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Friday’s Pick 5 sequence is highlighted by two Wesley Ward runners in Race 2, one of which is the 2016 Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Nyquist‘s first starter. Will another 2-year-old knock him off, or will Breakthrough live up to the hype and become his famous sire’s first winner, too?
Best of luck!
Race 1: Maiden Claiming $12,500-10,500 for 3-year-old fillies going 1 mile (8 furlongs) on the turf. Purse $17,000
#2 All American Jewel makes her Gulfstream Park debut for Juan Arriagada following back-to-back third-place efforts at Tampa Bay Downs. After running those two races just seven days apart, she should enjoy getting a full month to prepare for this two-turn mile as she drops down in class. #4 A Beautiful Day has a major advantage over this field: the ability to break out of the gate well against tougher fields. Miguel Vasquez will need to do his best to slow down the early fractions and save enough for the homestretch. #7 Halfy hasn’t been able to get out of her own way. Her gate issues have prevented her from running competitively in either of her two starts, but at morning line odds of 9/2, the Todd Pletcher trainee will garner respect.
Race 2: Maiden Special Weight for 2-year-olds going 4 1/2 furlongs on the dirt. Purse $65,000
This crop of 2-year-olds is headlined by the Wesley Ward runner, #8 Chasing Artie. Breakthrough who was entered in this race, will make his debut on Saturday for Ward. This gives Chasing Artie a great opportunity to break his maiden status in his debut.
Race 3: Claiming $8,000 for fillies and mares 3-year-olds and upward going 6 furlongs on the dirt. Purse $17,000
The most competitive race in the sequence forced me to go six-deep. These runners have shown the ability to put in consistent performances at this level. I’m going with #6 Tong Shu on top. Two and three back, she faced much better, and in her most recent start, she broke well out of the gate and cleared the field with ease. She might not be the most talented runner, but her ability to show early speed makes her dangerous. Other runners I’ll use: #1 Probably Grace, #2 Peace Control, #3 Sizzling Roma, #5 Blue Blue Ice, #7 Miz Chaplin.
Race 4: Maiden Claiming $12,500-$10,500 for 3-year-olds and upward going 1 mile (8 furlongs) on the turf. Purse $17,000
#2 Rags for Britches faces the softest group in his career, and while I tend to stay away from horses that are 0/13, this is an awful group. He was close to winning at this distance against a much higher class two back. My top choice is #8 Jeeker Joe, who gets Tyler Gaffalione for the first time. His best performance came in his most recent start, though that was last August. That effort paired with trainer Jose D’Angelo’s win rate with first-timers from his barn (30%) makes Jeeker Joe dangerous.
Race 5: Claiming $16,000-$14,000 for 4-year-olds and upward going 5 furlongs on the turf. Purse $23,000
#1 R Boy Bode will be very tough to beat after wiring the field in the same class last time out. Georgina Baxter’s runners have looked very impressive out on the track, as seven of nine have either won or finished second. It’s not unreasonable to think that he can wire this field from the rail. #6 Kyle will also look to be on the early lead. Though not as quick as R Boy Bode, jockey Miguel Vasquez should position him right off his heels and get first run.
$.50 PICK 5 (Races 1-5) 2,4,7 / 2,8 / 1,2,3,5,6,7 / 2,7,8 / 1,6 – $108
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