Turf Paradise: Stakes spot plays for Jan. 14

Profile Picture: John Mucciolo

January 12th, 2022

A pair of black type races on the lawn will highlight the action at Turf Paradise on Friday evening.

Race 5 – Walter R. Cluer Memorial S.

The 7 1/2-furlong event on the sod for the boys attracted a field of nine, with two contenders appearing to be the standouts to me. The Jeff Mullins-trained #8 Zoffarelli (5-2) has faced graded stakes foes in each of his four tries since arriving in the U. S. and will appreciate the relief in class on this occasion. The gelded Irish-bred did his best work overseas at seven furlongs to a mile, and I feel that the cut back in trip here will suit him well in this spot under Drayden Van Dyke.

#6 Tiger Dad (7-2) has class and, more importantly in this particular race, a lot of natural speed. The Smiling Tiger gelding has won two straight since having blinkers added, and the six-year-old has finished in the top three in all but one lifetime try on the green. The dark bay will be the one to catch as the controlling pace here.


  • $20 exacta box 6-8 ($40)

Race 8 – Queen of the Green S.

The finale on the card enticed an overflow field of 12 for the 7 1/2-furlong affair on the sod. Chilean Group 1 heroine #7 Brooke (3-1) is the class of the field for Michael McCarthy. The No Nay Never six-year-old has placed in four of her six efforts on U. S. soil while facing strong opposition, and she will be ready to roll following a sharp bullet morning move in her most recent drill. Drayden Van Dyke will be in the stirrups atop the horse to beat.

Keith Desormeaux’s #10 Zydeco Mama (5-1) is still eligible for a first-level allowance endeavor and lacks the class of some in the cast, but I like her form cycle, as well as the cut back in distance that the Hard Spun chestnut will take. The mare is lightly raced with room to improve, and she will receive an honest pace at which to rally into down the lane at a fair price. Harry Hernandez inherits the mount.


  • $3 trifecta 7 with 10 with all ($24)
  • $1 trifecta 7 with all with 10 ($8)