By Sean Morris

Gulfstream Park Late Pick 5 Preview March 18

By Sean Morris
Sean Morris is here with his Gulfstream Park Picks for Wednesday 18 March 2020
Sean Morris is here with his Gulfstream Park Picks for Wednesday 18 March 2020

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Race 6

My strongest opinion in this race is that I’m going to let Lucky Runs North (#6) beat me. This horse was a runaway winner of a maiden race in his last start, but he was beating absolutely nothing and has since been off for nearly six months. His prior form in Florida would not nearly be good enough to win and his trainer is going through a prolonged cold spell. At a short price, he’s an obvious bet against.

The inside three runners were difficult for me to separate, but my slight preference of the trio is Jungle Warrior (#2). He has a habit of breaking slowly and is by no means reliable, however he returns a new gelding, is working well, and dropping to the lowest level of his career. It wouldn’t take much to beat this bunch and the races he’s run on dirt, while unspectacular, came against vastly superior competition. I also wouldn’t wholly discount Poppy’s Destiny (#4), who comes off a very long layoff after showing some ability as a 2-year-old. His trainer, Steve Dwoskin, does a pretty good job with such runners.

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

Order of preference:  2-1-3-4

 

Race 7

Beasichi (#1) is a very likely winner in this spot after finishing best in a race that a few of her main rivals are coming out of. This filly didn’t have the easiest of trips in that race, either, as she was shuffled around the far turn and didn’t get a clear run until mid-stretch. Given the trouble she had she probably should have won the race, and the actual winner came back to run a pretty good second in a starter race last week against a significantly better field.

I think Beasichi will be tough to beat, however I like the filly that finished just behind her in that February 21 race even more. Donder ‘n Blitzen (#7) was running on just nine days rest in that race and going first off the claim for Antonio Sano. She broke well from a wide post and was rated off a fast pace while exposed to some headwind down the backstretch. Though she couldn’t hold off Beasichi in the stretch, I think there were enough mitigating factors to suggest that she’s definitely capable of turning the tables. She now catches a field with very little pace, has been given ample time to recuperate between starts, and gets a big rider upgrade in Tyler Gaffalione.

Main:  1,7      Backup:  4,6,9

Order of preference:  7-1-9-4

 

Race 8

This is a confusing race. Jersey Joe B (#2) is far and away the horse to beat coming off a solid third-place finish in a starter stake last month. He legitimately ran very well that day, but that effort came out of nowhere. He wasn’t even running that well for confirmed cheater Jorge Navarro, yet somehow he summoned a career-best performance for a guy who’s yet to saddle a winner as a trainer. Ordinarily I’d be inclined to play against him heavily, however there just aren’t many viable alternatives.

Jersey Joe B’s main rival is ostensibly Yes I See (#5). This horse was an upset winner of a Claiming Crown race earlier in the meet and has run well against starter company in his two most recent races without getting much pace to run at. His last race also came on five days’ rest, so he may not have been 100 percent. He’s clearly talented enough, however this is a pretty dramatic turn back in distance for a horse with very little early speed. He can win, but he’s probably going to be just as overbet as Jersey Joe B.

My protest vote in this race goes to Killa Dee (#1). Yes he just beat conditioned claimers, but in a race as perplexing as this, give me the in-form horse who’s going out for an underrated trainer and will be a square price. If Jersey Joe B crashes back to Earth, I think Killa Dee is a very likely winner.

Main:  1,2      Backup (priority):  5,6

Order of preference:  1-2-5-6

 

Race 9

I think this race goes through the two outside fillies, Ms Meshak (#8) and Kitten’s Covergirl (#9). The former bounced back to her best form in her most recent race, when she finished second behind multiple graded stakes winner Blamed going 6 ½ furlongs on dirt. It looks like maybe she’s not as good on turf, but if you isolate her lone turf sprint at Gulfstream it was considerably better than her Kentucky tries and a repeat of it would almost certainly win. Kitten’s Covergirl ran better than it looks two back when she tried to rally along the fence but never had a clear path, and then she came back on short rest and turned in a respectable performance against two quality turf sprinters. She’s now been given a brief respite and is ideally drawn.

Jakarta (#5) has an abundance of early speed and a good deal of turf pedigree. She can certainly win, however I think she may be overbet based on the trainer change. Jakarta’s previous trainer, Brandon Kulp, won at a 32 percent clip last year, so it’s going to be tough to improve upon her Penn National form unless she really takes to the turf and/or appreciates the cut back to five furlongs. It’s also worth noting that she was entered on the dirt at Aqueduct this past weekend, so it’s not as if her connections felt they had to get her on turf.

Main:  8,9      Backup (priority):  2,4,5

Order of preference:  8-9-5-2

 

Race 10

A tip of the hat to the Gulfstream racing office for an excellent race to close things out with on a Wednesday, not just the usual inscrutable maiden claiming race. My Point Exactly (#7) has been in razor sharp form at the meet and is strictly the horse to beat. Any one of his last three races would probably win, and he showed a new dimension for Carlos David in his last race rating off a moderate pace. That might serve him well in this spot, as there’s a good amount of early speed he’ll have to contend with.

He’s not going to be a great price, but I think Flyoff (#5) must be used. He ran well with some trouble in his return to the races, which came after more than a year away, and George Weaver has been having a sensational meet with a limited number of starters. The horse I like best in here is actually Sublime Appeal (#3). This 8-year-old has made only 13 lifetime starts but is in career form right now. His last two races are every bit as good as what My Point Exactly has been running, but he’s going to be a much bigger price because of the connections involved.

Main:  3,5,7     Backup: 4,8,10

Order of preference:  3-7-5-4
 

Most Likely Winner:  Jersey Joe B (Race 8)

Contrarian Single:  Donder ‘n Blitzen (Race 7)

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