SaratogaBets Handicapping - Kevin Cox's Gulfstream Selections & Analysis - 3/28 - Florida Derby Day


Big day on top, so sit back & enjoy yourself ! 

I'd like to leave this bit of info here for y'all. When we're using the DRF Formulator platform while writing our columns, if we say "Sprints", for the most part we mean any one turn race, and when we say "Routes", we mean any TWO turn race. ( For example, we consider a 1 1/8th mile race at Belmont an elongated sprint, and a 6 1/2 furlong race at a Charles Town a route. ) We feel this way, because in our eyes, it's the number of turns that necessitate more energy than being relaxed on a straightaway. Sometimes the sample size for our study can be too large to manually break down, so there may be a few from one category in another, but usually the end result is pretty much the same. Additionally, when it comes to layoffs, we consider more than 50 days in a dirt to dirt scenario a layoff, more than 58 days in D to T or T to D a layoff, and more than 67 days in a turf to turf deal a L/O.

Today's Beatable Favorite(s): None

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Gulfstream - 3/28 - Florida Derby Day


Race  1



3.Sweet Hitch Hiker ( AE )

#3 WOODFIN hasn't been in action since the end of September, but filly ( " 'F', Charlie -- that means 'Filly' ". ) was heading in the right direction before the wheels came off at Churchill Downs, and has a puncher's chance at a price if fully cranked up for the return. #7 CODRINGTON rallied smartly late in the game to secure the place bread on the main track here, and although the number came back a bit lowish, the collection of figaros for the grass outings just prior to that tell us that she definitely belongs. #14 SWEET HITCH HIKER (AE) needs two to declare in order to make it into the body of the race, but should that be the case, brings a two for six local turf record along for the ride, and will be using blinkers for the 1st time.  OFF TURF: 15(AE)-4-6-10-8  NOTE: AS OF 4:23 P.M. THURSDAY, WE ARE AMENDING OUR SELECTIONS TO 14(AE)-3-9  NOTE: AS OF 11:03, DUE TO A LATE SCRATCH THE #8 WILL BE OUR 3RD SELECTION.


Race  2


2.Jake Rocks

3.Bernin' Thru Gold

#3 BRUTUS tries the sand for the first time, but is better bred for it than the poly he's been performing admirably on, and gets Zayas and the hood this afternoon. Slimmest of margins in a race that we were unable to eliminate anyone with our primary draft. #1 JAKE ROCKS showed zilch in the recent turf attempt, so is switched back to the brown stuff this afternoon, posted an adjusted 83.1 in his lone "3rd off the L/O" try. Recognize the solid 3rd place finish at 17-1 in his only start when breaking from the pine. #12 BERNIN' THRU GOLD hasn't seen the scene since the Spa last summer, but picks up Saez and may get a close up stalking trip from the outside. 


Race  3

1.Award Winner ( AE )

2.Ry's the Guy ( AE )

3.Plus Que Parfait

#13 AWARD WINNER (AE) is in need of one to get the sniffles to be able to make it to the frontside, but if that occurs, will be toting a resume' in which he's essentially improved with each & every start. Despite the career best # in the comebacker, colt may have needed that effort after being off nearly half the length of the calendar, and is second time Lasix today. #14 RY'S THE GUY (AE) is also on the outside looking in, but is another who brings along a lifetime best numero off a layoff, and while having a legitimate shot, we're compelled to leave beneath because of Landeros' goose egg at the stand. #10 PLUS QUE PARFAIT -- 2nd off the shelf today -- closed out the triple when doing just that last August.  OFF TURF: 3-4-8-5-13(AE)  NOTE: AS OF 4:32 P.M. THURSDAY, WE ARE AMENDING OUR SELECTIONS TO 4-14(AE)-10.


Race  4 

1.Diamonds Enjoy ( AE )

2.Inter Miami

3.Captain D

#14 DIAMONDS ENJOY (AE) displayed nada in the lone turf foray, but it was over a yielding course and off an elongated absence, to boot. Pedigree says that this one should be able to handle the surface ( Kitten's Joy ), and we'll swing away at a big numbah -- should he not be scratched. #5 INTER MIAMI is another one who has yet to grace the blades with his presence, but second foal out of an unraced dam, has Colonel John in the family tree ( 10:4-3-1 in poly routes as well as 1-1 on the sod ), and Reyes does his best work on the front end. If you can see your way clear of forgiving the pre & post L/O running lines of #2 CAPTAIN D ( as we often do to get a price ), then what you'll find are three exceptional turf efforts; may be an overlay here.  OFF TURF: 4-3-6-5-9  NOTE: AS OF 11:05, THE #7 WILL BE OUR 3RD SELECTION.


