Gulfstream Park kicked off its weekend of racing on Wednesday. The highlight of the racing weekend will be Saturday’s graded Tropical Turf Stakes.
One of the purposes of adding a synthetic track to the Gulfstream Park oval was the heavy downpours that can hit Florida’s shores without a moment’s notice. These rains often force races off the turf. Since tapeta tracks more closely mimic turf surfaces and remain true with moisture, races can be moved to that surface without a bevy of scratches.
Wednesday’s card provided an opportunity to use this option when a deluge hit the track right before the first race. Gulfstream management may be forced to use this option again throughout the weekend as threats of rain loom throughout much of the weekend.
Saturday-Grade 3 Tropical Turf Stakes
The main event of Saturday’s card, and the entire racing weekend for that matter is the Grade 3 Tropical Turf. The likely post time favorite is Value Proposition who will go out for the always well-bet Chad Brown. As of the writing of this piece the morning line has not been released for this race.
Tropical Turf Analysis
#1 LARGENT looks tough to beat here given the edge in a number of key categories including speed & class. #4 VALUE PROPOSITION has to be respected based on the connections. #2 CLEAR VISION comes into the race signaling a big performance in the near future. #5 FLYING SCOTSMAN wouldn't be a huge surprise in the winner's circle.
Thursday Gulfstream Selections
- 4-1-6-5 (Best Bet: #4 Queen Domina)
- 7-3 -2-6
Friday Gulfstream Selections
- 2-4-6-3 (Best Bet: #2 The Great Oz)
Saturday Full Card Analysis
Gulfstream Park Race 1
Post: 12:00 PM ET; Purse: $21,000 Maiden Claiming, 6 Furlongs on Dirt; Entries: 11
#7 FLOR DE PLATA (5-2) should be competitive today based on the horse's speed & form. #2 ANGELIC STORM (5-1) is worth a look based on the projected pace setup. #6 ALARM CLOCK (7-2) has early pace numbers that could leave this one out front. This can be a particularly big advantage at this level. #9 GOLDEN BOW (10-1) has a puncher’s chance at the upset.
Gulfstream Park Race 2
Post: 12:29 PM ET; Purse: $24,000 Claiming, About 5 Furlongs on All Weather Track; Entries: 7
#5 CAPTAIN RON (5-2) is a major player in today's race edging the field in several key handicapping factors including speed & pace numbers. #4 EARTH (7-2) could get a perfect pace scenario today. #7 BORU (4-1) is with a great chance based on the horse's stamina & power rating. #3 MALRAUX (10-1) has competitive speed figures and is a great value play.
Selections: 5-4-7-3 (Best Bet: #5 Captain Ron)
Gulfstream Park Race 3
Post: 12:58 PM ET; Purse: $60,000 Maiden Special Weight, About 5 Furlongs on All Weather Track; Entries: 7
#3 COMEDIC (5-2) should be competitive today based on the horse's speed & form. #7 MOUFFY (4-1) should be competitive in this spot as well. #5 BALI BABY (3-1) will look to get a good setup here. #1 SHEER ALICE (8-1) is bred to be good here. I’m not sure if this is the maiden breaking race, but it seems like the right set of conditions for this one.
Gulfstream Park Race 4
Post: 1:27 PM ET; Purse: $60,000 Maiden Special Weight, 6 Furlongs on Dirt; Entries: 9
#9 IRON WORKS (4-1) is bred to be good in this spot and has a race under the belt. #3 CARRONADE (5-1) also makes sense on paper. #7 AWESOME AARON (7-2) has to be respected based on the connections. #4 MITICO (6-1) should be competitive today based on the horse's speed & form. Experience never hurts
Gulfstream Park Race 5
Post: 1:57 PM ET; Purse: $61,000 Allowance Optional Claiming, 6 Furlongs on Dirt; Entries: 7
#5 DEAN'S LIST (1-1) is with a great chance based on the horse's connections & power rating. #4 DEAN DELIVERS (3-1) should be competitive today based on the horse's speed figures. #6 IN DUE TIME (5-1) should be in the right spot early to give this horse a chance to get the job done. #1 VOLBEAT (15-1) could outrun the odds in this spot. I would definitely use this one somewhere on the tickets.
