An overwhelming favorite will try to further his incredible record on this Gulfstream Park track and is faced with a bit of subpar field. No one really wanted to face him apparently.
That’s usually not a great recipe for betting profit, except maybe with the exotic bets, unless there are some dark spots on the favorite resume and signs that the favorite can be beat.
It is a short race on the Gulfstream Park turf track so one error can cost the victory and there are some factors that could possibly make the favorite run a poor race today.
Number 1, TENACITY ZIP is making a move up from the claiming ranks to face a much better field, which includes a seemingly unbeatable horse. On the plus side, TENACITY ZIP has won on the distance right here and makes a second start since a layoff so some improvement is expected. But the improvement would have to be radical so TENACITY ZIP does not have a prime chance here today.
Number 2 FOCUS ON ME took a little break since the last race and has been working out pretty well since for a trainer who has found great success recently at Gulfstream Park. FOCUS ON ME has been beat by the favorite a couple of times already but he was running pretty well in the spring. The recent races have been less encouraging however and despite the barn’s recent success, there is no real sign that FOCUS ON ME is back at his best. Moreover his best might not be enough anyway…
Number 3, PAY ANY PRICE has been destroying Gulfstream Park fields for his whole career, winning 11 races out of 15 tries on this track. He has a couple bad races at the start of the year though, so he is not unbeatable and today he carries a very heavy load compared to his opposition. On an expected firm turf track, for such a short distance, the added weight is not a major factor but it is still much more than he is accustomed to. PAY ANY PRICE has taken a bit of vacation and has trained well for this return but he has not been burning the track either. Adding to the concern, the recent change of trainer which is a surprising move for the owners. But at 8 years of age, PAY ANY PRICE is probably not easily spooked by new surroundings. PAY ANY PRICE has a ton of early speed and will probably grab the lead and the rail, which is usually good on this distance. There should be some pace pressure but he has handled worse in his life. PAY ANY PRICE is a favorite for a reason but at such a small price, it could be fun to try to beat him.
Number 4, PHANTOM RO has yet to win in 2018 and his only two starts this year have been pretty disappointing. Workouts since the last race are not very impressive and this will actually be a first try on the turf for PHANTOM RO. The trainer is not known for much success on the surface or on first try but PHANTOM RO has a decent turf pedigree. It looks like a bad day to try it for the first time though, facing such a mighty favorite…
Number 5 BRANDY’S GIRL is the likely betting second choice and has the main advantage of having late running speed which is probably the best way to beat the favorite today. BRANDY’S GIRL is coming back from a vacation and she has a decent record running fresh. Moreover, the workouts are not bad, though they weren’t either at the start of the year when she had a couple of bad races… The last jockey to win with her is back on board so maybe that can help? BRANDY’S GIRL has beat the boys before and if she shows the same form as last year, she has a chance.
Number 6, MOONWALKER has not won in almost two years but has an habit of coming from behind which can pay off for a place today. For the win, it looks very unlikely but if the favorite and other falter as I think they can, MOONWALKER could come in to spice up the exotic bets. He still needs to improve, even for that, so don’t take too low odds…
Number 7, TROPICAT has a red hot jockey on board who has been winning over 50% of his races recently. That jockey will need to push TROPICAT quite a bit to keep up in the early stages and give a good kick in the stretch as the race is a few furlongs short compared to TROPICAT’s usual best distance… Cutting back distance to a sprint is hard to do, especially with a come from behind style so I don’t think we will see much of TROPICAT today.
Number 8, MY FRIEND FLAVIN is going to be scratched. There are no clouds on the horizon that could justify moving this stakes race to dirt.
Number 9, FIELD TRIP same as above, this horse will be scratched in all likelihood.
We have a mighty favorite but he will carry a heavy load and needs to be fit after a bit of a vacation. Truth be told, PAY ANY PRICE can destroy this field on almost any day but there can be some heavy pace pressure today and maybe the recent change of trainer can have a negative effect on his performance.
I believe that there is value, and more fun, in betting on others.
The only girl in the pack, BRANDY’S GIRL, has a late speed running style which can pay off if the favorite is indeed vulnerable. I think that at the right odds, she is worth a bet.
To swing for the fences, adding her and MOONWALKER on an exacta bet is not a terrible idea. That’s a real longshot but would pay off handsomely.
WIN BET at 4-1 or more on Number 5 BRANDY’S GIRL
Exacta Box 6-5