God's Tipster's Saturday Gulfstream Park and Aqueduct Picks: ELEVEN races, many stakes, to wrap up 2022
Friday’s Race Recap from Aqueduct:
(All odds US)
Race 1: 5th@ 21.00/1
Race 4: 4th@ 15.90/1
Race 5: 7th@ 15.70/1
Race 7: SCRATCH
Race 8: 3rd@ 11.70/1
In Race 1, we were right to play against morning line favorite Vax but the hot first time starter won the race as the actual favorite. Hypnocurrency was wide throughout and battled on missing fourth by a nose. In Race 4 War Stopper was well behind a hot pace and rallied for fourth. In Race 5, Toned Up was wide throughout and checked in seventh. In Race 8, Infringement also took the overland route and rallied to be third.
We’re headed to Aqueduct and Gulfstream for Saturday’s Stakes action to close out 2022
Let’s get to the action at Gulfstream Park where we’re expecting fast and firm conditions and Aqueduct where we expect some rain. It’s the end of the year and we are FIRING away with longshots so if you’re a chalk-eater you may want to wait til next year to check our tips. We’re letting it all hang out on this final day of 2022 and I see several opportunities to capitalize on value plays today.
Saturday at Gulfstream Park:
Race 2: Case - 1 pt win (US Morning Line Odds: 5/1)
Maidens sprint 7 furlongs to kick off an excellent stakes card at Gulfstream. Several first time starters debut here with potential but Case is the one I want. Case debuts for the Jonathan Thomas barn who wins at 20%. 5 straight five furlong workouts on his tab and the feedback on his works according to the workout report has been very positive. Most recent work is listed as “better than final time suggests”. This guy sold for 30 times his sire’s stud fee. I have a sneaky feeling this runner will be closer to 5/2 here than his 5/1 morning line.
Race 4: Passion Plus - 1 pt win (US Morning Line Odds: 10/1)
This is a wholly uninspiring group of claiming fillies and mares on turf going a mile and a sixteenth. Passion Plus stands out to me here because, aside from her five wins on this Gulfstream Park turf course and her three wins at today’s distance from 12 starts, her recent turf form fits right with these. Trainer Liz Dobles wins with 24% of her synthetic to turf runners and this one should get a prime stalking trip from just off the pace.
Race 6: Music City Star - 2 pts win - BEST BET (US Morning Line Odds: 10/1)
The Rampart is a one mile stakes race for fillies and mares on the main track and I love Music City Star here. This race came up light on form and early speed and that’s what Music City Star brings to the table. She was claimed by top Florida trainer Saffie Joseph back in October and shelved to wait for a nice bump up in class to stakes company. It’s nice to see the barn have confidence in her. She’s been working well and the only time she ever raced a mile she blasted upper level claiming foes right here at Gulfstream. I’m not quite sure we’ll get the 10/1 morning line here in the States but she should still offer value in this spot.
Race 7: Phantom Vision - 1 pt win (US Morning Line Odds: 12/1)
The Grade 3 Suwannee River at a mile on turf is for fillies and mares and this is another race that brings together an evenly matched field. Phantom Vision is the pick here for a few reasons: First, she’s run twice on turf at distances similar to what she’ll run today and they’ve been two of the best races of her career. Second, she’s one of only three runners with a win over the Gulfstream Park turf course. Her last race was better than it looked as she finished just two lengths behind our 5/2 morning line favorite after maybe moving a bit too soon last time out. Trainer Mike Maker does well with his turf runners and this miss has been working up a storm. Paco Lopez wins 23% of his starts when paired with Mike Maker. Good value at 12/1 or higher.
Race 8: Seal Beach - 1 pt win (US Morning Line Odds: 8/1)
The Grade 3 Mr. Prospector is a 7 furlong sprint on the main track. There is a TON of early pace signed on here. Uncle Ernie is 6/1 on the morning line but I wouldn’t be surprised if he goes favored, based on what I’m reading about who other handicappers are taking. With all the speed signed on here you can keep Uncle Ernie and Irad Ortiz and I’ll take the improving Seal Beach. This is one who met the likes of eventual Graded Stakes winners Epicenter, Rattle N Roll and Dash Attack even before he broke his maiden. After a failed try on turf and a tough trip at Saratoga, he’s improved his speed figure in each of his four subsequent starts culminating with a breakout win at Churchill Downs. The early pace here may be fast enough to break a few stopwatches and that should set the table nicely for Seal Beach’s closing kick.
