make do with the rest and see if we can grind out a profit backing these steeds:
Monster Bea -- $75,000 Texas Glitter (GP Race 1, 5-1) -- This gelding has not had the best of luck since breaking his maiden at Saratoga over the up-and-coming Conquest Windycity last summer. In the subsequent With Anticipation (G2), his early foot was negated after an early bump. Next out, in the $100,000 Awad at Belmont, he stumbled and dropped jockey J.D. Acosta at the start. Finally, he proved ineffective on Woodbine's Polytrack when a wide-trip fifth in the C$125,000 Display going 1 1/16 miles. Five furlongs might be a tad short for him, but he did show some late energy in his debut at the distance, the pace should be honest enough and hopefully he won't find himself as far back this time. Jockey switch to Jose Lezcano a positive one given his record with Mark Casse trainees here and nationwide the last couple of years.
Ready for Rye -- $100,000 Gulfstream Park Sprint (GP Race 4, 9-2) -- X Y Jet, the even-money favorite on the morning line, has lit up the track all meet and is bound for the Dubai Golden Shaheen (G1) with another strong effort. However, I'm not willing to overlook Ready for Rye at this price considering he was the last horse to beat X Y Jet. That occurred in the Swale (G2) over this track last March. Granted, X Y Jet ran horrible in an effort that was clearly an outlier, but Ready for Rye matured a lot faster and also became an accomplished turf sprinter before X Y Jet's recent spate of blowout victories. I'll take a shot with this one and hope he's still the superior of the two.
Converge -- $150,000 Palm Beach (G3) (GP Race 11, 8-1) -- From the first crop of Sidney's Candy and out of multiple Grade 3 winner Atlantic Ocean, both of whom were dual surface threats, this colt looked good beating a New York-bred field first out rallying from off of a moderate pace. His follow-up in the $100,000 Awad was also decent despite having to rally seven wide in upper stretch. Though his initial placement in restricted company raises some flags regarding connections' opinion of him, the subsequent spotting seem to denote confidence on their part. In a race where a good share of the field is either exposed or facing winners for the first time, he has the potential to move forward for a solid trainer/jockey combo.
(Ready for Rye photo: Kenny Martin/Adam Coglianese Photography)