The Ponies Are Runnin’ So It’s Time To Gamble! Saturday Picks For Laurel and Gulfstream

Sports and Bets — February 7, 2015 at 8:04 am by

Football’s done so now our sports gambling dollars cock their presidential ears towards the thundering hooves of the thoroughbred racetracks of America.  We here in Maryland have a rich horseracing tradition and if you’ve been raised within a 200 mile radius of Pimlico you had better damn know how to read a racing form.  If you don’t, well, your man card is in danger of being revoked like the bad guy’s diplomatic immunity in Lethal Weapon 2.

Okay, babes, maybe that’s a little much, but you should know how to read a form.  Anyway, locally Laurel Park is in full swing with their winter meet and Gulfstream and Santa Anita, in Florida and California respectively, are both running premiere meets.  Most folks playing the horses will focus on Gulfstream and Santa Anita, but we gotta throw the local circuit some love too. We don’t like to play more than one track normally, but Gulfstream has a big day planned with the Don Handicap and the Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap.  Plus, out in Cali, Derby and Preakness winner, California Chrome makes his four year old debut by facing off against Shared Belief and Hopportunity.   (I’ll save you the drama there, I like Chrome in that race.)

So we’ll have eyes in Maryland, Florida and California. Hopefully, the horses will reward our cross-country efforts.  We’ll give four races from Laurel and the final four races of the day at Gulfstream, since those are the big stake races of the day there.  We already like Chrome, so that covers that heavyweight bout out west.

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We’ll start with the home turf.

Laurel Park

Race 2- CLM15K- #1 Miners Quest is coming off a solid second place effort after getting nipped at the wire by Hey Kid.  This guy’s got some nice efforts from some higher quality races in the not so distant past and it wouldn’t surprise if he gunned it for the lead from his rail position in this probable pace-less affair.  He’s done his best work off the pace, but with this bunch he may be able to set a relaxing lead and that may make him brave.  7-2 is playable.

Race 3- CLM5K- #3 Hitec Dave figures to be the lone speed in this 5K claiming mess.  For that reason, we’ll back him here at 4-1.  We like the 2/3 exacta box combo on this one too.  This is purely a pace scenario bet, if he’s alone from the gate he could go wire to wire.

Race 6- CLM25K- Longshot city, babes.  The #1 Heavenly perfect drops down for 25K tag after back-to-back disasters at the OC40K.  Jevian Toledo is the hottest jockey at Laurel and he sticks here. They thought enough of this gal to place her in a stakes event and her works leading up to this have been nice.  Class relief at a price, she’s 6-1 on the morning line.  Interesting play.  Box with favorites for exacta fun.

Race 7- MSW40k- Looking for value at Laurel is sometimes like looking for a parking spot in Federal Hill on a Saturday night.  Damn near impossible.  But you could make the case for a few runners in this interesting maiden special weight.  We’ll go with the first time starter, #6 MJ’s Warrior.  This 200k purchase has been training quite well and I love the last work.  Trainer does well with first starters and we want to gamble.  12-1 is ripe for dollar making if this hunch pays off.  Boom.  Start the pick 3 here. (see next race.)

Race 8- OC40K- #7 Unrivaled is 7-5 and coming off a 15 length maiden win.  We’ll be betting him as the centerpiece of our late pick 3.  The last Pick 3 wager starts with the last race, so place it before race 7.  Our ticket will look like this:  2,3,4,6,9/7/all.   At .50 cents it’s a $22.50 wager.

Gulfstream

Now we gamble with the big time ponies.

Race 10- Suwannee G3- This baby is wide open and you could literally make a case for 7 or 8 of these fillies to win.  We are going all in on a big longshot here because, why the hell not.  #9 Pink Poppy was extremely impressive at 11-1 in the Sunshine Millions Filly and Mare Turf and we’re thinking that she continues the party with a big step up in the class ranks.   She only finished just under 3 lengths behind the favorite for this, Sandiva, two back and she seems so much better these days.  Pink Poppy came out of her Sunshine win with some great works and she may be sitting on another big one at 12-1 odds.  Throw her in all exotics in the least.  Risky, but could be worth it in a big way.

Race 11- Hooper G3- #10 Valid is a career badass who has popped multiple triple figure Beyers and who consistently gives his all.  We like effort and this five year old may be sitting on a big one.  Bumped at the start in last, sees place horse from that here again as both lost to Donn entrant Lea.  Look for Valid to grab the lead and try to hold on late.

Race 12- Gulfstream Park Handicap G1- #1 Mshawish has been running lights out as of late and Todd Pletcher seems to have him primed for this.  There are plenty of contenders in this loaded turf battle, but I’ll stick with the hot hand.  On the rail, but that isn’t an issue with JJ on board.  Distance issue? We don’t think so. Save ground, keep leaders in sight, and kick for home down the stretch.

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Race 13- Donn Handicap –   Pletcher’s got three solid contenders in here and Lea looms he logical favorite for Bill Mott.  All things considered, Lea may be the best horse, but here we’ll try to beat him with the biggest value of the Pletcher bunch, #8 Protonico.  Gets a nice stalking post, and is sitting on a great work.  We’ll see how he fires fresh against a real tough bunch, but at 6-1. it’s worth a shot.

Good Luck! And remember, take these for what you will.

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