The big day has finally arrived and the racing world will focus on Miami this Saturday. Gulfstream Park was the place where I first began watching the road to the Derby many moons ago. The age of simulcast magically brought the live races to my local track and shortly after to the comfort of my home. – This latest chapter of rich history will have some of the best the game has to offer locking horns and battling it out for the world’s largest purse. For the shot of winning $7 million for the top prize, $1,750,000 for second, $1 million for third, and $250,000 for 4th – 12th all it cost was $1 million dollars from their backers. – There should be plenty of attention on the star-studded card with six blockbuster races and a $1 million dollar guaranteed pick-four on races 9-12. – The day kicks off with an 11:30 am first post and this is a day you won’t want to miss ! – Here are some runners who will get a good part of my bankroll for the day.
Race #3 – The G-3 Hurricane Bertie – 7f – 12:30 pm EST
A solid field of eight fillies and mares go to post and this will get your racing appetite roaring. Here are a few runners to take a good look at before going to the windows.
#5 – You Brought Her – Corey Lanerie in the saddle and this gal is 5/7 ITM at GP and 10/15 ITM going 7f. She fits very well with the early pace that may set her up nicely.
#3 – Curlin’s Approval - Luis Saez is the reinsman and this daughter of Curlin loves the oval going 4/5 ITM and cuts back from the one mile distance. She was a beaten favorite last out since her last race at Keeneland.
Race #6 – Mdn Sp Wt – 1 1/16 on the turf – 2:01 pm EST
#3 -Slaimy – Javier Castellano in the saddle and on the big money days this jock brings his A + game. A son of Medaglia d’ Oro had one race going 7 1/2f on the turf and came rolling late after a slow beginning. – This race on paper does not do justice and a bullet work at Palm Beach Downs is proof they have been targeting the big day. Todd Pletcher wins 28% with his second time out runners and this guy will stay closer and give a good account down the lane.
Race #9 – Gulfstream Park Turf Sprint – 5f on the turf – 3:38 pm EST – *This race kicks off the $1 million pick-four *
#2 – Manhattan Dan – Speedy son of Big Brown and he is 2/2 with wins over the GP greensward. Pay close attention to the 20.4 opening quarter last race. He is 5/7 ITM over the turf and 3/3 with wins sprinting.
#5 – Divine Warrior - Tyler Gafflione in the irons for Buff Bradley and is a fast closer who is 2/3 over the GP turf.
#3 – Long on Value – Joel Rosario in the saddle and is 2/3 ITM over the course and cuts back in distance. This son of Value Plus will come flying late in the lane.
#11- Power Alert – Julien Leparoux in the irons fresh off a win in the Tampa Turf Dash. – 4/4 with wins at GP and has faced mainly stakes company in his career.
Race #10 – The G-3 La Prevoyante – 1 1/2 on the turf – 4:14 pm EST
#3 – Try Your Luck - Florent Geroux in the saddle and this daughter of Looking at Lucky is 4/4 ITM over the GP turf and has the look of closer who will relish the extra ground in race filled with speed.
#7 — Arles -Rosario for Graham Motion and they do good work together. Ever since coming over from Germany this mare is getting better. She had an excuse losing the whip two back and distance should be no problem. – I’m a big fan of the trainer and he is 48% ITM with shippers.
#12 – Suffused – Jose Ortiz in town for Bill Mott and this gal is bred to the gills by Champs Elysees and her dam has three starters and three winners on the turf. The distance is no problem and Ortiz will have to get her a little closer to save ground, and that is no problem for this rider who wins 19% on the weeds.
#6 – Promotional – Tom Proctor trainee has the services of Jose Lezcano. A solid closer who can score at a sweet price for the “mad genius” Proctor on the turf.
Race #11 – The G-3 W.L. McKnight -1 1/2 on the turf – 4:50 pm EST
#1 Taghleeb – Gafflione has the call for Mike Maker and he is 5/6 ITM at GP on the greensward. He exits an impressive win in the 2 mile in the H. Allen Jerkens and should enjoy the short cut back. The rider loves the Florida oval and should be a big factor.
#4 - Danish Dynaformer – Rosario for Roger Attfield and they have been on the shelf for two months. He has mainly faced graded company in his career and worked a bullet at Payson Park over the turf. – This son of Dynaformer isn’t here for the sun and is dangerous at a price.
#6 – Charming Kitten – Mike Smith in the saddle for Mike Maker as they come back from the Curragh in Ireland. The return of lasix will help this son of Kitten’s Joy and he is 6/8 ITM over the GP sod. Having the “Money-Man” Smith in the irons is always a good play.
#7 – Twilight Eclipse – Jose Ortiz gets the nod and he has been off since the Breeders’ Cup. He has tons of back class and one of the best up and coming riders on the scene.
#10 – Mr. Maybe – Javier Castellano in the irons for Chad Brown and this is a tandem that must be respected. They win 24% as a team and been off for three months. A solid work clip, and a boatload of recent classy moves makes this son of Ghostzapper tough to overlook.
#12 – Hunter O’Riley – Johnny V in the driver’s seat for James Toner and this guy was super wide in the H. Allen Jerkens last out. His resume may cry out for lesser company but I’m leaning to the tandem that is 75% ITM as a team.
Race #12 -The G-1 $12 Million Dollar Pegasus World Cup – 1 1/8 – 5:40 pm EST
The $1 million dollar ticket was enough to keep many of the pretenders away and only those connections who believe they have a legit shot have ponied up the money for the world’s richest horse race. – Many will have that sentimental feel for California Chrome as he gets ready to call it a career, and others will try and play the spoiler. For me, I kept the tears away and stayed true to my instincts.
#1 – Arrogate – Mike Smith in the saddle for Bob Baffert and they don’t venture east unless they feel they have a chance at taking down the prize. – The “Money Man” is ultra dangerous and especially when he teams up with Baffert. – The Travers was a huge day for me when I watched with gaping mouth as he drew off by 13 with the greatest of ease. This son of Unbridled’s Song is 6/6 ITM with 5 wins to his credit. Breaking from the #1 post can’t hurt as Smith can go or lay just off saving ground. He beat California Chrome last out in the Breeders’ Cup with a savvy ride from Smith, and cutting back from a 1 1/4 makes him even more attractive. – Smith is in the cat bird seat and can push the button any time he wants. – C.C. is breaking from the #12 post, and will have to be his very best to seal the deal. There are a bevy of runners who will push the pace and not give him an easy trip. I have all the respect in the world for the connections and there is not a better guy than trainer Art Sherman. They have had the dream of a lifetime and like everything, it will come to a close ending on this day.
Use the free selections as a starting point. – Before you make wager one be sure and download your Winning Ponies E-Z Win Forms. They are double-dangerous on marquee days and have been proven over time to dial up the big money scores. – Be sure to join John Englehardt on the Winning Ponies Internet Show in Thursday night, or go back and catch it on podcast as he’ll be breaking down the Pegasus World Cup with renowned handicapper Dan Illman from DRF.com. – Free selections, an Internet Show, and the best data in the business with the Winning Ponies E-Z Win Forms. This should have you prepared and ready to score, and as always. Best of luck from your friends at Winning Ponies !