By Emily Shields
Ten races are on tap Thursday, January 17 at Gulfstream Park with the late Pick 4 going as races 7 through 10. The four races have a combined 49 runners, including several also eligible who will not draw in, but the overall feel is that this is a tough sequence.
The first leg – race 7 – is a five-furlong sprint on the grass for three-year-old maidens. Half of the field of 13 (two are main track only entrants) have never started, including Todd Pletcher-trained firster #5 Standup (5-1 morning line), by Into Mischief. Standup is a half-brother to millionaire sprinter Kobe’s Back, and fired a bullet on the grass at Palm Beach Downs three works back. #9 Vehement (7-2) for Bill Mott has run fourth in both of his starts, cuts back in distance today and is sired by War Front. The Wesley Ward-trained #10 Zipaway (4-1), by City Zip, is also worth a look in his debut.
The second leg is a $20,000 claiming event for sophomores going a mile on the main track. 10 are entered in the wide-open affair, with #2 Junipero Avenue (5-1) making his second start since joining the Michael Trombetta barn. #4 Vampa (6-1) and #5 Our Pride (6-1) offer similar prices; the former is two for five lifetime while the latter is one for three at Gulfstream Park. #6 Organic Jenny (7-2) has been first or second in his last two starts. #8 Saint Michael (8-1) has only started three times, and is stretching out past 6 ½ furlongs for the first time.
The third leg (race 9) is a $35,000 claimer for older horses at a mile on the turf. #3 Black Sea (7-2) is a six-year-old gelding making his first start since November over the synthetic track at Woodbine; that was against allowance company. #4 Sycamore Lane (5-2) is six for 21 lifetime and won on the grass at Aqueduct last out. #9 Night Prowler (3-1), by Giant’s Causeway, drops down; two back he was fifth in a grade 2 event on the grass at Belmont Park.
The sequence wraps up with another sprint for a $20,000 tag, with three-year-old fillies going 7 ½ furlongs on the grass. There is a field of 12 with four horses on the outside looking to get in. #2 Secret Alchemy (9-2) will make her second lifetime start and her first since her October debut at Belmont where she finished seventh. #3 Secret O’Life (8-5) will be well regarded after finishing second or third in her last three starts. #4 For Reef’s Sake (10-1) makes the switch to grass for trainer Mark Casse after her debut was taken off the grass in December.
Gulfstream’s first post on Thursday is 12:35pm Eastern.
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