Gulfstream Park Picks: Zanno the play in Race 10

Gulfstream Park closes out the week with an 11-race card on Sunday
Gulfstream Park closes out the week with an 11-race card on Sunday

Another week of the Gulfstream Park Championship Meet comes to a close on Sunday with a solid 11 races. As usual, our in-house handicapper has provided detailed analysis of the Late Pick 4, as well as picks for every race.

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

Horse Racing Picks

Race 8

This is a wide-open turf sprint to kick things off with. What stands out to me most aside from how evenly-matched this field is is that there is quite a bit of speed signed on, which isn’t that surprising for a turf dash. Swirling Candy (#11) is undoubtedly the horse to beat, however she’s taking a rather suspicious drop in class after winning for 35k two back and her last race was pretty poor. She can obviously win if she runs her race, but she’s going to be the favorite and may not show up with her ‘A’ game.

Since the pace should be hot, I went with Bright Venezuelan (#3) as my top pick. This mare can be a little hit or miss, but I’m going to trust that she’s sitting on a good race with leading jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr. taking the call aboard her. Two back she turned in an effort against a superior Florida-bred allowance field that would be good enough to beat this bunch, and I think there’s reason to believe she could revert back to that kind of performance, especially given the way this race profiles.

Lastly, I also have to include the consistent Fightress (#9) as a ‘main’ play. Fightress is just a great fit at this level on both turf and dirt, with a versatile running style and outside post that should assure her a good trip. It’s also not out of the question that she could improve in her first start with Kelly Breen, who is probably an upgrade over her previous trainer.

Main:  3,9,11     Backup (priority):  4,6,8

Order of preference:  3-11-9-6

Race 9

Despite her last two races appearing lackluster on paper, I’m willing to lean pretty heavily on Tiz Possible Dear (#5) in this race. It’s true that she needs to step her game up after getting distanced by 29 ¾ lengths in her last start, however I believe there’s a strong possibility she returns to form in a hurry considering the run her trainer Peter Walder is on. Walder can do no wrong at Gulfstream lately, and you don’t have to go back far in this mare’s past performances to find races that would crush this group. The drop in class may be viewed as a negative by some, especially given her last two outings, however I think it’s just a logical placement for a mare that was claimed at a similar level.

Part of the reason I’m so keen on Tiz Possible Dear is that I’m not enamored with anyone else. Shes All Woman (#4) looks like a major player following a recent second-place finish at this level, but I’m not sure that race is as good as the 73 Beyer Speed Figure she earned makes it seem. Just to her inside, Bimini (#3) also looks to be in with a chance, but I worry about the trainer change this mare is making as she’s recently departed the Walder barn. It’s Tiz Possible Dear or bust for me in this race.

Main:  5     Backup:  3,4,6

Order of preference:  5-4-3-6

Race 10

The day’s de facto feature is the second turf sprint in the sequence and yet another complete scramble. Initially I didn’t think I’d be very interested in your likely favorites Zanno (#3) and Lontano (#9), but the more I looked around this field the more I felt compelled to use them. Both are coming off wins against lesser company with very good trips, however that should be the case again on Sunday as there’s a tremendous amount of early speed signed on in this race. They’re both liable to be overbet and don’t have any significant edge on this group, but I can’t deny they’re perfectly logical winners.

He’s not going to be a big price by any stretch of the imagination, but Big Drink of Water (#10) is a slightly more creative idea in this race. Following an authoritative win off a long layoff on December 17, this horse was a disappointment last time at this level when he sparred with Living Vicariously (#8) early and couldn’t quite hang in the stretch, ultimately finishing fifth as the favorite. He was claimed out of that race by trainer Carlos David, who is sensational with turf sprinters, and while it’s a tall order to move a horse up off Larry Rivelli, I believe David might be able to do it as he immediately adds blinkers to Big Drink of Water. Speed is always dangerous in these races, and if Big Drink of Water does improve at all he’s going to be tough to deal with.

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

Order of preference:  3-10-9-8

Race 11

I have no idea why the racing office would card a maiden race with so many first-time starters as the last leg of a bunch of multi-race wagers, but here we are. This one becomes particularly tricky because those that have run haven’t really shown much, though I am going to use two of this contingent as ‘main’ plays. A Higher Love (#3) and Sweet Penelope (#4) didn’t do much running in their debuts, but I could easily see them taking a big step forward in this spot. This is a very interesting spot for the former, who made her first start in an off-the-turf race at Aqueduct in the fall of last year and ran evenly. The fact her connections have decided to ship her to Gulfstream and keep her on the main track is a curious move, and perhaps her strong recent works on dirt here have something to do with it. It’s also worth noting that her trainer Carlos Martin has been on a strong run lately, so I suspect this one could be live at a big price.

Meanwhile, Sweet Penelope’s trainer Ken McPeek has been having a slow meet, but McPeek does excel with second-time starters and this filly flashed at least some potential in her debut, which came in a live maiden race on January 24. If she moves forward off that effort and it turns out none of the firsters can run, Sweet Penelope is a very likely upsetter.

A Higher Love and Sweet Penelope certainly have some appeal, but it wouldn’t take much to beat them, which is why I have the Chad Brown-trained firster Goodnight Olive (#1) listed as my top pick. This well-bred filly has been working sharply on dirt at Palm Meadows, and if she has any semblance of talent she should be able to win first out. I’m also going to use first-time starter Giverny (#9) from the barn of Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott, who is winning at a torrid clip at Gulfstream this year and has had a lot of success with debuting runners.

Main:  1,3,4,9     Backup (priority):  2,6,7

Order of preference:  1-3-9-4

Most Likely Winner:  Tiz Possible Dear (Race 9)

Best Value:  Kitten’s Covergirl (Race 4)


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

Horse Racing Results