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The Conscience of Thoroughbred Racing

GOING GULFSTREAM – FEB 16

Of the trips we noted in several of the playable races as Gulfstream Park begins its race week. The sixth race offers an opportunity to beat the early line favorite.

There is no question that Free to Fly (9-5) is a deserving public choice. After all she did win six of seven starts after coming under Kathleen O’Connell’s care. But after finishing third in her 2021 finale last fall, she’s been on the sidelines. It is fair to ask why.

She is returning at the right level, and Paco Lopez has ridden two winners for this barn in three recent rides. But the issue is the layup.

O’Connell can get them ready off a break, but not consistently enough to us.

Now Larimar (2-1) has had her comeback run, returning from at layup at Gulfstream Park, JAN 20, Race 7, going 5-1/2 furlongs on Tapeta Track. Check out the video above.

She broke alertly enough from an inside draw but was buffeted about between horses for more than a sixteenth of a mile as outside speed types went on with it.

Tyler Gaffalione eventually got her second, she showed speed in hand, waiting for a seam to develop, but it never came until too late.

At that point, the filly showed some interest as Tyler encouraged her along. But he didn’t abuse her, getting her forward moving at the very end with an effort that rates to move her forward.

Back on dirt, she’s a three time winner at today’s trip. Mike Tomlinson is profitable in several categories, notably in sprints and is LAY-2 scenarios, the case today. The outside draw works to her advantage here.

We’re taking Larimar to win at 2-1 or greater and quinellas with the aforementioned Free to Fly and Dem A Wonder (3-1), switching to Irad for Ramon Crichton, whose barn just might be coming alive.

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