Shapiro's Thursday Pick 4 at Gulfstream

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May 6th, 2020

Racing reconvenes in Hallandale Beach on Thursday with an 11-race card that as always includes a late Pick 4 over the final four races. I am looking forward to tackling a sequence that has vulnerable top choices in the first two legs. I hope to beat a pair of chalks early and close things out with a single in a maiden event at two-turns on the lawn.

Race 8:

#7 Memorize looks like the quickest out of the gates in this open $6,250 claimer stretching out a half-furlong after finishing third against similar on Apr. 19. The 5-year-old mare has won 2-of-5 in 2020 and will be dangerous if left alone on an easy lead. However, her inconsistency, inability to finish with significant energy, and move to a barn that is winless at the meeting make her hard to trust at 3-1.

5-2-morning line favorite #8 Worth Avenue is even more difficult to endorse at a relatively short price. The daughter of First Dude is 0-for-12 dating back to the start of 2019, and her lack of early speed is an issue. She will need a favorable pace scenario and a traffic free voyage to find the wire first.

#1 Gilda F. and #5 Four K’s should get first run on Memorize. Like Worth Avenue, #4 Shall Return and #6 Nowitna River will also need things to go their way, but they will offer significantly better value if they come from well out of it to best this bunch. I will include all four.

Race 9:

I lack a strong opinion in this starter allowance turf event at 8-panels other than being against 2-1-morning line favorite #3 Bean Counter. The 4-year-old daughter of Into Mischief has failed to hit the wire first in four tries over the Gulfstream Park turf course. Furthermore, she has lost twice in a row at 2-1 or less, including on Mar. 29 when she got a perfect pocket trip as the even-money favorite, but was turned away in the lane by 16-1 shot #8 Big Tina

I will use several and hope I can create more separation heading into the back half of the late Pick 4.

Race 10:

6-5-morning line favorite #5 Flora Fantasy heads into this state-bred optional claiming event on a two-race winning streak. The daughter of Cowtown Cat lacks early zip, but has a consistent turn of foot that has led to six wins and 14 in-the-money finishes in 19 starts over this surface. The 6-year-old mare comes in fresh after being claimed by Jose D’Angelo back in mid-March and should benefit from a contentious early pace.

Flora Fantasy is the clear one to beat, but I will also include longshot #6 Baby Ice. The First Dude mare enters Thursday in the best form of her career and draws favorably to the outside. She should get the jump on Flora Fantasy at a much bigger price.

Race 11:

The sequence concludes with a high-level maiden claiming event at one-mile on the grass. I like the chances of #9 Koko Star. The Phoenix Ladies Syndicate colt drops into the claiming ranks for the initial time after failing to hit the board in three tries versus protected non-winners. The son of Kitten’s Joy lacked speed from the gate in his initial two starts, but was a bit more involved in his most recent start on Louisiana Derby Day where he finished fifth beaten less than four lengths. With a decrease in competition and the presence of Luis Saez, this Mike Maker trainee appears to be in good position to find the winner’s circle for the initial time.

Suggested Wager (50-cent wager):

  • 1,4,5,6 with 2,4,6,7,10 with 5,6 with 9 = $20