Just a chalky winner on the day for us yesterday, but those that play our "unders" were somewhat rewarded, as five of our 2nd choices got home at payouts of $28, $11, $4, $6, and $8. It ain't much, but it kept our rollers rolling !

Great new book just in time for the holidays put out by C.J. Johnsen of Kentucky Downs entitled "Ride to Win", an inside look into the jockey's craft. It explores everything that goes into winning race from a rider's perspective, to how they land mounts and plan strategy, and what they're thinking during the race ! It's a great read, and check out the link right here ! 

Today's Beatable Favorite(s): None

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Gulfstream Park - 12/18


Race 1-

1.Viva Bertha

2.Starship Jodi


#3 VIVA BERTHA has been giving them what for up in Chi-town this year, ringing up 5 wins and 4 seconds from as many starts. Most of those have been in the starter condition, and man, if you can claim the right horse and now how to read a condition book, you can basically print money. Mare was getting it done on both the turf and poly, and seems to be solid here, especially with Javier getting the nod. #2 STARSHIP JODI is another one in peak form these days, having crashed the tri in 10 of 11 dating back to last May. Seven year old is the quintessential horse for the course, with that declining local record that I love to see ( 20:8-4-1 ), but is doubled in claiming price today, so we'll leave underneath. #6 MAYDELL is a gem of consistency, having hit the board in 15 of 17 here, while amassing a 5 for 5 exacta boxscore at the distance. Prado slated to ride, but he's banged up so check the changes.  OFF TURF: 9-4-6-2-3


Race 2-

1.El Amirante


3.Romeo Lima

#2 EL AMIRANTE may not look that spectacular on paper, but in reality this one has finished within 5 lengths of the winner in 12 of 13 firm turf events, and often gets overlooked at the windows, so you should still be getting a square number today. Slight edge in a tough affair. #4 VEYA was treading water in the maiden ranks up in New York for quite some time until good guy Ribaudo found a soft spot for this one in Penn National to get the diploma back in September. That seemed to be a bit of a confidence booster, as he's done admirably against winners since then, and now gets Castellano for the seasonal debut down here. #5 ROMEO LIMA has been setting money ablaze since winning at first asking in France last July, losing eight straight at average odds of $1.88-1. That aside, this one is now in for a tag for Clement for the first time, and as this well bred three year old still has all his parts, I wouldn't be surprised to see both a solid effort and a slip being dropped.  OFF TURF:3-5-2-1-4


Race 3-

1.Rockin Ronda

2.Happy's Twins

3.Aly Cruise

#1 ROCKIN RONDA has always been solid on the lawn from a speed figure standpoint, and is now dropped to a career low ( 16K ) after being claimed for nearly twice that amount by Klesaris just two starts ago. Saez got this one home in their only pairing 21 months ago, and is reunited with the filly today. Meekest of choices in a slightly indecipherable race. #3 HAPPY'S TWINS is also one with a decent body of work that's on the dropdown today. Hasn't been seen in over a third of a year, so take a gander pre-race. #4 ALY CRUISE is yet another at her bottom level here, and has as good a chance as any for the show dough. 3-1-7-4-9


Race 4-

1.Concert Stage

2.Golden Rifle

3.Saffron Hall

#5 CONCERT STAGE gallantly makes his 54th start today at the mature age of 8, and he's still getting the job done, having hit the board in 2/3rd's of his 18 starts this year alone ! There may actually be some hidden form here with this one, as his last start was over soft turf, and during the course of his career he's proven to be aomewhat better over firm going. ( Of course with frogs falling out of the sky here the last two weeks, who the hell knows what the turf will be like today. ) The amount of positives to list with this one are too innumerable to mention, the best of which is the addition of "the Stone Faced Killer" in the irons. There's a little history between these two, as they paired up for a solid runner up finish om March 26---of 2010 ! #6 GOLDEN RIFLE has been facing some salty critters of late, but has big figs, and that type of turf record that I love to see ( 17:7-4-1 ). That stakes in September has produced no less than three next out winners; completely sensible. #2 SAFFRON HALL is 9 for 15 on the sod, and switches back to Castellano today, with whom they're 1 for 1 as a duet. Must use. OFF TURF: 1-5-7-10-4


