New Years Day at the track: RT picks 3 stakes races at Gulfstream Park, including the $75K Abundantia Stakes
The day we have all been waiting for is here! Out with the horrible and in with hope, and as Augustine put it... ” hope has two beautiful daughters; their names are Anger and Courage. Anger at the way things are, and Courage to see that they do not remain the same.”
Three stakes races today at Gulfstream Park:
Gulfstream Park Race 9 – The $75K Janus Stakes
4yo’s↑ running five furlongs on the turf
Who will defeat Imprimis (9/5) today? With a record of 4/4 at GP turf for $138K, a year racing three times and winning $315K, $759K in lifetime earnings after just 16 starts, and the best turf jockey in this country, he will certainly be the one to beat. #7 Extravagant Kid (2/1) if he runs back to his last effort in the BC Turf Sprint. Going off at 18/1, Umberto Rispoli brought him off the pace in 8th place, to narrowly miss by one length. He has 10 races at Gulfstream with $136K in earnings, and Brendan Walsh/Tyler Gaffalione are 21% together. He just had a good workout at Palm Meadows of 1:00.8 for five furlongs. Imagine dumping LeBron James and bringing in Michael Jordan? That’s what happened when the good folks at Shadwell decided to dump Chad Brown for Todd Pletcher on #3 Sayyaaf (6/1). Two back, this Aussie bred dusted the field in a $67K allowance at Belmont. He then switched barns, entered the Aqueduct Turf Sprint Championship Stakes, and led for the first half then faded. That was the first time under Pletcher, and he immediately shipped him to SoFla. Since arriving, he has had three particularly good workouts and if he returns to his ways of two back, look for a solid effort and a chance to wire this field. Canadian invader, #6 Blind Ambition (5/1) found the distance daunting last race in the G2 $250K Nearctic Stakes and faded off. His prior 6.5 furlong race, a win, was against significantly weaker and this turnback to five furlongs could be the tonic. #8 The Critical Way (8/1) can set fast fractions and run away. New rider Paco Lopez will do just that, getting after it early and getting distance. At a price of 8/1 or greater, it would be worth the risk.
Gulfstream Park Race 10 – The $75K Cash Run Stakes
3yo’s running one mile
#2 Gulf Coast (4/1) frankly, I cannot think of a better jockey to handle my $300K purchase than Irad when attempting to stretch out for the first time. Rodolphe Brisset 25% going from sprit to route and this filly has the pedigree to make the distance. #5 Lucifer’s Lair (7/2) from the Pletcher barn, this filly out of Liam’s Map graduated at first asking, sent out less than a month after and ran in the G2 $150K Adirondack at The Spa. She ran ½ the race well and then went kaput. Pletcher with stretch out, layoffs and Edgar Zayas, have astounding results; therefore, she is not to be counted out. #6 Quinoa Tifah (6/1) coming off the Juvenile Filly Turf Stakes at Gulfstream West, she chased fast fractions and faded off in her first, and only, attempt at one mile. Two back, at the Our Dear Peggy Stakes, held at this course, she took the lead and romped in the slop to a three length victory. #1 Shea D Summer (5/2) batting 1.000 in two attempts, this daughter of Summer Front, became an alum at first try, and a month later, she crushed The Juvenile Fillies Turf Sprint by 6.75. She has done everything asked of her, including a recent bullet 5F work at Palm Meadows in 1:00 flat. Trainer Carlos David an astounding 29% from sprint to route, 24% with horses off more than 30 days and 23% when winning last race. Will the switch from regular rider Emisael Jaramillo to Junior Ortiz affect her? We shall see. #9 Honorifique (5/1) is where I landed. She is a closer who has run her last two at a greater, or equal distance to today, including a two turn event at Keeneland where she narrowly missed. Today, she is among many stretching out, which makes them vulnerable to want to go fast early, so she will have the benefit of early speed fading. For the same reason, I am going to include #8 Gladys (12/1) in the mix after she just nailed a one mile msw race by taking command at the stretch and winning by three.
Gulfstream Park Race 11 – The $75K Abundantia Stakes
4yo↑ fillies and mares running five furlongs on the turf
#1 Fully Loaded (9/2) is sired by one of Australia’s most sought-after studs (now standing in Japan, however), Animal Kingdom. She was shipped here from the Australia directly after having a four way photo finish in the Group 3 $109K Le Pine Funeral Summon Stakes at Sandown. That would have been one helluva race to have seen and bet on. That race was November 2019 and the connections have her under the tutelage of Rodolphe Brissett. Her first race here was the Smart And Fancy Stakes at Saratoga in August and being on dirt, and never have raced on that surface, it turned out to be FUBAR. Shipped to Woodbine and entered their G3 $125K Ontario Fashion Stakes, she, at 16/1, after leading throughout, just missed by a neck. Her next, and last race, she took the lead going into the stretch and faded. That was at 6.5 furlongs and today she turns back to five. She will gun it and contend with a hot pace. #6 Miss Auramet (7/2) is an incredible horse. My pp’s only go back to eleven races and in those eleven, she has won six times, narrowly placed twice, and showed once. Those races come from a blend of dirt and turf and to say she has competitive fire is an understatement. She too is a speed horse, and she will have a go of things early. #9 Jakarta (5/2) is the choice and if she runs back to the style in which she did last time, she will get a perfect setup. She was normally a speed horse and Luis Saez, in his first ride on her, held her back until the stretch and she won it going away by 2.5 lengths. Saez is back today, she is 2:2 for $78K at GP and has had a great 2020, banking $246K in nine races.
That is how I will play the exacta and trifecta as well as win.