Horse Racing Picks for Saturday, May 9: Gulfstream Park Best Bets and Longshots
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It’s going to be an exciting day at Gulfstream Park with a mandatory payout in the Pick 6. With a carryover just shy of $1.5M, the pool will swell to between $6-$7M by post time.
Before we dive into the races, I want to explain how I structured my ticket. I used the DRF TicketMaker, a free tool, where you essentially are ranking your horses as either A (horse(s) you like the most), B or C. You then put in your budget and it will give you the tickets you should play.
Keep in mind that while you are playing multiple tickets, only one of them can hit. The reasons I really like using TicketMaker is that it forces you to choose how much you really like a horse and it allows you to spread more than you could if you just played the races straight.
Time: 3:49 p.m. ET
No. 2 Afficionado (4-1) is shipping in from France for trainer Patrick Biancone and will make her first start as a 3-year-old after notching two wins and two seconds from six starts as a 2-year-old.
She has been training well, most recently going 47 3/5 seconds over 4 furlongs on the turf course. Afficiionado will also be getting lasix for the first time, which is an angle I like a lot. She’s an ‘A’ for me in this race.
No. 3 Fast Scene (3-1) is also making her 3-year-old debut after tallying three wins from five starts in her 2-year-old campaign. She has just one win from three tries on the turf, but her speed and running style makes her a serious player in here. Fast Scene has been training well since mid-January and should be primed and ready to go. She’s also an ‘A’.
No. 5 Foolish Humor (7-2) will be getting class relief in this spot after racing non-graded stakes competition in each of her last four starts. Her most recent start was right here at Gulfstream on March 21st, where she finished third by 5 lengths after being bumped at the start and pressing the winner early.
Her morning workout times haven’t been impressive, but she does get one of the top jockeys in the world in Irad Oritz Jr, who wins 25% of his turf mounts. She’s a ‘B’.
No. 9 Envied (6-1) is a daughter of Triple Crown winner American Pharoah. While she only has one win, a maiden score at first asking last July, she ran well last time out in her 3-year-old debut finishing third only by a length. While this is a slight step up in class, trainer Ben Colebrook is 15% second off the layoff. She’s a ‘B’ for me.
No. 10 Compensate (5-1) has never won on the turf, but she has two second-place finishes in her two career starts on this surface. Additionally, Compensate owns three wins, two seconds and a third in seven career starts. Since trying her against graded stakes competition on the dirt — which was the only time she missed the board in her career — her connections have tried getting her on the turf in her last two starts. Two back the race was taken off the turf and she was able to get up just in time to win by a head and last time out she rallied to finish second by 1 3/4 on the turf. She’s a ‘B’.
Time: 4:27 p.m. ET
No. 5 Louie’s Kingdom (7-5) will be making his first start for trainer Larry Rivelli and will be switching back over to the dirt after a dismal seventh-place finish on the turf last time out. Rivelli is 27% first after the claim, 31% dropping in class off the claim and 36% with more than 90 days of rest. Louie’s Kingdom also gets Irad aboard. For these reasons, he’s an ‘A’.
The other horse that I made an ‘A’ in here was No. 8 Reservenotattained (8-1). After being sidelined for almost two years, he made his return to the track in mid-April where he tried turf for the first time. Regardless of surface, he finished last of eight by a dismal 21 lengths. That said he gets blinkers on and Luis Saez aboard, so I’m willing to cross out that last start and consider that it may have been more of a workout for him.
No. 7 Assertiko (9-2) will be getting significant class relief for trainer Ronald Spatz. Assertiko has been on the sidelines since mid-March, but has been training well leading up to this spot today. Spatz is 24% with 31-60 days rest and Spatz and jockey Miguel Vasquez are 20% when teaming up. Assertiko is a ‘B’.
Time: 4:59 p.m. ET
The only non-graded stakes race of the day was supposed to feature the return of War of Will, but his connections have stated that they will scratch him from this spot and point him towards the Shoemaker Mile, which is a graded stakes race. With or without War of Will this is a tough race to call.
No. 4 Aquaphobia (10-1) for trainer Mike Maker and jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. will be getting some class relief, cutting back in distance and coming in off a short layoff and in his most recent start he finished fourth against graded stakes competition at Fair Grounds. Between the trip he got and his jockey losing him whip in the stretch, it cost him a chance for a better finish. His speed figures, and the fact that Maker and Oritz are 29% together at Gulfstream over the last year, make him a player at a big price in here. He’s an ‘A’.
No. 6 Halladay (4-1) is also an ‘A’ for me. He’s coming in off a win right here at Gulfstream after a brief layoff. He is 2-for-2 over the Gulfstream turf course and has four wins, two seconds and two thirds from nine career turf starts. Trainer Todd Pletcher is 22% with winners last time out and 20% in non-graded stakes races. His tactical speed makes him very dangerous in this spot.
No. 9 Social Paranoia (3-1) is another Pletcher trainee and like his stablemate, Social Paranoia is also coming in off a win over the turf course at Gulfstream. Also like his stablemate, Social Paranoia is 2-for-2 over the turf course at Gulfstream. Unlike Halladay though, Social Paranoia showed versatility in his running style last time out rallying from last to win by 1 1/4 lengths. That was his first start of his four year old season after finishing his three year season with a trip to the winner’s circle too. He, too, is an ‘A’ for me.