Race  5

1.Wind of Change


3.Olympic Village

#7 WIND OF CHANGE had done some nice things back in Brazil ( winner of four straight ) before finishing 3rd at 13-1 in his North American debut up at Oldsmar. Five year old got smacked around a bit @ the onset that day, so on go the blinks. Has the looks at a lively runner. #6 SQUEEZADIOS goes from two turns to one today, and the last time that was attempted, a 5% increase in the adjusted Beyer department was the end result. While a potential "85" in this spot wouldn't quite leap off the page, what it does do is put this one in the thick of things at a decent offering. Horse for the course has done some good thing at Hallandale Beach. #2 OLYMPIC VILLAGE posted his best fig. yet in his only 2X to 1X spin and could grab a piece with some pace to cut into.   NOTE: AS OF 4:37 P.M. THURSDAY, WE ARE AMENDING OUR SELECTIONS TO 8-7-6.


Race  6 

1.Eye of a Jedi

2.Sir Anthony

3.Just Whistle

We're seeing this as a wide, wide, open event, so will swing away for a price with the #7 EYE OF A JEDI. Five year old gelding has done his best work on the GP dirt ( 13:2-4-5 ) compared to other strips ( 11:1-0-0 ), and has hung up an adjusted 85.5 ( without front wraps & blinks, which are now part of the package ) and an 80.2 as well. I know, I know, that doesn't quite get the pulse racing, but if you scroll up and down the entries here, what you'll find are seven runners that are making their 1st of 2nd starts off the shelf, and a few others with question marks beside them as well. Not hopeless. #8 SIR ANTHONY won in his only pairing with Geroux & has done okay off a layoff. #5 JUST WHISTLE is 4:1-0-0-1 in "2nd off a hiatus" attempts, and has the hood slapped on this afternoon. 


Race  7

1.Heir of Light



After a showing and a win to begin her working life, #12 HEIR OF LIGHT beat two home in her last duet -- a horse and the chase ambulance. Interestingly enough, Leparoux sticks around, and perhaps it's because of those nice turf moves up north. Sire was 4:1-1-0-2 on the synthetic ( which we feel translates to the green nicely ), and the paternal granddam was one fer two going long on the lawn. Things to like here. Aside from a race where she broke through the gate pre-start ) which we always feel is a death knell ) #5 CHEERMEISTER owns a 4:3-1-0 ledger, and what the hell's wrong w/ that? #9 SEDUCER went coast to coast like butter and toast at a whopping 16-1 first time out for Clement/Rosario ( whaaaat ?? ), and returns today with Lasix being part of the makeup.  OFF TURF: 5-1-3-7-13(AE)


Race  8 

1.Garter and Tie

2.Bourbon Resolution


#2 GARTER AND TIE got up in time to win his lone tray off a break in the action, and did such in a near identical spot 15+ months ago, hanging up an adj. Beyer of a 105.8. Obviously that figure probably won't be attainable here, but anything close to it just may get the job done. Would be aided by a lot of action up front. #5 BOURBON RESOLUTION owns a win & a 3rd from as many tries after being out of action, and is 4:2-1-0 when toting 118 or less ( 8:1-0-3 at 119 or > ). Definitely needed the break & class relief. #7 JACKSON has that type of "declining" record which we've grown to love, as it shows he has a nose for the line; logical.   


Race  9 

1.Smart Shot

2.La Signare ( Fr )

3.Zofelle ( Ire )

#4 SMART SHOT possesses a win and a neck defeat from three "second off a L/O" jammies, and is a decent 3:1-1-0 @ the trip to boot. Three returnees from the last amassed a 3:1-1-1 mark from one singular race, and there's a jock upgrade in play here as well. #6 LA SIGNARE (FR) is 3rd off the shelf for the first time in her career & may land a share. After scoring in her first three calls to the post in N.A., #2 ZOFELLE (IRE) got smacked around pretty good down in the Bayou, but lost by just 2 1/2 from the 12 hole. Walsh charge draws more favorably here, and poses a big threat with more of a ground saving sojourn.  OFF TURF: 8-2-3-9-10


Race  10

1.Get Explicit

2.Irisa ( Arg )

3.Beale Street

#9 GET EXPLICIT hasn't done much to get the heart thumping in about a year & a half, but we always go back three races to find something positive, and the November 30th event north of the border was her best of four on the carpet fibers. Now by prorating that to this one's finest work on the verde...welllll, okay, we're reaching a bit. But truth be told, we only eliminated two of the dozen signed on at first glance, so why not try and find something positive about a longshot? #3 IRISA (ARG) was a non entity in her initial American deal, but has hit the board in all three similar layoff scenarios, and the shades are now left in the tack room. #1 BEALE STREET has completed the triple in both "3rd off the bral" tries, and has partaken in the triple in seven of eight on the greens turf.  OFF TURF: 2-10-11-12-3


Race  11

1.Dream Marie 

2.Sunset Promise


Don't really have a good read on this heat, so tread lightly.  #8 DREAM MARIE has done some wonderful work since switching surfaces, and $25,000 grey gal was a wide -- but solid -- third in the Davona Dale right here at the end of February. Being an Unbridled's Song out of a Curlin Mare, the extension from one turn to two shouldn't be that much of a problem, and not only do we LOVE the back to back bullets for a runner that likes to come from off the pace, but how can you not root for a 3% rider in a spot such as this? #12 SUNSET PROMISE has been pretty much all about the green in her trips to the gate, but there was in fact a 3rd place finish on the sand right here last May ( against the boys ) and Flo sees fit to ride. #3 SPARTANKA rounds out the top three. 


