Andrew Champagne previews the late pick four at Gulfstream Park on Sunday.
Sunday’s 11-race card at Gulfstream Park is a good one, and a tricky late Pick Four sequence begins in the eighth. I’m attacking it with a $30 ticket, one that allows room for several bigger prices to come in and drive up the potential for a nice score. Here’s how I’ll play it.
RACE #8: We’ll kick things off with a turf sprint for optional claiming company, and it’s drawn a very solid field for the level. I’m going three-deep, but while I’m using the morning line favorite, that one isn’t my top pick.
#7 CAPTAIN SAM came back off a layoff last time out and had a terrible trip. She tried stakes company two back, so we know her connections are high on her, and she’s shown far more early speed in the past as well. She gets a rider change to Tyler Gaffalione today, and it wouldn’t surprise me if she moves forward in a big way second off the bench.
#2 ANGELCENTS was indeed impressive last time out, but I hesitate to endorse her full-throatedly because I just don’t think she beat much in that effort. I’ll use her defensively, and the same philosophy applies to #8 GOTTA GO MO, who ran very well last time we saw her but hasn’t raced for nearly 11 months.
Have you signed up to TVG yet? You can get a 50% bonus on your first deposit, up to a value of $250. You could then put that wagering credit, of up to $250, on Andrew's picks today.
Here's how to claim:
2 - Register using code GET250 and make a deposit.
3 – Get a 50% bonus on your first bonus.
4 – Use that free wagering credit.
5 - If it wins, enjoy your winnings!
RACE #9: The second leg has drawn a field of six, and I’ll take a mild stand here. #5 HEIRESSINDY is the 2-1 morning line choice, but she’s been at this level for a very long time and shortens up to a sprint distance, which may not be her best game.
I much prefer #6 SLAM DUNK, my top pick in a race where I’m going two-deep. She comes off the bench for new trainer Shug McGaughey, and her prior connections ran her in a number of very tough spots. Most notably, she was third in the Grade 1 Frizette back in 2019, and she appears to be working well ahead of her 2021 debut. I like the outside draw, and I think Slam Dunk, not Heiressindy, is the one to beat.
I’ll also include #3 PUPPET MASTER, who hits me as an overlay at or near her 8-1 morning line price. She broke her maiden going short two back and then probably found a mile to be a bit out of her comfort zone in her first try against winners. I think she’ll step forward a bit getting back to her desired route of ground.
RACE #10: I’m going two-deep in the third leg as well, and this race features a runner that will likely be the shortest price in the sequence. I’m using him, but the puzzling class drop he takes requires me to use another as well.
#7 TUSK has been around a while and run in some big spots. He won last year’s Grade 3 Tropical Turf here, but misfired in this season’s renewal and was a beaten favorite when running for a $35,000 tag last time out. He runs for $16,000 here, and while these are aggressive connections, there’s a chance he’s past his peak as an 8-year-old.
With that in mind, I must also throw in #6 APRECIADO, who also takes a drop in class after a rough go of it last time out. He hasn’t won in a while, but he spent part of 2020 going up against some very tough horses, and many of those races came going far longer than he’ll run on Sunday. Between the class relief and the cutback to a distance he may well prefer, I think he’s very logical at a bit of a price.
RACE #11: Good freaking luck, everyone. This is a befuddling maiden claimer, and at first glance, there isn’t much in the way of proven form here. I’ve gone five-deep, and if you have deeper pockets or a single elsewhere, hitting the “ALL” button may not be a terrible idea.
In races like this, horses who make the lead often have an advantage, since the foes chasing them don’t necessarily have the ability to pass others. #8 GUN OF GLORY is a tepid top pick for that reason. He’s set respectable paces in each of his last two outings, but gets a big rider switch to top speed rider Paco Lopez and figures to be well-positioned early on. If he gets comfortable, perhaps he’ll be tough to run down.
#3 BLOKE, #4 SELFMADE, #9 MAGICAL CAUSE, and #10 JOYFUL SURPRISE are on my ticket as well. Bloke is a big price on the morning line, but I think you can toss his last-out clunker. My guess is something went wrong that day when he stopped badly, and he didn’t run terribly in his two prior outings at Gulfstream Park West. The David Fawkes barn is a capable outfit, and Emisael Jaramillo sees fit to ride. It wouldn’t shock me if he outruns his odds, and it’s not like he’d need to be very much to best this group.
50% bonus on your first deposit, up to a value of $250.