Trio of sophomore stakes included in Pick 5 play at Gulfstream Park Jan. 2

Profile Picture: James Scully

January 1st, 2021

Five stakes for new 3-year-olds will be offered at Gulfstream Park on Saturday, including the $100,000 Mucho Macho Man S. The one-turn mile test has produced a pair of notable runners the last two years, Code of Honor and Sole Volante, but neither was victorious.

I’ll give my thoughts on the Mucho Macho Man, along with two other stakes in the late Pick 5 sequence.

Race 7 – Limehouse S. at 6 furlongs

#4 Drain the Clock was sharp winner of his first two outings, including a 5-furlong maiden special weight at Gulfstream. He lost the iron and rider when making his stakes debut last time, and appears to be training forwardly for Saffie Joseph in the interim. #2 Highway Bound, a well-bred son of Into Mischief, also will be included following a convincing maiden tally at Aqueduct for Bill Mott.

Race 8 – Maiden special weight at 1 1/16 miles turf

After offering a belated rally in his two-turn debut, #5 Floriform switches to turf for Mott. The sophomore colt is closely related to Grade 1 turf winner Super Staff and Grade 2 turf victor Rob Roy, and he’s eligible to relish the surface switch in his third career start.

Mott has another contender in #6 Crew Dragon, who opened his career with a pair of solid thirds in New York. #12 Winfromwithin looks like a serious player on the front end for Todd Pletcher and Luis Saez.

Race 9 – Ginger Brew S. at a mile turf

#3 Honey Pants is my single. The gray Cairo Prince recorded a fine maiden tally when switching to turf for her second outing, romping by four lengths over a solid field, with the runner-up (So Enchanting) being a promising Chad Brown trainee and the third-placer (Mrs Brazil) romping in her next outing. Honey Pants didn’t break sharply from the innermost post when jumping to a stakes last time, checking in second, and she can show more here with Johnny V.

Race 10 – Mucho Macho Man

#4 Kiger rates a look at a price. An easy maiden winner going a mile at Gulfstream Park West two back, he just missed over the track and distance last time against the well-regarded Moonlite Strike, who received a perfect trip. Edgard Zayas takes over the mount on the Saffie Joseph-trained Kiger, and the Verrazano colt should receive a good up-close trip in a race lacking serious early speed.

#7 Pickin’ Time should appreciate the cutback to a one-turn mile. #10 Big Thorn is eligible to receive a favorable trip on the front end with Paco Lopez.

I will try to beat 5-2 morning line favorite Mutasaabeq, who possesses little tactical speed and may be better suited for turf.

Race 11 -- $35,000 claimer at 1 1/16 miles turf

I will spread five-deep in a competitive finale, using #3 Troubling Moon, #4 Go Poke the Bear, #6 Blameless, #7 Artemus Bridge, and #8 Golden Decision.

50-cent Late Pick 5 Ticket

4,6 with 5,6,12 with 3 with 4,7,10 with 3,4,6,7,8 ($45)