Gulfstream Park – December 5, 2021
THIRD RACE – Here’s an intriguing race over a mile on turf for juvenile fillies that offers several possibilities and plenty of question marks. High percentage trainer Saffie Joseph, Jr. has two bullets two fire, and both have shown enough in the a.m. to warrant strong consideration. Bravo Kitten has never recorded an official workout on grass, but she’s bred to move up a ton on the lawn (Kitten’s Joy x Dynaformer) so she’s likely to be much more comfortable under these conditions than she’s been when breezing on the main track. She attracts the barn’s “go-to” rider E. Zayas, so on that angle alone we must assume she’s considered the better of the two with Bellwether, herself with a heavily-influenced turf family (Point of Entry x Giant’s Causeway and looking decent in the morning in dirt drills alongside ‘Kitten. In a race in which the known element doesn’t impress, it wouldn’t be surprising to see a first-timer win and both of these two have credentials to do just that, so we’ll include both in our rolling exotics and then press in the win pool with Bravo Kitten on.
FOURTH RACE – We’ve seen Fulton Market breeze on video, and she looks like a very nice prospect that may be capable of winning at first asking in an unclassified maiden race such as this. There’s doesn’t appear to be any champions in this main track sprint for juvenile fillies, so let’s focus on the daughter of Candy Ride. The concern, of course, is that the T. Proctor barn has weak stats with the debut runner angle so perhaps this filly will need a race, but while there’s no guarantee that she’s totally cranked up she appears to be a filly with good size and athleticism and certainly seems more formidable than her 6-1 morning line might lead you to believe.
SEVENTH RACE – This one mile grass event for maiden two years old is similar to today’s second race, which is carded for fillies. The first-timers don’t inspire, so let’s try to project who among those that have raced can produce the strong forward move. Assuming the logical top choice Men On The Hill doesn’t draw in from the also-eligible list, the one that catches the eye is Never Say Know, a first-off-the-claim play for a barn that has superior stats with this angle. The Irish-bred colt was haltered for $50,000 when worn down late to be second (well-clear of the rest) in an all-weather affair here last month that earned a speed figure good enough to beat this field. Apparently most effective when. Held up early and allowed to produce a late run, the R. Crichton-trained son of No Nay Never switches to one of the stable’s main riders C. Sutherland and should get the patient, one-run ride that he requires. He’s worth a play at or near his morning line of 9/2.
TENTH RACE – This first-level allowance main track one-turn miler for juveniles offers the same conditions that produced a 10-length maiden win for Skippylongstocking, who subsequently finished a well-beaten fourth over a distance of ground in the much-tougher Street Sense Stakes at Churchill Downs in late October. This is where he belongs, so we’re expecting the son of Exaggerator to regain his best form and be a major player at 7/2 on the morning line. He appears to be cut in the mold of a one-paced grinder, so we’re hoping T. Gaffalione sends him aggressively from the gate to secure a good pace-stalking position in a race that should have a soft opening quarter and half.
Strike Hard adds blinkers, has numbers that fit, and graduated over this track and distance three runs back with speed figures that makes him the one to fear most. It’s difficult to have trust in an eight percent outfit, but
Two recent local maiden winners – So Determineand A. P.’s Secret – made hard work of it in their respective scores but both have the proper style for this trip, and both have every right to step forward under these conditions. Given their connections, they’ll both receive plenty of action on the tote and probably should be included on your rolling exotic ticket, at least as back-ups.