Gulfstream Park Picks & Late Pick 4 Analysis for March 4

The Gulfstream Park Championship Meet barrels ahead with another 10-race card on Thursday
The Gulfstream Park Championship Meet barrels ahead with another 10-race card on Thursday

The Gulfstream Park Championship Meet continues on Thursday with an exiting 10-race card. As usual, our in-house handicapper has gone over the Late Pick 4 in depth, and has additionally provided picks for every race.

If you're looking for picks elsewhere around the country on Thursday, be sure to check out our Free Horse Racing Picks via the gold button below.

Horse Racing Picks

Race 7

Katama Moonlight (#2) looks to be in a prime position to finally break her maiden in this race as she cuts back in distance following a solid try going a mile and an eighth. I thought she ran quite well in her last start when she set an honest pace and opened up a daylight lead in the stretch but was run down late at a distance farther than her best. She’s no world-beater, but the turnback to a mile should really work for the speedy Katama Moonlight, who has run consistently well on the Gulfstream turf and is likely better than her competition, unless someone else pops up with an unexpectedly strong effort.

One potential upsetter is Dinn Righ (#1), who was no match for Katama Moonlight when they last met on December 31 but could move forward with the addition of blinkers. I’d also pay close attention to the well-bred Born Mean (#8), a daughter of graded-stakes winner It’s Tea Time and a half-sister to the talented turfer Midnight Tea Time who goes out for Graham Motion. Motion hasn’t saddled many runners at the stand, but he’s a very capable first-out trainer and this filly with obvious pedigree for the trip appears to be working well.

Main:  2     Backup (priority):  1,8,9

Order of preference:  2-1-8-9


Race 8

I wish I had something more interesting to say about this race, but I believe it’s primarily a two-horse affair between Game Boy Benny (#5) and Soldollie (#7), who squared off on February 10 at this level and were separated by a neck. While the slight cutback in distance appears to favor the latter, who got the better of the former in their last race and has more early speed, I’m actually siding with Game Boy Benny this time around. He may not have the same kind of zip as Soldollie, but Game Boy Benny actually seems to get better at these distances. If someone else in this field can apply more pressure to Soldollie in the early stages, I think Game Boy Benny will be able to run him down.

Aside from these two there’s really not much to discuss. Unpublished (#2) has run well enough to win a race like this on occasion and goes out for the underrated Gary Jackson, however he’s been off for awhile and his 2020 efforts are pretty underwhelming. I suppose One Turn Johnny (#8) isn’t without a shot either as he returns off a very long layoff. He showed some ability as a 2-year-old in 2019 and if he returns in similar shape he could potentially pull off the upset, though I certainly won’t be banking on that.

Main:  5,7     Backup:  2,8

Order of preference:  5-7-2-8


Race 9

The day’s feature is a really fun race to handicap. The two main players in my mind are Furia Vikinga (#5) and Vividly (#6), who both exit an optional claimer on January 23 won by Toffen, though I really don’t know what to do with that race. On one hand, it came back legitimately fast, but on the other, I don’t really think much of the winner and runner-up and the turf was lightning quick that day while seeming to carry speed. Since Furia Vikinga and Vividly are among the first to run back out of that spot, we don’t really have much to go on at this point, which is why I think you have to take them both at face value. I thought both ran really well within the context of that race, but I have to pick Furia Vikinga on the basis of price. Furia Vikinga also has more tactical speed than Vividly, so the slight cutback to 7 ½ furlongs should be to her advantage.

Given my apprehensions about the race Furia Vikinga and Vividly are coming out of, however, I wouldn’t be content to lean on just the two of them, which is why I’m also including Drop a Hint (#9) as a ‘main’ play. This filly is also rather difficult to get a read on, but she’s run well at a variety of different venues and surfaces and should be taken seriously as she drops out of a string of stakes races. Furthermore, her trainer Herman Wilensky is greatly underappreciated and has been sending out some surprisingly live runners at the meet, so I’m expecting Drop a Hint to run a quality race.

Main:  5,6,9     Backup:  8,11

Order of preference:  5-6-9-11


Race 10

This wide-open finale is in sharp contrast to what appear to be some formful races earlier in the Late Pick 4. This turf sprint for conditioned claimers is a complete scramble, which is why I’m picking longshot Romario (#1), who arguably ran the best race of anyone in his latest outing. It took a long time for Romario to figure things out, but he appears to have done just that as he broke his maiden two back and followed it up with a deceptively strong effort last out. The running line from that race simply doesn’t do him justice as he was steadied sharply at the start, costing him a handful of lengths, and was flying at the finish, nearly running down Going for Gold (#2), who is going to be among the favorites in this spot. As always, I love horses like Romario who clearly have ability but are going to get overlooked in the wagering because of a low-percentage trainer, which hasn’t slowed him down at all to date. It’s also encouraging that Paco Lopez takes the call, and if he can keep Romario closer to the pace I think he’s got a great shot here.

Another intriguing price option in this race is Clamor (#9). This guy tailed off at last year’s Championship Meet, but he does own a race over this course that would make him a major player. His trainer Tom Bush has strong numbers bringing horses back off lengthy absences at Gulfstream, and it wouldn’t surprise me if Clamor fired his best shot fresh.

I believe Romario ran the superior race last out, but I wouldn’t discount the chances of Going for Gold, who was coming off a long layoff last time and is a talented runner on turf. Going for Gold has sharp early speed and it’s easy to envision him moving forward in his second start off the layoff.

Main:  1,2,9     Backup (priority):  3,4

Order of preference:  1-9-2-4


Most Likely Winner:  Katama Moonlight (Race 7)

Best Value:  Romario (Race 10)

 

*If you're interested in seeing payouts for these races, you can find them on our Results page linked to below*

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