SaratogaBets Handicapping - Kevin Cox's Gulfstream Selections & Analysis - 5/30


Goose egg for us here yesterday. 

I'd like to leave this bit of info here for y'all. When we're using the DRF Formulator platform while writing our columns, if we say "Sprints", for the most part we mean any one turn race, and when we say "Routes", we mean any TWO turn race. ( For example, we consider a 1 1/8th mile race at Belmont an elongated sprint, and a 6 1/2 furlong race at a Charles Town a route. ) We feel this way, because in our eyes, it's the number of turns that necessitate more energy than being relaxed on a straightaway. Sometimes the sample size for our study can be too large to manually break down, so there may be a few from one category in another, but usually the end result is pretty much the same. Additionally, when it comes to layoffs, we consider more than 50 days in a dirt to dirt scenario a layoff, more than 58 days in D to T or T to D a layoff, and more than 67 days in a turf to turf deal a L/O.

Today's Beatable Favorite(s): Race 8 - #1 Venezuelan Hug ( only on firm ground )


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Gulfstream - 5/30


Race  1

1.See Below

2.See Below

3.See Below

As one of the key runners in today's opener is on the outside looking in, we'll lay out two different scenarios:

Should Holy Meister make it over to the frontside today, our selections will be #4 TIME FOR TROUBLE -- #14 HOLY MEISTER (AE) -- #6 SCANNO

Should the above be declared, our selections will be #10 NATHAN'S SECRET -- #12 HUSHED HIJINKS -- #13 RATIFY (AE)



Race  2

1.Salt Life for Me


3.My Liberty

#9 SALT LIFE FOR ME is a January foal with a maturity edge over a few signed on, owns the highest Tomlinson number for the distance, is a half to five multiple winning dirt sprinters, and draws ideally for the bow. Chestnut chap gets in light, so watch out for the killer crossover. #8 SHOOTING is another early bred animal with decent breeding for the trip, and conditioner having his best year in God knows how long. #1 MY LIBERTY ( uncoupled entrymate with our secondary selection ) breezed in 48 flat for today's overture.


Race  3

1.Nowitna River

2.Grace's Drama

3.Nothins Free

These three and no more for all our rolling action. #5 NOWITNA RIVER came along resolutely to complete the exacta vs. slightly weaker on the 7th of the month, coming home in a decent 11.76 seconds. Consistent mare has partaken in the superfecta in 20 of 26 career starts, and we're expecting a goodie. #2 GRACE'S DRAMA was a bit flat in the most recent, but had improved in his troika prior to that, and owns a whopping 7 for 17 mark at Hallandale Beach ( 1-18 elsewhere ). We'll give this mare a chance to rebound. #3 NOTHINS FREE finished 3rd in this race last time out, and we see that as an attainable finish once again. 


Race  4 

1.Starship Mallomar

2.Lovely Lucky

3.Winnipeg Wonder

It's very rare that we make a "trip note" for a horse, but in the case of #1 STARSHIP MALLOMAR, we've done just that. ( We don't actually do a "Stable Mail", but rather scotch tape a scrap piece of paper to the computer. ) The running line for the May 14th event shows her 8th at the first call, but she was actually 3rd for the first 12 strides out of the gate & 5th for the first 19 strides. Vasquez eased her back afterwards, and that proved to be mistake #1, as several tapped on the brakes in front of him, creating a bit of a logjam. Halfway down the backside, he began angling towards the outside, but that proved to be another error, as (2) it's difficult to win taking the overland route into a moderate pace, and (3), the one he was tracking ended up being the race winner, so if he had been a bit more patient, he could have followed the tire tracks for a better placing. Anyhoo, once he swung into the 5 path turning for home, he merely had to go out one more lane to be clear of 'em all, but as he began to do that, he committed his 4th and final faux pas, and dove back inside a bit, looking for a seam. Well, that was all she wrote, and as the remote went flying across the room ( yes, we had her on top that day, and we recommend you take a peek at the archives of that writeup ), she was running up on heels in losing by less than three at 31-1. Was she gonna win that day? Maybe not. But a placing, however, was definitely doable. A more aggressive jockey at the helm today, and while the inside draw may make you cringe, this guy takes to the wood like a famished beaver. Need more? 5 of the 20 competitors this one has faced won their nest start ( from 17 different races ). Play of the meet. #2 LOVELY LUCKY is a fading sprinter who goes long on the lawn for the first time, but we have a soft spot for that type, as sometimes they can get brave if able to get loose on an easy lead ( often at big prices ). We'll give this progeny of Lookin at Lucky out of a Dynaformer mare a look here. #5 WINNIPEG WONDER "Jet-ted" to the top nearly six weeks ago, and nearly blew up the tote board at 55-1. We'd be remiss in excluding.  OFF TURF: 11-3-8-10-1 