Race 5-

1.Johns Kitten

2.Fair Prospect

3.Old Sport

Today's 5th will be the FIFTH ( and final ) consecutive turf race of the day ( not quite sure I've seen that before ), so of course we'll go with the #5 JOHNS KITTEN. Reminds me of the Gabe Kaplan joke from 'Welcome Back Kotter' about the number 5 ( and YES, it involves horse racing ! ). The video of it can be found right here ! --- This Abbott trainee has had some excuses in each and every start ( 5 wide, likely bled, 2 1/2 month layoff, bumped & stumbled, 6 1/2 month L/O, 4 & 5 wide ) but today the breaks just may go his way. He's 3rd off the bench, sheds 4 pounds, draws well, and is running on a surface where his career best number was earned. Price'll be solid enough. #1 FAIR PROSPECT was a well clear 2nd against similar across town On October 29, and is in the 2nd off the layoff portion of his form cycle today. Draws nicely beneath Panici, and will either send, or attempt to become the 'pocket rocket'; Nehei as good a trainer as a person, and wouldn't be surprised if she made some noise down here this winter. #3 OLD SPORT is another 2nd time off the absence here ( for those that are curious, I consider "layoffs" to be 67 days on the turf, and 50 days on the dirt ), and earned an adjusted number of 91.4 right here back in February. Kind of odd to see Castellano and Jihnny land elsewhere, tho.  OFF TURF: 13-15(MTO)-6-7-2


Race 6-



3.Drinks After Work

#1 ALCARAVAN had a somewhat troubled sojourn but still managed to snag the show spot in a strung out field a week ago, and is more than halved in claiming price today off that effort. Beat tougher at C.R.C. just before that, so it's not out of the realm of possibility for this one to give a good account of himself once again, especially when you see that he's 1 for 2 when breaking from the wood in a one turn dirt race, and 0-9 when starting from other slots in similar spots. #9 SUPERSIXPHIL goes for the hat trick today, and does it over a surface he's never tried before. Hennessey as the dam sire says that it shouldn't be too much of an issue, and gets a bit of post relief today, as he's broken from the 14, 10, and 14 holes in his last triad. #2 DRINKS AFTER WORK is another making his initial attempt over the brown stuff today, but has decent breeding for the stuff, slides down the ladder, and barn is off to a fine ( 6:2-0-3 ) start.


Race 7-



3.Woodford Pine

Really diggin' the #7 TEMPIETTO here. His collection of turf numbers far supersedes what anyone in this race has run, or ( IMHO ) is capable of running, and I actually believe that this one will even move forward on dirt. Makes 5th start in as many different tracks with what will most likely be his fifth different pilot ( check the changes ). No worse than 1-2-3 against this group. #9 ATILIUS fired off a big time effort in his first start off an elongated break when just missing against slightly cheaper a month back, and the 3rd place finisher from that day blitzed cheapies net time out ( 55 ). Adjusted number of 66.2 from the debut would work well here, and you'd be well served to keep this one in your rolling bets. #4 WOODFORD PINE hasn't been in action in over half'a year, but is in for a tag for the first time, owns some decent speed figures and makes his first start missing an extremely important appendage. Big shot.  NOTE: AS OF 2:54, DUE TO A LATE SCRATCH, THE #2 WILL BE OUR 3RD SELECTION.


Race 8-

1.Baby Antonella

2.Scotland Bay

3.Meeting Francis

The comment line from the debut for the #5 BABY ANTONELLA reads "Rallied" but in all actuality it should say "Improved position" as although she was 11th at the quarter and finished up 3rd, she only improved from 2 1/2 lengths to 2 1/4. Regardless, it was a nice effort, and 375 Tomlinson says to me that it was no fluke. Castellano gets the call today and we're expecting a big effort. #6 SCOTLAND BAY was a daylight clear runner up in most recent, and although the number came back a little low, she's been working nicely since the effort. Debut was in fact extremely solid, so we'll toss this one in the punch bowl. #4 MEETING FRANCIS has been moving smartly in the A.M.'s for Matz, and brings in tow a healthy Tommy of 390. Leaving underneath but will tab for later.


Race 9-


2.Pilot House

3.Mr. Ellie

#8 DESTIN proved to be every bit worth the $400,000 auction price when winning at first asking for Pletcher up at Elmont two months back, and lands into a soft spot while drawing well for return. #2 PILOT HOUSE may have finished dead last in the G-2 Nashua at Aqueduct last time out, but the Beyer went up by about 20% that day, and now he finds himself at a more palatable level. Top 3 finishers from that day ( the only ones to have run again ) finished 1-2-4 in the Remsen, so being 'Pilot showed speed against them, we'll consider him the top threat to our number one choice here. #3 MR. ELLIE went pillar to post at odds on in getting through the maiden ranks back in August, but as often happens with babies that put up big efforts, he was shelved for a bit since then. Race is having the looks of becoming a key race, as it has yielded two winners and two runner up finishers from 6 starters encompassing three races.