Race  12

1.Spooky Channel


3.Prince of Arabia

#3 SPOOKY CHANNEL tossed in a clunker last time out when improperly brought to within three lengths of the lead off a 46 and 2, but the start just prior was more like it, as chestnut chap was perfectly spotted all the way around to grind out a Grade 3 win at 36-1. Needs some things to go his way, fer sure, but also needs a flawless ride. We'll pin our hopes to the latter at double digit odds. #4 CURRENT was prepped for this with an honest showing at Tampa Bay Downs 22 days back, and has some decent back class. #6 PRINCE OF ARABIA has gotten the job done in one of three at the dx. and may jazz things up a bit.  OFF TURF: 10-1-5-3-4


Race  13


2.English Bee

3.Louder than Bombs

#5 MARAUD is one of two off a sabbatical, 5:2-0-3 at GP ( 13:2-1-4 otherwise ), and from a speed figure perspective, is an extremely consistent sort. We like that this one can rate and win, or get the job done from the back of the pack. Quite often in graded events such as this those entering from a non stakes event often get overlooked at the windows, but this one fought the good fight against optional foes a month and a half, and deserves your "rispetto". #1 ENGLISH BEE was a gamely runner up in his lone start when starting from the wood, and is a crisp 3 for 6 @ the dist.. #9 LOUDER THAN BOMBS comes from way downtown, but dead heated for third at boxcar odds vs. similar foes when last in action, and his best results have come going this distance of ground.  OFF TURF: 13(AE)-5-2-12-4  NOTE:AS OF 4:43 P.M. THURSDAY, WE HAVE AMENDED OUR SELECTIONS TO 11-5-1.


Race  14

1.Tiz the Law

2.My First Grammy

3.As Seen On Tv

It almost seems like yesterday that I was throwing one of my patented barbecues up at Saratoga, toasting Jack Knolwton's & Sackatoga Stables' purchase of #7 TIZ THE LAW after the 2018 Sartaoga sales, only the horse wasn't "Tiz the Law" then -- just a colt by Constitution out of a Tiznow mare. But we all toasted as we've done after other purchases, and hoped for the best. Well, the horse has in fact turned out to be something special. We all knew prior to the first start when he was besting a stakes runner in the mornings. All that being said, while many may point out to one of his three wins as being his best performance, it was the 3/4 length loss at Churchill that we consider his finest showing. "What? An 80 Beyer?" Yup. NEVER had a chance to stretch his legs that day, but for the last 16th, and believe it or not, this one is STILL figuring it out. Three returnees from the Holy Bull returned to ring up a cumulative 3:1-1-0-1 mark, with an avg. improvement of 10.3 points., & we always like horses dropping weight off a tall, as TTL is. Chances looking solid for this one to send everyone to the Derby ( whenever that is ) -- for Bruce.  Sure, #8 MY FIRST GRAMMY is a maiden, but he's improved w/each start & being by Curlin out of a Giant's Causeway dam, should relish the 2nd turn. Lone sibling was 4-10 in dirt routes, banking 50 large. #1 AS SEEN ON TV regressed a bit when making that second "left hand turn" for the 1st time in the Fountain of Youth, but sometimes it takes an an animal a couple'a tries before figuring that out, and the prior efforts tell us that it's quite feasible. 


Gulfstream      ( Current ):        4-52     ( $42.10 )   Beatable Favorites    0-2    ( 0% )       Favorites Win %     21-52     ( 40.4% ) ( As of Saturday Morning ) 

Aqueduct Winter  ( Final ):     65-427    ( $615.10 )  Beatable  Favorites  8-18  ( 44.4% )   Favorites Win %:   174-427 ( 40.8% ) 

Graded Stakes ( Current ):       2-8        ( $25.60 )    Beatable Favorites    N/A   (  N/A )      Favorites Win %:     2-8      ( 25.0% )

All Triple Crown, Breeders' Cup, Selected Grade 1's and Travers full days  ( These are also counted in the "Dirt Tracks" category ):

( 2013-2020 Final ) 64-411  ( $581.30 ) Beatable Favorites: 18-56 ( 32.1% ) Favorite's Win %: 139-411 (33.8%)  +/-: -29.2% against a 16.8% takeout  

Poly Tracks2013-16  (All Final): 85-568          ( $819.20 )  Beatable Favorites : 15-68      ( 22.1% )Favorite's Win %: 163-587      ( 27.7% ) +/-: -27.6%  against a 15.6% takeout

Dirt Tracks  2013-20 (All Final):2511-12426 ($21,132.80)  Beatable Favorites : 343-1222( 28.1% )Favorite's Win %: 4751-12529 ( 37.9% ) +/-: -15.3%  against a 16.8% takeout

Cumulative Stats      (All Final): 2596-12995 ($21,953.00)  Beatable Favorites : 350-1272( 27.5% )Favorite's Win %: 4739-12689 ( 37.4% ) +/-: -15.4%  against a 16.6% takeout