Race 9: Street Ready - 1 pt win (US Morning Line Odds: 10/1)
“Colonel Liam is unbeatable!” Why are they even running the race?! Just hand his owners a check and let him move onto the Pegasus Turf. And that’s just it. While today’s Grade 2 Fort Lauderdale is a prestigious race, it’s not our likely odds on favorite, Colonel Liam’s ultimate goal. This is being used as a prep for a much richer race at the end of January (which he’s won each of the last two years). Street Ready is our selection here as he’s won his last start and was a strong second in his two races just prior to that. He’s got top rider Luis Saez and breaks from the rail as the probable controlling speed. Maybe he shakes loose early since this is only a prep for the almighty Colonel Liam anyway. Who knows what might happen?
Race 10: Skippylongstocking - 1 pt win (US Morning Line Odds: 4/1)
The Grade 3 Harlan’s Holiday is another fun stakes race on today’s card. This one is a mile and a sixteenth on the main track for three year olds and up. O’Connor is our morning line favorite and since I have a son named Connor my first instinct was to pick him but today’s the last day of the year and we’re taking a firm stand against favorites. I prefer Skippylongstocking to his barnmate O’Connor. It’s tough to really say what O’Connor is as he’s only made one start in the U.S. A perfect trip off a speed dual and he drew off. Today he’ll get a true test but to me, if Skippy runs back to his West Virginia Derby or Belmont Stakes, everyone else is running for second. Top rider Irad Ortiz climbs aboard this one for the first time and he’s another that has been working well in preparation for this.
Race 11: Sign Of Peace - 1 pt win (US Morning Line Odds: 20/1)
Maybe morning line favorite Marketsegmentation is the best filly in this allowance optional claiming race for fillies and mares on turf but Sign of Peace is intriguing to me. She made a nondescript debut at Turfway park on polytrack last year before being laid off for almost a full year and returning at Hawthorne in Illinois. That’s a B-level track and that’s putting it kindly so I’m taking that into consideration but she won her turf debut in game fashion as she battled bravely to hold off Kathan, who would go on to win her next start. She’s been working well and owns a strong Tomlinson figure telling me she’s bred to relish this distance and surface. I’m most intrigued that top turf rider, Joel Rosario takes the mount on this 20/1 shot. She’ll need things to go her way up front as Marketsegmentation is a tough customer but this longshot has the looks of a runner.
Saturday at Aqueduct:
Race 6: Betty’s Smile - 1 pt win (US Morning Line Odds: 15/1)
Woof, an allowance race for fillies and mares bred in New York and these are quite a step down from the races I just handicapped at Gulfstream, but I like a longshot in this 6 furlong sprint named Betty’s Smile. This is another race without much early speed and that’s something that Betty has an abundance of. She also has 5 wins, more than anyone in the field. She’s got a win over the surface and two wins at the distance and runs for a barn that can connect with longshots shipping in from Finger Lakes from time to time. Bullet workout on November 23 signals readiness. Look for her to battle Kant Hurry Love early and if that one doesn’t break well we might just take them gate to wire.
Race 7: Outlier - 1 pt win (US Morning Line Odds: 15/1)
Allowance optional claiming runners race a mile on the main track here. Outlier’s last start wasn’t pretty but it was also only 8 days after a pretty strong effort in the Grade 1 Cigar Mile. That day he led through the first half mile and finished fifth of six behind four Grade 1 winners. Half of his career wins including his career best effort were at today’s one mile distance and he fits better with these than his 15/1 morning line might suggest.
Race 8: Shooger Ray Too - 1 pt win (US Morning Line Odds: 15/1)
The Queens County will be run at a mile and an eighth on the main track for a grizzled group of mostly veteran runners. Plenty of speed signed on here and hopefully we don’t have a parade of scratches like we had on Friday. Shooger Ray Too should be able to sit the right trip just off the early pace battle though. Trainer John Servis is winning at an 18% clip this year and this runner has a sharp looking win over Tax just a few short months ago at this very distance putting up a speed figure that would probably win this. The start prior to that he fought on gamely at Saratoga facing another tough field. Value at 15/1 or higher.
Best of luck to all our members playing Saturday’s races from around the U.S.!
Wishing our members a HAPPY and PROSPEROUS New Year!!