Race  5

1.Passing Moments

2.Baby Ice

3.Gilda F. 

#3 PASSING MOMENTS is showing a little bit of a "Z" pattern from the most recent, losing 3 3/4 lengths from the quarter to the half before gaining 6 1/4 from that point to the line. Meeeek selection in a race with no first draft eliminations. #4 BABY ICE had no palpable excuse for the recent disappointment, but sheds some weight today, and that's of some relevance. Throughout her career, this one is 8:3-2-2 when toting 119 or less, compared to a 20:1-1-3 mark at higher imposts ( who says weight doesn't matter? ). #5 GILDA F. gets in with a feather & can land a share. 


Race  6 

1.For Kicks

2.Fiamma Mamma


#7 FOR KICKS finds herself at her lowest level to date, and today's initial surface transition shouldn't be much of an issue, as the pedigree is just about the same for turf or dirt. 6% conditioner triples that rate with those fitting these exact conditions who were off the board < 50 days back ( 24-1 or undah ), and just look at these prices -- $4, $25, $6, $37. $13 & $38. #6 FIAMMA MAMMA was a well beaten but well clear runner up in this race 20 days ago, and 14% bossman is a fat 28-78 ( 35% ) with low level dirt stock at 8-1 or less ( < 40 days ) with a healthy ROI of $2.47. #8 SAMOA goes inside to outside today and can land a share. 


Race  7

1.Miss Maris

2.Trans  Mississippi

3.Poseidons Princess

#6 MISS MARIS is a nibbler by rote ( 19:1-5-4 ), but has hit the board in both "3rd off the L/O" attempts, and is another slim choice in another wide open heat. #4 TRANS MISSISSIPPI is one for two off the shelf and has a nice troika of works for today's return to action. #5 POSEIDONS PRINCESS was all out to win by a honker right outta the box, and the place/show horses came back to finish 3rd/1st ( in the same race ) when next seen. Youngster faces some older animals today, but we wouldn't be surprised to see some improvement in the Beyer dept. today. 


Race  8 


2.Dominate Themoment


#8 KUNAL overcame a troubled trip to lose by only three in his only start off an absence, and from a limited sampling, Louie has a 4:2-1-0-1 mark when putting his turf stayers up for sale for the first time ( 67-103 days ) with mutuels of $6 & $11. Recognize the 2 for 3 record with this pilot ( less than 200 days ), w payoffs of $7 & $27. #4 DOMINATE THEMOMENT fell short of the hat trick by just a length at 14-1 on 5/8, and drops a lot of weight off that performance. #12 GIVEMETWENTY bested half the field in his first try against winners, and the way he's finished in his last duet tells us that today's initial routing try is quite doable.  OFF TURF: 1-3-10-13(MTO)-5  NOTE: AS OF 6:24 P.M. THURSDAY, WE ARE FLIP FLOPPING OUR 2ND AND THIRD SELECTIONS.  BEATABLE FAVORITE: #1 VENEZUELAN HUG is bound to be overbet off of the last, but that was on a course labeled as "Good" and the prior starts on firm ground weren't as good in the Beyer department. This is NOT a Beatable Favorite if the course is anything but firm.  NOTE: AS OF 11:37, DUE TO A LATE SCRATCH THE #2 WILL BE OUR 3RD SELECTION.


