PAUL'S ANALYSIS FROM Gulfstream Park races 1 to 6
Wednesday 23 February 2017
Gulfstream Park Race 1 (5.35pm)
Claiming $6,250 - 4 year olds and upwards - Non winners of 3 races lifetime - 5 ½ Furlongs - Dirt
Backers are faced with a dilemma in the first race. Likely odds on favourite My Johnny Be Good (1) is much the best on paper. He was competing well in allowance company in Kentucky in the second half of 2016. In December, he lost by a nose in a claimer on his local return. Even his below par third last month is better than his rivals can manage and he is halved in claiming price. The worry is he's on a long, losing run and has lost a few close ones in that time.
His main rivals Joey Six Pack (2), Elsenordeloscielos (5) and Cunaviche (6) are have steady if unspectacular form. Maybe more interesting is Mizzen Quality (7). He's not raced in over a year. He does drop in class and goes first time for a trainer who has had success with long term returnees.
My Johnny Be Good (1)
Gulfstream Park Race 2 (6.04pm)
Allowance Optional Claiming - Fillies and Mares - 4 year olds and upwards - 1 1/8 Miles - Turf
Quant (2) came back a better filly after an absence following her debut. She broke her maiden in October and was placed in back to back allowance events since then. In the latest here in December, she lost by half a length with Lead Along (5) a neck further back. The last named mare has subsequently ran below form but both gals have to be considered as prime contenders today.
Trickita (3) improved approaching her fourth birthday. A maiden breaker in December was followed by a starter allowance victory a month later. That was a massive improvement. The fact that Todd Pletcher was prepared to lose her for $35,000 11 weeks ago and now she's in with proper allowance competition shows the progress she's made. If Luis Saez can get her relaxed on the lead, she may not be for catching.
Golden Delicious (1), a former barn mate of Trickita gets back on her best surface today. Byegone Days (7) runs as if she's well worth a try over this longer distance.
Gulfstream Park Race 3 (6.33pm)
Allowance Optional Claiming - 4 year olds and upwards - 6 Furlongs - Dirt
Mr. Baker (3) is a sprinter who has gone sharply up and down the class ladder on recent years. In October, he wired a decent field of allowance optional claimers in a swift time. He's ran below that form in similar company in two starts since. He's been freshened which for him is often a good thing. His connections have found him a winnable race for his return. At his best, he won't be for catching.
Curlins Vow (2) and Fast Friar (4) were separated by two lengths when they were second and fourth in a similar event last month. That was over a one turn mile. The first named has form over six furlongs but seems to have improved since stepped up to extended sprint distances. He is a threat to run these down. Fast Friar has more tactical speed. He is likely to sit just off Mr. Baker and get first run on his old rival.
Mr. Baker (3)
Gulfstream Park Race 4 (7.02pm)
Maiden Claiming $16,000 - 3 year olds - 5 ½ Furlongs - Dirt
El Gran Noel (7) was placed in a trio of higher priced maiden claimers than this one until last time. They were all over one turn and on the dirt. In his latest start, he faded badly in a route maiden on the turf. Getting back on dirt and shortening up to a sprint makes him the logical choice here.
Family Crest (1) ran fourth on his second career start earlier this month. That was on turf but his debut on dirt wasn't too bad either. He has tactical speed and may be able to take advantage of his rail draw. Recent runner up Tom Liz (2) has slightly better form but he's had more chances. That can't be said for Tide of the Desert (3) who is once raced. He's been gelded since his debut and now runs with lasix.
Family Crest (1)
Gulfstream Park Race 5 (7.32pm)
Claiming $6,250 - Fillies and Mares - 4 year olds and upwards - Non winners of 2 races lifetime - 5 ½ Furlongs - Dirt
Proper Princess (1) had Baby Antonella (7) well beaten when a close up runner up in a similar event earlier this month. The run was a massive improvement on her previous start in January. She is pretty unexposed on dirt and many a time would be the gal to beat. That is not the case here. Class dropping Fulfilled Fantasy (3) is that filly. She has been showing speed and fading in two starts in better company since she returned last month. There is every chance she makes the lead on her own here. The slight cut back in distance can only help her chances of lasting home.
Here Comes Rosie (2) has some runs in New York in the second half of last year that would win this. The worry with her is two meek efforts since a trainer after a move to Florida. If you put the first down to a wide trip and not staying a mile in the latest and you have a contender at likely good odds.
Fulfilled Fantasy (3)
Gulfstream Park Race 6 (8.02pm)
Maiden Claiming $50,000 - 4 year olds and upwards - 1 Mile - Turf
Alsinaafy (7) was placed in good maidens at Belmont and Aqueduct on the first two starts of his career. He ran a bit below that form here in December but was hung wide. That turned out to be a productive event with three next time out winners. The blinkers he wore for the first time then are dispensed with. Trainer Chad Brown and owners Shadwell Stables have decided to drop him in class into a maiden claimer. He is likely to be very tough to beat as a result.
Tough to beat yes but not unbeatable. Alsinaafy faces some interesting rivals. Collateral Kitten (8) made the same move as him class-wise and lost by a neck in a similar event last month. He is a playable alternative for aptly named in form trainer Joe Sharp.
Little separated Aqua Teen (5), More Alex (3) and Kabang (4) earlier this month. The last named has some fine back form that makes him a danger. Expedient (2) could also be one. He is a first time starter for Todd Pletcher. He is a $260,000 sales purchase but his trainer places them where they can win, even if it is for sale on their debut.