Shapiro's Pick 4 on the Gulfstream Turf
Horseplayers that love grass racing should be locked in Thursday at South Florida. Six of the 10 events are scheduled to be conducted over the Gulfstream Park turf course, including three of the four races included in the late Pick 4 that commences in Race 7, an optional claimer at one-mile.
The pace should be honest in the first leg given the presence of #2 Money Ride. The Candy Ride colt returns to the Michael Lerman barn after racing solely over the main track in New York for Edward Barker. The Kentucky-bred is extremely quick from the gate, but there are others in here that should prevent jockey Edgard Zayas from taking them all the way on the engine.
#3 Frank’s First tries two-turns and the lawn for the initial time, but has the right running style and attracts the services of Tyler Gaffalione. The son of Lea is a half-brother to Café Flavor, who earned both of his career victories on the sod, so there is a chance he takes a step forward on the surface switch. Frank's First is worth including at 8-1 on the line, as is #8 He’s Super Lucky. The Reeves Thoroughbred Racing gelding lacks early zip, but has a pair of wins over this course and is the likeliest to benefit from a contentious early pace.
There are a number of runners that like to be on or near the early lead in this non -winners of two event, but I still have interest in #2 Crupi’s Pizza Dom. The 4-year-old gelding moves to a more favorable inside post after going too fast in the early going during his first start of 2020. It is likely that the son of Artie Schiller needed the race off a near 9-month break. Now he makes his initial start for a barn that is a deadly 32% first off the claim over their last 74 tries.
If there is an early tussle, #5 Volubile and #7 Preacher Marsee are the ones that should take advantage. Preacher Marsee ran a solid second at this level despite a wide voyage on Mar. 19. Luis Saez gets the leg up for the first time. Volubile drops to the lowest level of his career after encountering traffic versus better on Feb 27. The son of More Than Ready gets a rider upgrade on Thursday to Gaffalione.
9-5-morning line favorite #4 Moretti makes his first start since a runner-up effort at Laurel Park on Feb. 8. The $900,000 son of Medaglia d’Oro looked like a potential Kentucky Derby contender for Hall of Fame conditioner Todd Pletcher back in the winter of 2018, but was sidelined after a sixth-place finish in the Withers (G3) and has not found the winner’s circle since. With other horses that do their best running on the front end, he is worth playing against in this 1 1/16-mile event over the main track.
I will use several, including #2 Youngest of Five, who broke his maiden in impressive fashion on Mar. 15. He is the likeliest to beat Moretti, but I am not fully convinced the stretch out to two turns will be to his liking.
The connections of #5 Mighty Road spent a cool $1 million for the daughter of Quality Road at the OBS April 2019 sale. The Chad Brown trainee debuts in this special weight event on the sod after a long series of drills at Payson Park. She draws favorably and meets a field she should handle to close the day. My single.
- R7: 3+4+5+6+8
- R8: 2+5+7
- R9: 1+2+5+9
- R10: 5
Ticket Cost: $30