No. 11 Admission Office (5-2) is the classiest horse in the race and has faced graded stakes competition in his last seven starts, but he hasn’t won any of those races. He’s had a number of near misses in there, so the class relief should help him.
While trainer Brian Lynch is only 10% in non-graded stakes races, jockey Joel Rosario knows how to time his trip. Admission Office will be coming late, the question is, is this enough distance for him.
That said, he’s still an ‘A’.
No. 7 Hawkish (10-1) is my only ‘B’ in the race. He’s coming in off a seven-month layoff for trainer James Toner. Hawkish has four wins and one second from eight career starts. While he will need to significantly improve from a speed figures standpoint, he’s been training well and was just too hard to leave off completely.
Time: 5:30 p.m. ET
No. 6 Battle of Blenheim (2-1) is my only ‘A’ in the race and he’s my best bet of the day. Trainer Mike Maker and jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. will pair up here and Battle of Blenheim loves the Gulfstream turf, as he has three wins and two seconds from seven starts in Hallandale Beach.
Last time out he finished second after being out-finished, but that was the first start off a three-month layoff. He is primed and ready to go now and should be able to take down this field.
No. 8 Gray’s Fable (5-1) is coming in after breaking his maiden for trainer Roger Attfield. Attfield is 19% with maiden winners last time out and 18% overall at the meet. Gray’s Fable’s speed figures improved in each start and he will need to continue the trend to stand a chance here. He’s a ‘B’.
No. 9 Honey Won’t (4-1) will be sent out by trainer Bill Mott after finishing a disappointing 6th, in the same race as Battle of Blenheim, his last time out. It was his first start off the layoff and Mott is 17% second off the layoff. In addition, Honey Won’t gets a jockey upgrade here with Luis Saez. He’s a ‘B’.
No. 11 Shooting the Breeze (8-1) was just too hard for me to leave off. Trained by Graham Motion, Shooting the Breeze will have Joel Rosario in the irons today and while he has never won on the turf, he does have three seconds and two thirds from 10 turf starts.
Motion is 17% in allowance races and 18% with 46-90 offs and Rosario is 17% on the turf. I’m making him a ‘B’, but if you don’t have the budget, you can leave him off.
Time: 6:01 p.m. ET
No. 4 I’ll Fight Dempsey (3-1) for trainer Todd Pletcher comes in off a disappointing fourth-place finish as the 1-2 favorite last time out. He’s getting class relief today and figures to be a much shorter price come post time. Pletcher is 25% when beaten as the favorite, 25% in allowance races and 23% in sprints. I’ll Fight Dempsey is an ‘A’, and depending on your budget, you can make him your only ‘A’.
No. 7 Hauntedbythemusic (6-1) put away the competition by 6 1/4 lengths in the only start of his career. That race was at Tampa Downs back in December and while the layoff is a concern, winning that impressively and getting Irad aboard are good enough for me to make him an ‘A’.
No. 11 Whiskey Sunrise (8-1) is also coming in off a maiden-breaking score. He won right here at Gulfstream by 4 3/4 lengths for trainer Michael Yates at the beginning of April. Yates is 24% with winners last time out and Yates and jockey Miguel Vasquez are 32% together in the last 60 days. He’s also an ‘A’ for me.
No. 3 Tap It To Win (5-1) will be making his 3-year-old debut for trainer Mark Casse. Tap It To Win broke his maiden at Saratoga last summer and then tried stakes competition, finishing last against graded stakes company and then again against non-graded stakes company. He will need to show that he’s matured from age two to three and if his morning workouts are any indication, he has. Tap It To Win is a ‘B’.
Time: 6:32 p.m. ET
No. 2 Trappezoid (5-1) finished third against similar competition last time out but He was caught 5-6 wide the entire race and with a better trip stands a big chance. Prior to his last start, he had won two consecutive races and although with a limited sample size, trainer Gerado Quiroz is winning at 29%. He’s an ‘A’.
No. 9 Dexter Road (8-1) is coming out of the same race as Trappezoid. Dexter Road finished second by 3/4 of a length in that race after sticking his head in front in the stretch. His speed figures have continued to improve over his last three starts and he has one win, three seconds and one third from six starts at Gulfstream. He’s an ‘A’ for me.
No. 10 Starship Apollo (8-1) is the last ‘A’ for this race. He has 11 wins, five seconds and six thirds from 41 starts at Gulfstream. This will be his second start for trainer Murat Sancal who is 21% second off the claim. He also gets one of the meets leading jocks in Luis Saez.
No. 3 Peppi the Hunter (9-5) won last time out, but is now stepping up to race tougher competition. He was also claimed from the Saffie Joseph barn (28%) by the Diane Morici barn who has only sent out one starter up to this point. Peppi the Hunter has early speed, the biggest question is will he be able to hold off the closers. He’s a ‘B’.
No. 6 The Queens Jule (4-1) is the other ‘B’ for me here. He has a win and a second from two career dirt starts at Gulfstream. Similar to Peppi the Hunter he is a speed horse who is going to need to hold off the closers. In all honesty, the reason I’m including him is because I refuse to get beat by Irad in the last leg.
Horse Racing Picks for Saturday, May 9: Gulfstream Park Best Bets and Longshots
Gulfstream Park Pick 6 for Saturday, May 9
Ideally you get a group of friends together and all throw in money to play the ticket. If you play all of the sample tickets below the total would bet would come out to $704.