If you like five horse fields then perhaps today’s card at Aqueduct is for you. It’s not for me. I’ll instead be taking a look at two races that are part of a difficult card at Gulfstream.
Gulfstream, Race 1: Claiming $30,000-$25,000 N2L at five furlongs on the turf for fillies and mares
I’m assuming that the wagering public will flock towards Starship Gambler and On the Same Page in the opener at Gulfstream. The former has run races that are good enough to win this but has to prove that she can do it sprinting. The latter is certainly bred to like the turf, but she completely bombed over a soggy course at Kentucky Downs last fall. You can probably excuse that effort, but I still wonder exactly what we’re going to get today over a course that has clearly taken some rain.
I like Zulbaby (#7). She’s certainly bred for turf since 14 of her dam’s 17 career wins came on grass and her sire, Forest Grove, was at his best either sprinting or on the grass. She’s run on grass twice, but both of those were around two turns and she’s definitely not a horse who appreciates a route of ground. A turf sprint may be just what she needs to show her best. With an aggressive ride from Jeffrey Sanchez she should be forwardly placed early and is an interesting price play in a wide open race.
$10 Win 7
Gulfstream, Race 7: Starter allowance $25,000 at one mile on the turf for fillies and mares
I wouldn’t bet Brandys Secret with someone else’s money. She spent her last two races beating up on competition that was far inferior to her and now she’s facing some real horses over a turf course that almost certainly isn’t going to carry her speed the way that concrete highway she raced over the last time did. Furthermore, she has another “need the lead” type in Blues and Silvers to deal with. I think Brandys Secret is faster and Javier Castellano will be his usual assertive self, but I have to think Joe Bravo is going to send his filly and give Blues and Silvers at least a chance to win by pressing the favorite.
The two horses I like best to take down Brandys Secret are Sweet Little Lion (#8) and Lady’s Lunar Luck (#9). Each of them have represented themselves well versus tougher competition recently. It’s well worth watching the replay of the Endeavor Stakes from Tampa last time because Sweet Little Lion probably could have completed the exacta at 67-1 that day with a cleaner trip. This mare is in the best form of her life right now and really doesn’t have to be placed that far off the pace early. The only question I have is whether she’ll handle a turf course with give in the ground. I don’t have such questions about Lady’s Lunar Luck, who probably prefers a good-to-yielding turf course. She, more so than the mare to her inside, needs some pace to run into, but I think she’s going to get it. Deanaallen’skitten (#1) is also going to take some money and I suppose her best races give her a chance, but she’s a clear third choice for me. She still needs to show me she can recapture the form she was holding from late 2010 to early 2011. I’ll bet my top two to win and use all three in the exacta in hopes of beating likely favorite Brandys Secret.
$5 Win 8
$5 Win 9
$2 Exacta Box 1/8/9