He looks at the middle of the card and adds a Bet 3
It's another Thursday for the Sport of Kings, and -- this is not a broken record -- weather is a factor here in the Northeast. It's rain, not snow or ice or back-breaking cold, but the bad meterological juju is going to force us to take a pass on otherwise playable cards at Aqueduct and Laurel: both cards figure to be rainy, sloppy-track messes. It's not that off tracks are never playable -- they can be -- but they require the ability to make the kinds of last-minute decisions that we just cannot do here. It's hard enough to pick winners hours before the races when one knows the track will be fast and the turf firm; when the condition of the track is uncertain because of weather, we just cannot in good conscience make picks.
To dodge the weather, we'll head instead to Gulfstream Park, a familiar oval here in recent days, where there's a decent card, a mixed bag of eminently bettable races. We're going to head to a three-race stretch in the middle of the card, races 5 through 7. Race 5 is a 5 1/2 furlongs dirt sprint, and a $12,500 maiden claimer, for three-year-old fillies; Race 6 is a $20k maiden claimer on the grass for older fillies and mares; and Race 7 is a conditioned $6,250 claimer at 6 1/2 furlongs on the dirt, for female horses 4 and older.
These races all feature hoses who we think are strong picks on top. They are:
Race 5: 1-Subtle Hope, 6/5 morning line. This filly has superior speed figures; appears to have controlling speed; and drops from $25k to $12.5k maiden company. More important, she is running against one of the worst fields you will ever see: some of these other horses appear to be unlikely to beat the ambulance to the finish line. She will not need to be the second coming of Swaps to win; she is a standout, and because of that we'll take the short price, and will bet $25 on Subtle Hope to win.
Race 6: 11-Much About It, 2-1 morning line. This lightly raced (two career starts) 4-year-old filly has been competitive against much tougher. She takes a big class drop from Maiden $50k to Maiden $20k, and she appears to outclass this field. We won't get 2-1 -- her starting-time odds will likely be more like 6/5 -- but we'll take it, and will be $20 on Much About It.
Race 7: 1-Kaylie's Girl is 7/2 on the morning line, and is not the favorite, but she is our pick: she ran second in her last race, at this level, and her Beyer Speed Figure from that race came back the best in the field. If she repeats that race, she wins. We'll bet $10 to win on Kaylie's Girl.
We're also going to leverage these opinions by playing a Bet 3 ticket (this is Gulfstream's name for the Pick 3, a.k.a. the Triple): we'll play a $5 ticket with Subtle Hope, Much About it, and Kaylie's Girl; we'll also throw in Race 7 Favorite, 5-Dreamingofmermaids (5/2), in the third leg. This ticket is 1 with 11 with 5,7; at a $5 level, this costs $10.
That's it for today. We'll be back for Saturday's big Pegasus World Cup card, as well as other national stakes. Good luck at the windows.