Race  9 

1.Win With Pride

2.Small Fortune

3.Cajun Firecracker

#3 WIN WITH PRIDE hasn't done that in more than 16 months, but it came off a break in the action, giving this one a 4:2-0-2 ledger in such situations ( as well as being two of four at the trip ). Pletcher doesn't claim many, but when he brings back his male purchases off breaks of more than 50 days ( 6-1 or lowah ) he's a poyfect 4 for 4, with payoffs of $8, $5 x 2 & $6. #6 SMALL FORTUNE bested weaker up north at Oldsmar when returning off an elongated absence, and loses 32 ounces off that score, which is something we always dig. Place horse from that day made the winner's circle when next seen, jumping up in the BSF dept. from a 74 to a 93. #4 CAJUN FIRECRACKER is 4:2-1-0 off a L/O , and drops 15K off the claim from three months ago; caveat emptor. 


Race  10

1.Express Pharoah



#4 EXPRESS PHAROAH got smacked around pretty good in the most recent, but colt was a bit overmatched anyway that day, and as this jock ( who leaves a bit to be desired ) had been aboard for the start prior, Delgado gives him another shot. One thing from the stakes try that we liked, was how the figure from the maiden breaker was essentially replicated. #3 TALKING hasn't seen the scene since turkey time, but the adjusted numbers from this one's freshman season are comparable to others signed on, and the pre-layoff pilot returns. #1 COWTOWN went from zero to hero to grab the sheepskin versus maiden platers a bit more than three fortnights back, and while we'll be leaving beneath, we're also curious to see this $260,000 auction purchase still up for sale, as there may still be some upside here.  OFF TURF: 5-3-6-8(MTO)-7


Race  11



3.Bellas Fella

#11 ATAKAN has done absolutely zilch to get the heart pumping in any of his four starts, but we always give a runner two opportunities under a particular set of circumstances before writing 'em off, and this one does in fact have excellent pedigree for the sod. Note that this one is a half to three multiple winning turf stayers, and isn't it interesting to see slumping Bravo take the call on a horse with a resume' like this one? #2 DREAMMASTER has a decent collection of turf figs and would be no surprise. #6 BELLAS FELLA has gone 42-52-59 on the gramma, so right off the bat, who knows where his ceiling is in that regards. Uncharacteristic bullet breeze always a good sign for a runner who likes to come from off the pace.  OFF TURF: 16(MTO)-7-3-15(MTO)-5

Gulfstream      ( Spring ):      47-370     ( $609.10 )   Beatable  Favorites   1-16  ( 6.3% )    Favorites Win %   132-370   ( 35.7% )(As of Sat. morning)

Gulfstream      ( Winter ):        8-76       ( $141.00 )   Beatable Favorites    0-3    ( 0% )       Favorites Win %     23-76     ( 39.1% ) 

Aqueduct Winter  ( Final ):     65-427    ( $615.10 )  Beatable  Favorites  8-18  ( 44.4% )    Favorites Win %:   174-427 ( 40.8% ) 

Graded Stakes ( Current ):       2-12        ( $25.60 )  Beatable Favorites    N/A   (  N/A )      Favorites Win %:     4-12     ( 33.3% )

All Triple Crown, Breeders' Cup, Selected Grade 1's and Travers full days  ( These are also counted in the "Dirt Tracks" category ):

( 2013-2020 Final ) 64-411  ( $581.30 ) Beatable Favorites: 18-56 ( 32.1% ) Favorite's Win %: 139-411 (33.8%)  +/-: -29.2% against a 16.8% takeout  

Poly Tracks2013-16  (All Final): 85-568          ( $819.20 )  Beatable Favorites : 15-68      ( 22.1% )Favorite's Win %: 163-587      ( 27.7% ) +/-: -27.6%  against a 15.6% takeout

Dirt Tracks  2013-20 (All Final):2511-12450 ($21,132.80)  Beatable Favorites : 343-1222( 28.1% )Favorite's Win %: 4753-12533 ( 37.9% ) +/-: -15.3%  against a 16.8% takeout

Cumulative Stats      (All Final): 2596-12998 ($21,953.00)  Beatable Favorites : 358-1290( 27.8% )Favorite's Win %: 4915-13120 ( 37.5% ) +/-: -15.4%  against a 16.6% takeout