We have a few interesting races today at Gulfstream Park, including a competitive Grade 3 race which should offer good betting value.
Aside from the main event, a couple of Maiden races will allow us to play on classic horse racing handicapping angles and a turf race for young horses presents two shaky favorites and a good betting opportunity.
The Gulfstream Park racetrack has been playing very fair so far in the season and there is no strong track bias. That adds to the challenge of handicapping as we can’t disregard horses chances on that basis alone. Tenets of pace handicapping remain useful however and so do “classical” angles such as the racing class drops.
Dec. 22 2018, Gulfstream Park Picks and analysis
A turf route race for juveniles is hard to decipher but we have here pretty weak favorites which opens the door for value bets. A THREAD OF BLUE, the morning line odds favorite might get himself into a pace war which would cost him dearly with late speed roaring behind him. I think that he is very vulnerable here.
The second morning line odds favorite, DULL KNIFE, made his start in France which has arguably the best turf racing in the world so there certainly is a threat there. He is also trained and ridden by superstars so there are reasons to be afraid. He did however make his French start on the Synthetic and was pretty green and hard to handle. There are therefore reasons to doubt his readiness and as a favorite, it is probably better to just watch him run today.
A much more interesting entry is number 2, STIRLING DRIVE, who comes down in class and has shown ability to overtake leaders in the stretch. With a proven track record and long odds, he is an interesting bet on the rebound.
This Maiden Special Weight sprint is full of newcomers and the track handicapper labels three of those as favorites. Statistically we know that horses with some racing experience have the edge over first time starters though.
CORY GAL showed some ability in her first race, including early speed which gives an edge to younger horses usually. She needs to improve in this second start but her experience should come in handy and statistically she is a better bet than the first time starters.
This is also a Maiden Special Weight Sprint but this time on the turf. The morning line odds favorite starts from the outside which paradoxically is good on this racetrack. LADY WORTHINGTON did well in her first race last month and was beaten by a horse who repeated the performance, so it was an honest beat. Looking at the workouts, LADY WORTHINGTON is still sharp, and she should prove hard to beat by this otherwise mediocre field. I am not sure the odds will be good enough to bet on her straight, but LADY WORTHINGTON is a good anchor in the multi race exotic bets.
Race 10, Picks for the Mr. Prospector Stakes (Grade 3)
The main event of the day is run on the awkward distance of 7 furlongs which some horses relish and others hate. These long sprints are hard to navigate for jockeys and there is often the temptation to give too much in the early goings and run out of fumes. In today’s race we have quite a bit of early speed and I therefore expect that the winner will come from behind in the stretch.
UNO MAS MODELO is labelled as the favorite by the morning line odds handicapper despite the fact that he is stepping up in class. There are good reasons for confidence however as UNO MAS MODELO won two straight stakes races in a come from behind fashion, which should be the winning style here. Not only that but he loves the distance and the Gulfstream Park track. He is a solid choice today but the odds might be too low to warrant a straight bet on him.
His stable mate, STORM ADVISORY will go out at much longer odds based on the class gap. He has never won at the stakes level but he actually comes way down for this one and he is another horse with proven distance ability. His recent strong workout shows that he is sharp and STORM ADVISORY has a good chance at a podium.
WILD SHOT is an interesting dark horse in this race. He will make his second start of the year and did ok in his return. The workouts since have been very good so it looks like he is ready to progress. His trainer does comparatively well in Graded stakes on the second start so that’s encouraging too. If WILD SHOT is back at his best, he certainly has a chance, having won and placed at the Graded stakes level. If the odds remain above 8-1, he is a very interesting win bet but in any case, he should be part of the exotic tickets.
Gulfstream Park race 10 picks:
WIN/PLACE bet on Number 7 WILD SHOT at 8-1 or more
EXACTA BOX: 7-8-3
TRIFECTA BOX: 7-8-3