Gulfstream feature race will be analyzed each racing day at HRI. The new HRI Feature, “Going Gulfstream Video.” which debuts here today and repeated each Saturday, subsequently will appear in the News and Free Race Selections sections starting Sunday
Those looking for a possible single for today’s mandatory Rainbow 6 jackpot payout is unlikely to find one in Gulfstream’s featured Sheer Drama Stakes for Florida-bred fillies going 7 furlongs.
Identifying the favorite is relatively easy, given Sound Machine’s (5-2) show finish behind Ce Ce in the G2 Princess Rooney at today’s trip last out. On a hard chase throughout, she held fairly well vs. her classy rival. Four of her six subsequent works have been of the bullet variety.
While she looms the most likely winner, she has reacted negatively in the past returning from big efforts, so it may pay to look around for an alternative. We’ve found one in Thisismytime (4-1).
Last year’s Sheer Drama runnerup has been victimized by recent trips. Her speed has gotten her in trouble pace-wise; inside posts have forced her rider’s hands. She was hounded every step in the Monroe last time, the early splits much too fast for her to carry her speed at one mile.
For an example of a possible upset effort today, check out the Going Gulfstream Video on the HRI landing page, [GP, JAN 23, Race 9] the G2 Inside Information here last winter. We think you’ll agree it was better than it appears on paper.
Again pressed throughout, she battled between horses into the lane but could not hold off perfect-tripping Pacific Gale, but stayed courageously late, saving the place.
Thisismytime’s last race in state-bred company resulted in an 11-length victory. It also was the last time she drew outside speedy rivals where she relax a bit more early on. Further, the switch to hot-riding Chantal Sutherland suggests a more patient tack today.
Taking Thisismytime straight at 3-1 or greater, key-boxing an exacta with Sound Machine, and adding sharp Conar (7-2) and 7-furlong specialist Heiressall (5-1) to the verticals mix.
This is a live column that will will upgraded at suitable intervals. Back later with a look at the feature races for the final Saturday of the Kentucky Downs meet
G3 Ladies Mint Sprint [Kentucky Downs Race 6]
A typically challenging puzzle at Kentucky Downs; unique American venue. Having drawn an oversubscribed field of 14, six have caught the eye. Constantia (5-1) by virtue of a near impeccable record at the trip (4) 2-1-1. Violenzia (20-1) is questionable vis a vis class but has shown an affinity for the chore, having won at this trip and distance. A long chance but no toss.
Won’t find many handicappers who would disagree that a class edge belongs to Venetian Harbor (3-1), a dual Grade 2 winner and a winner at the trip, today’s race is no mere run for the money but it occurs that this would be a good starting point going turf to dirt with the Breeders’ Cup F & M Sprint a long range goal. However, Richard Baltas is a profitable 20% going dirt to turf, so there’s that.
Jeanie B (6-1) lacks experience at the trip and distance but is 1-for-1 on a synthetic surface; Mark Casse knows what it takes to win in Franklin, KY. and Jersey Joe’s niche is grass. Owns the right style. Superstition [4-1] is (2) 1-0-1 at the trip but lacking turf experience. But this is Mandella and Prat and is nicely drawn midfield for a barn that’s 38% profitable with its shippers. And finally Jakarta (12-1), a winner under these dynamics and out of respect for Maker’s record at this venue.
We’re leaning toward Jeanie B as a key, coupling with the others named in some fashion. The tote will decide.
G2 Calumet Turf Cup [Race 9]
If any race easily qualifies as chaotic, it’s a gateful of turf specialists going a mile and a half at Kentucky Downs. Seven made the long list but we’ll shorten it to four contenders; two favorite types and two price shots.
Any look at this 12 furlongs on this quirky course must begin with the favorite, Arklow (3-1). This is his house; three starts, two wins and a second. Want more? Thirteen runs at this trip: five wins, three seconds. Brad Cox is 26% effective in LAY-3 scenarios and is profitable in graded stakes after more than 300 starts.
The nagging issue is that his two two efforts, trips notwithstanding, were flat. He blew out rapidly for this at the Pea Patch. We see improvement. How much is the question and at the expected odds, not willing to find out. For me, defensively only.
The other favorite is Channel Cat (9-2), bred, owned and obviously pointed to a million-dollar race with its name on it. Beyond that he makes his second start off a layup, so he’s fresh, gets Johnny who has won with him and the Grade 1 winner won his only start at this venue. Obviously live for Jack Sisterson, in the midst of a career year.
Two 15-1 early line horses catch the eye: Imperador and Glynn County. Imperador’s figures are ascending, he has tactical speed, a very solid pedigree for the trip, regular rider Joe Talamo and trainer Paulo Lobo is on a mini-roll.
Glynn County has all-time leader trainer at Kentucky Downs in his corner, ascending figures, broke maiden on this course, has won at 12 furlongs, Tyler has heated up after a slow start and has the unmistakable look of a late developing four year old.
Think I’ll box-up these four in various pools, and will try to get alive in doubles with the two price shots, using Imprimis (6-1), Fast Boat (10-1) and Casa Creed (7-2) to get there.