Gulfstream Park – December 4, 2021
FOURTH RACE – Payntdembluesaway had a right to be short in her first start since February when she quickly established the running before weakening late in a second-level allowance turf sprint at Laurel in late October. Notice the final time of the race – 1:07 1/5 – about four seconds slower than that what would have been standard on firm ground – which indicates that the going was much deeper than the listed “yielding” that was assigned for the race (on a side note, racetracks will rarely list a course “soft” anymore, even if it is). The veteran daughter of Paynter – a winner of three races from four starts over the Gulfstream Park turf course – seems likely to return to best form today while being reunited with “win rider” P. Lopez for a trainer that has superior stats with the second-off-the-layoff angle. Fast enough to make the lead but capable of stalking and pouncing should the race flow require it, the J. Cibelli-trained five-year-old shows three easy breezes since her comeback to tick her over for a race that is well within her capabilities based on her high-end speed figures. She’s listed at 7/2 on the morning line and offers good gamble at or near that price.
TENTH RACE – Most of the entrants in this nine furlong main track event are unproven at the distance, including our top pick Girolamo’s Attack, who’s proven to be a dynamite one-turn miler but whose only prior true “route” race was a Belmont Park around one turn over a sloppy track. The four-year-old gelding is returning off short rest following a pair of taxing wins in overnight handicap, the most recent less than two weeks ago. The S. Joseph, Jr.-trained gelding is drawn comfortably inside – a good place to be with the short run into the clubhouse turn – and if receives the aggressive ride he prefers there’s a good possibility that he’ll be no worse than second early and perhaps even on the lead depending upon what the Thistledown invader Strike Appeal chooses to do. In the frame in seven of eight career starts over the Gulfstream Park main track with four wins, he’s proven to be genuine and consistent and capable of winning this year’s edition of the Claiming Crown Jewel if he has one good one left in his current form cycle.
Aqueduct – December 4, 2021
EIGHTH RACE – Loved the way Zandon graduated at first asking despite a less than ideal trip in a strong maiden sprint in early October and we’re expecting this talented colt to produce an even better performance in today’s Remsen S.-G2. The C. Brown-trained juvenile took a ton of dirt when lacking room from the far turn to the top of the lane before angling out and gobbling up the leaders with an impressive turn of foot in the closing stages to win going away. Based on pedigree, running style, and workouts since raced, the son of Upstart should improve considerably with that valuable experience behind him, so at 5/2 on the morning line he offers excellent wagering value in the win pool and in the various rolling exotics.
NINTH RACE – Nest was very impressive in her five length debut maiden win and lost nothing in defeat when third after an awkward start and then taking the worst of the race flow to be beaten less than a length (galloped out in front) in the subsequent Tempted Stakes last month. The daughter of Curlin stretches out to nine furlongs, a distance she’s bred to love, and with another forward move the T. Pletcher-trained filly should be very difficult to beat in today’s Demoiselle S. for juvenile fillies. At 2-1 on the morning line, she’s a win play and rolling exotic single