Race 10-

1.Pure Bliss

2.Nocturnal Q

3.Dancing My Way

Nice angle working with the #10 PURE BLISS here. Filly was eased in most recent when going two turns, and the only other time she went two turns, she was eased as well. Her next start ? Well it was a game win at 38 points higher than her only other start. Gal had hit the board in 4 of 5 prior to the decent debacle, and is at a cozy level today. Watch the board. #6 NOCTURNAL Q had gone up the Beyer ladder in 4 successive starts ( two of them wins ) before a somewhat troubled journey in last. Threat to rebound with a clean trip today. #2 DANCING MY WAY shoots for three straight today, and is chopped in price as well. Logical.


Gulfstream Stats ( Current ):         16-92    ( $129.00 )  Beatable Favorites:    2-9  ( 22.2% )Favorite's Win %: 35-92  ( 38.0% )

Gulfstream West Stats (Calder):   29-188  (  $198.20 ) Beatable Favorites:    4-29 ( 13.8% )Favorite's Win %: 64-188 ( 34.0% )+/-: -47.2% against a 17.0% takeout

Breeders' Cup Festival Stats:        6-31     (  $32.40 )  Beatable Favorites:     1-2  ( 50.0% )Favorite's Win %: 12-31 ( 32.2% )+/-: -47.6% against a 16.0% takeout

Keeneland Stats (2015 Final):     35-159  ( $328.60 ) Beatable Favorites:     5-15 ( 33.3% )Favorite's Win %: 59-159( 37.1% )+/-:  +3.3%  against a 16.0% takeout

Monmouth Stats  (2015 Final):     92-398  ( $619.80 ) Beatable Favorites:     8-25 ( 32.0% )Favorite's Win %:164-398( 41.2% )+/-: - 22.1% against a 17.0% takeout

Travers Day Stats(2015 Final):      3-13    ( $29.80 )  Beatable Favorite:       0-0  (   0.0% )Favorite's Win %:  6-13   ( 46.2% ) +/- : +16.5% against a 15.0% takeout

Santa Anita Stats(2015 Final):     67-290 ( $462.00 ) Beatable Favorites:   18-39 ( 46.2% ) Favorite's Win %:141-334( 42.2% ) +/-:  -20.4% against a 15.0% takeout

Belmont Stats     (2015 Final):       2-13     ($25.90 ) Beatable Favorites:      1-6  ( 16.7% ) Favorite's Win %:   2-13  ( 15.4% ) +/-:   even    against a  15.0% takeout

Pimlico Stats       (2015 Final):       1-14      ( $6.80 ) Beatable Favorites:      3-3  ( 100%  ) Favorite's Win %:   5-14  ( 35.7% ) +/-:  -75.7% against an 18.0% takeout

Churchill Stats     (2015 Final):      2-25    (  $15.40 ) Beatable Favorites:      2-4  ( 50.0% ) Favorite's Win %;   6-25  ( 24.0% ) +/-:  -69.0% against a 17.5% takeout

Keeneland Stats  (2015 Final):    39-139  ( $278.00 ) Beatable Favorites:     3-13 ( 23.1% ) Favorite's Win %: 56-139 ( 40.3% ) +/-:   even   against a 16.0% takeout

Gulfstream Stats (2015 Final): 163-848 ( $1,467.70 ) Beatable Favorites : 31-104 ( 29.8% ) Favorite's Win %: 330-848 (38.9%) +/-: -13.5% against a 17.0% takeout

All Triple Crown, Breeders' Cup, and Travers full days (Above Churchill, Pimlico, and Belmont included in dirt and cumulative numbers):

( 2014-2015 Final ): 28-158   ( $292.80 ) Beatable Favorites: 11-29 ( 37.9% ) Favorite's Win %: 55-158  ( 34.8% )  +/-: -7.4% against a 16.9% takeout                              

Poly Tracks 2014   (All Final): 83-557     ( $789.20 )  Beatable Favorites : 15-67   ( 22.4% ) Favorite's Win %: 160 -576  ( 27.8% ) +/-: -29.3% against a 15.6% takeout

Dirt Tracks 2014-5 (All Final): 690-3239 ($5,633.30) Beatable Favorites : 111-372( 29.8% ) Favorite's Win%: 1212-3302 ( 36.7% ) +/-: -14.4%  against a 17.0% takeout


Cumulative Stats (All Final): 773-3796 ($6,422.50) Beatable Favorites : 118-381 ( 29.7% ) Favorite's Win %: 1368-3878 ( 35.3% ) +/-: -15.4% against a 17.0% takeout