By Sean Morris

Gulfstream Park Late Pick 5 Preview for Thursday 2 April

By Sean Morris
Gulfstream Parks Picks for Thursday 2 April 2020
Gulfstream Parks Picks for Thursday 2 April 2020


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Our man Sean Morris looks at the Late Pick-5 Races at Gulfstream Park today and gives us his analysis and selections...

Race 5

I don’t like a lot of the fillies that figure to be short prices in this race. Worth Avenue (#6) makes some sense on the drop in class and trainer change, however it’s probably more of a lateral move than anything and her recent form isn’t good. Fancy Fox (#3) may attract some support after being claimed by Jorge Delgado, but he’s no better than Eddie Kenneally and this filly clearly prefers turf. Tuesday’s Rose (#9) is trained by Saffie Joseph, Jr. and therefore will take some money, but she has no real excuse for her last race, in which she was beaten decisively by the filly I like best in here, Gilda F. (#7).

I just think Gilda F. is the most reliable option in this race. She was the first to attack a fast pace in that March 13 race and was nearly able to hold off Baby Ice, who, while no superstar, is a quality filly for the level. Gilda F. is drawn well and has the tactical speed to sit off what projects to be a fast pace. The icing on the cake is that she might actually be a decent price even though she’s a very likely winner.

Suz (#4) could go in either direction as she drops in class off a poor effort, but I have to use her defensively. I don’t think she’s as good as her race two back suggests considering she got away with a soft pace going 5 ½ furlongs, however if she runs anything even approximating it, she’ll win. I wouldn’t completely discount Memorize (#2), either. She’s coming off two bad races and was claimed out of her last start by a trainer who’s winless in 2020, but she’s run well for low-profile connections in the past and could bounce back as she sheds blinkers, which she apparently didn’t care for.

Main:  4,7      Backup:  1,2,6

Order of preference:  7-4-2-6


Race 6

No filly in this wide open race scares me, which is why I landed on Fancified (#7) as my top pick. She may look too slow on paper, but she was visually impressive last out – her first start on turf – when she showed a potent late kick to overcome a soft pace against lesser competition. It’s interesting that Tyler Gaffalione is taking the call aboard her considering he must have had plenty of other options, and this filly should get considerably more pace to run at in this spot. She’s going to be a big price and may not even have to improve much to beat a field that is seriously starved of quality.

I respect the fillies that are exiting that March 13 starter race at Gulfstream, however I’m somewhat against Days of Spring (#3), who is now making her second start away from the Todd Pletcher barn and is coming off two very good trips. I think La Rusia (#9) is the filly you want out of that race as she proved her runner-up finish in the Mrs. Presidentress was no fluke and she goes out for a dangerous turf trainer.

Richies Great Girl (#1) made her last turf start in the Mrs. Presidentress and did not get an ideal trip, though she also came up somewhat flat in deep stretch. I got mixed signals in that race but ultimately couldn’t get around using her prominently. I’ll also be featuring Queen Field (#8) as a ‘main.’ She seems to be rounding back into form and has a few back races that would make her very competitive here.

Main:  1,7,8,9      Backup (priority):  3,4,5,10

Order of preference:  7-1-9-8


Race 7

I absolutely love New Hope Road (#5) in this race. She’s one of only two older fillies facing a field comprised mostly of 3-year-olds and is coming off a race that is much better than it looks. Her last start came against older males and was run on a track that was dominated by inside speed, of which she possessed neither. Despite being up against a strong bias, she stayed on well in the stretch running into the teeth of a stiff headwind while making her first start in over eight months. I think it’s fair to expect improvement second off the layoff as she stretches out in distance, and her low-percentage connections just add to the appeal because a generous price is virtually guaranteed.

As much as I like New Hope Road, I also have to incorporate Assume (#6) as a ‘main.’ This filly pressed a wicked pace in her debut and understandably faded in the stretch. She’s actually bred to thrive at these longer distances and Todd Pletcher has excellent numbers with horses going from a sprint to a route in their second start. While Envoutante (#7) is probably going to be a solid favorite in this race, consider that she was beaten last time by a filly coming out of the same race as Assume that was also a victim of the scorching pace and who finished well behind her.

Main:  5,6      Backup:  2,7

Order of preference:  5-6-7-2

Race 8

Smack (#1) is going to be a decisive favorite in this race and while I’m not entirely against her, she’s probably going to be overbet. She got a very easy trip in her last race and beat a much weaker field. With her inside post and the main speed drawn just to her outside, she’s going to have to adapt to a different set of circumstances in this race and does not have much margin for error. Christophe Clement has been on an incredible roll of late, but this might be one to play against if bettors get too carried away with her.

Given my reservations with the favorite, my top pick is Dixieincandyland (#4). I liked this filly in her last race and thought she ran quite well with some trouble. She lost considerable ground as she was shuffled and checked around the turn and then closed strongly along the rail in the stretch, though by that point she had no chance behind a runaway winner who got away with a moderate pace. She now attracts the top turf sprint rider in the country, Joel Rosario, who should be able to work out a better trip for her as she moves off the rail to a more favorable post.

None of the turf races Fallen Leaf (#2) has run within the past year would be good enough to win, however at this point in the year the turf course is a paved highway, making her early speed eminently dangerous.

Main:  1,2,4       Backup (priority):  3,7

Order of preference:  4-1-2-3


Race 9

The Beyer par for this level is 81 and those that have run on turf aren’t within shouting distance of that number; this definitely feels like a race that will be won by a new face. The one I like best is Bear Alley (#7), who has steadily improved on dirt through three career starts but is bred much more for turf. He’s a half to turf stakes winners Arklow and Maraud, and his sire Will Take Charge, though he was strictly a dirt runner, has done well with his progeny on grass so far.

Todd Pletcher and George Weaver, who had terrific meets over the winter, each send out a first-time starter with some pedigree. Limetini (#3) was bought for a considerable sum as a yearling and Pletcher actually does quite well with his first-time starters on turf at Gulfstream, while Ever Dangerous (#9) is bred strongly for turf for Weaver, who’s not as good with his firsters in this situation but is still dangerous. I’m also going to include Cardiac Kid (#10) as a ‘main.’ He’s one of the aforementioned horses who has run on turf, and while he needs to improve to win, his last turf race came against a quality field and he’s going to be a big price.

Main:  3,7,9,10      Backup (priority):  5,6,8,11

Order of preference:  7-3-9-10


Most Likely Winner:  New Hope Road (Race 7)

Contrarian Single:  New Hope Road (Race 7)


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