Gulfstream Park Thursday: 8 Race Florida Derby Primer
Gulfstream Park will host its final Kentucky Derby prep on Saturday. Thursday’s card will kick off Florida Derby week from Hallandale Beach.
8 Race Card
The midweek cards at Gulfstream are actually some of my favorite. While the Saturday cards usually feature the best runners, these midweek cards are often a much more palatable 8 or 9 races. This is quite short compared to the 12+ race cards that fill the weekend.
The advantages of these cards are numerous. For starters, the smaller number of races allow for horseplayers to focus their attention on a small number of races.
Along with improving handicapping opinions, small players can more easily sustain bankroll over shorter cards. On Saturday there will be plenty of players that are already over budget before the horses hit the paddock for the feature.
One final part about the midweek cards that I really enjoy is that you get a lot of the backbone of racing horses. These cards tend to be littered with low level claimers and the occasional conditioned allowance. While they may not have the talent of some of their Saturday counterparts, these horses often race more frequently and can create a more holistic data set for handicappers to work with.
Thursday Full Card Analysis
Gulfstream Park Race 1
Post: 1:05 PM ET; Purse: $43,000 Maiden Optional Claiming, 1 Mile on Turf; Entries: 8
- #4 FREE SHIPPING (7-2) is worth a look here given edges in stamina & breeding which should be great for routing on the turf.
- #8 BIG ART (9-2) has run against the best out of anyone in this grouping. Horses haven’t been making up much ground on the turf and this one may look to steal it in wire to wire fashion.
- #2 SWING LOW (4-1) is proven as a good bet to at least hit the board under today's distance and surface conditions.
- #3 SIR TERRE (3-1) has the best speed figures in the group, but it is hard to fully trust those in maiden claiming spots.
Gulfstream Park Race 2
Post: 1:33 PM ET; Purse: $32,000 Maiden Claiming, About 5 Furlongs on All Weather Track; Entries: 13
- #5 BULLET ON TAP (9-2) could get the perfect trip on the synthetic. The barn means you have to like this one.
- #7 CAPRIDREY (8-1) should be in the right spot early to give this horse a chance to get the job done. Players won’t get any chance to see if speed is holding on synthetic so maybe I can sneak this one home at a price.
- #4 BLAME THE VETS (12-1) has the best energy distribution of any horse in the race. On a fair surface like the tapeta that can be a huge edge.
- #12 JUNO SEA (4-1) looks to have to have kept the best company in the previous starts.
Gulfstream Park Race 3
Post: 2:05 PM ET; Purse: $24,000 Starter Optional Claiming, 7 Furlongs on Dirt; Entries: 6
- #5 LET'S BE HONEST (4-1) has run against some solid animals and won’t face any world beaters in here. I like this one for the minor upset.
- #6 PRETTY RACHEL (3-1) is a major player in today's race edging the field in several key handicapping factors including speed & race flow.
- #1 DEM A WONDER (5-2) goes out for a barn who is more than capable of getting the job done here.
- #2 SHES ALL WOMAN (7-2) goes out for Antonio Sano and has Jose Ortiz in the irons. That’s a tough combination to completely fade.
Gulfstream Park Race 4
Post: 2:36 PM ET; Purse: $21,000 Maiden Claiming, 6 Furlongs on Dirt; Entries: 7
- #7 STARSHIP NUGGET (7-2) looks tough to beat here given the edge in a number of key categories including speed figures.
- #6 BET ON DRAMA (9-2) is proven as a good bet to at least hit the board under today's distance and surface conditions.
- #1 BIT COIN BABE (15-1) should be in the right spot early to give this horse a chance to get the job done.
- #2 NOBODY'S SECRET (4-1) should be in the right spot to have a chance late. I don’t love the price, but the inside draw is to this one’s benefit.
Gulfstream Park Race 5
Post: 3:06 PM ET; Purse: $36,000 Claiming, 1 Mile on Turf; Entries: 14
- #7 MYSTIC LANCELOT (3-1) is a major player in today's race edging the field in several key handicapping factors including speed & pace numbers.
- #14 THE GREAT OZ (6-1) should be competitive, but on turf the key is to save ground and that will be tough to do from this post.
- #2 EAGLE CHIEF (12-1) is proven as a good bet to at least hit the board under today's distance and surface conditions.
- #9 PERFORMING ARTS (4-1) should be competitive today based on the horse's speed figures & power rating.
Gulfstream Park Race 6
Post: 3:37 PM ET; Purse: $34,000 Starter Optional Claiming, About 1 Mile 70 Yards on All Weather Track; Entries: 7
- #1 PROTONIC POWER (7-2) has a great shot in the race given the speed & class.
- #7 CASHIER CHECK (3-1) has competitive speed figures and goes out for good connections
- #4 CUPID'S DUDE (8-1) comes into the race in really good form and could be ready to run a bang up race.
- #6 SAVAGE SAILOR (5-1) has the top power rating in the group.
Gulfstream Park Race 7
Post: 4:09 PM ET; Purse: $24,000 Starter Optional Claiming, 1 Mile on Dirt; Entries: 7
- #7 BRASSTOWN (5-2) has a great shot in the race given the speed & class of this runner.
- #2 TRAPPEZOID (7-2) wouldn't be a huge surprise in the winner's circle. I have really like a lot of Sutherland’s rides this meet.
- #6 HERO TIGER (4-1) has license to be involved late. He could be one that finds the right spot of the track and outlasts them all.
- #5 YOU'RE KILLIN ME (3-1) is in with a great chance based on the horse's record at the distance.
Gulfstream Park Race 8
Post: 4:41 PM ET; Purse: $36,000 Claiming, About 7 1/2 Furlongs on Turf; Entries: 9
- #6 BASILIA (9-5) is a major player in today's race edging the field in several key handicapping factors including speed & power rating. This one is my best bet, but there is a lot of value to be had all over this card.
- #1 MEET THE BEAUTY (6-1) has some decent speed figures and should benefit from the rail draw.
- #8 CENTSATIONAL (9-2) has Junior Alvarado in the saddle. For my money he is a top tier turf jockey in this country.
- #2 WINTER PRINCESS (4-1) has Irad Ortiz Jr. in the saddle and you almost never get him at 4-1. It may be a gift in this wide open race.
Selections: 6-1-8-2 (Best Bet: #6 BASILIA)
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