Gulfstream Park Race 6
Post: 2:35 PM ET; Purse: $36,000 Claiming, 1 1/16 Miles on Turf; Entries: 9
As of the writing of this piece there are no morning lines released for races 6-11.
#8 MAKER OF AN EMPIRE looks solid in this race and should have a say in the final outcome. #4 CARIBBEAN GOLD is another who makes sense on a number of key metrics. #3 TACKLE is with a great chance based on the horse's record at the distance & power rating. #9 HOLY EMPEROR merits consideration in this spot given edges in stamina & class.
Gulfstream Park Race 7
Post: 3:05 PM ET; Purse: $60,000 Maiden Special Weight, 1 Mile on Dirt; Entries: 10
#2 CHARGE IT should be competitive based on the overall breeding which has it tops in the group. #6 CALIPARI is worth a look here given the connections & early pace numbers. #3 TOUCH CODE wouldn't be a huge surprise in the winner's circle. #10 VOLCANIC is worth a look here given edges in class & form.
Gulfstream Park Race 8
Post: 3:37 PM ET; Purse: $100,000 Tropical Turf S., 1 Mile on Turf; Entries: 7
Analysis provided above.
Gulfstream Park Race 9
Post: 4:11 PM ET; Purse: $54,000 Allowance Optional Claiming, 6 Furlongs on Dirt; Entries: 9
#8 TWICE TOO MANY is a major player in today's race edging the field in several key handicapping factors including speed & power rating. #7 RAISE THE RENT has numbers competitive with the top pick here. #3 ROYAL SQUEEZE is another in with a reasonable shot here. #2 HANDSOME PRINCE will round out the top 4. This race is begging for players to have an opinion. Either stand with the #8 or try to beat him with the other 3 logicals.
Selections: 8-7-3-2 (Best Bet: #8 Twice Too Many)
Gulfstream Park Race 10
Post: 4:42 PM ET; Purse: $61,000 Allowance Optional Claiming, 6 Furlongs on Dirt; Entries: 10
#3 WE MISS SUSIE has a great shot in the race given the advantages in speed & class. #4 AWESOME ANNMARIE is proven as a good bet to at least hit the board under today's distance and surface conditions. #2 PLAYERA is another who has done well at this distance in the past. #6 SPROUT WINGS is worth a look here given the projected pace scenario.
Gulfstream Park Race 11
Post: 5:14 PM ET; Purse: $43,000 Maiden Optional Claiming, 1 Mile on Turf; Entries: 16
#7 GOOCH GO BRAGH is worth a look here given the class & connections of this runner. #13 HASHTAG NO WONDER is a logical winner, but the post shakes my confidence a bit. #9 CHARMING CHARLIE has been running fast numbers of late albeit in defeat. #15 TESTA is another that makes sense but has a lot to overcome.
Dealing with Missing Morning Lines
For many handicappers, analyzing the race before morning lines is preferred. Human nature will frequently use the morning line odds to shape our opinion of the horse. The advantage to handicapping before morning lines come out is that you can truly analyze the horse on merit.
When the odds line comes out, you can use that to compare your thoughts to that of the line maker. Now you can begin to upgrade and downgrade horses based on how much value they offer rather than having to cook that calculation into your initial handicapping process.
When dealing with morning lines, it is important to remember that each track does things differently and some tracks can have woefully miscalculated morning lines.
Gulfstream Morning Lines
Gulfstream Park’s morning line is usually pretty accurate in terms of rank order but often off in terms of final price of the horse. When the morning line is released for all races players can find it on the Equibase website.