By Tom Quigley
$200,000 Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2) at Gulfstream Park
Race 11 (Saturday, March 28, 2020: 4:49 p.m./ET; 1:49 p.m./PT)
Mile and a sixteenth on the main track (three-year-old fillies)
The late Pick 4 sequence at Gulfstream Park this Saturday has a guaranteed pool of $500,000, with leg 1 going as race 11 on the card, the Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2), which drew a full field of three-year-old fillies looking to use this race as a steppingstone to the Kentucky Oaks (G1). Let’s get to the analysis:
#1 INVETERATE was a romping winner of a one-turn mile maiden special weight at Aqueduct last month where she got an easy lead and set soft fractions before drawing off down the stretch. Is unlikely to receive the same setup while facing much tougher in this spot.
#2 BAJAN GIRL is another one who enters this run fresh off a maiden win, where she raced on the turf and sat off the pace before producing a late rally in the final furlong. Makes her first career start over a dry dirt track.
#3 SPARTANKA took thirteen tries to break her maiden but finally got the job done on February 23 while racing at a one-turn mile. She now moves to two-turns for the first time while tackling winners for trainer Mike Maker.
#4 LAKE AVENUE makes her second start off a three-month vacation for Hall of Famer Bill Mott, who strikes at 24% with his trainees making their second start off a 45-180-day layoff. In her last start, she went off as the 4/5 favorite and ran fourth, beaten nine lengths, in the Busher Invitational at Aqueduct. Her two-year-old form makes her a threat.
#5 SPICE IS NICE is a royally bred filly who was purchased for seven figures as a yearling. She kicked off her racing career with a romping maiden win before finishing second in her most recent start, the Davona Dale (G2), and hitting the wire a length-and-a-quarter behind #9 TONALIST’S SHAPE. Interestingly, jockey John Velazquez has ridden this filly twice and lands on the ‘other’ Pletcher entrant, #10 MRS. S.
#6 SWISS SKYDIVER was well beaten while finishing third behind FINITE and Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) champion BRITISH IDIOM in the Rachel Alexandra (G2) at the Fair Grounds last month. Her only career win in four starts came when breaking her maiden at Churchill in November. One of the top jockeys at Gulfstream, Paco Lopez, rides for the first time.
#7 LUCREZIA was a dominant winner of the Suncoast Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs and makes her career debut against graded stakes company in this spot. She has tactical speed but does not necessarily need the lead, and her form appears to be going in an upward trajectory. She sports two bullet workouts leading up to this race, too.
#8 DREAM MARIE settled for third behind #9 TONALIST’S SHAPE and #5 SPICE IS NICE in the Davona Dale (G2). Her breeding suggests racing a farther distance won’t be an issue and maybe she can make up a few lengths on the aforesaid duo if she is able to save a little more ground this time.
#9 TONALIST’S SHAPE is an undefeated daughter of Belmont Stakes winner TONALIST that tries two turns for the first time. Her trainer, Saffie Joseph Jr., is on a roll at the current Gulfstream meet, and top jockey Tyler Gaffalione retains the mount. Impossible to knock; the one to beat.
#10 MRS. S adds blinkers after an easy gate-to-wire maiden special weight win on a fast track going a mile-and-an-eighth. Looks like the longer price of the two Pletcher entrants.
#11 ADDILYN lost by double digit lengths in the Davona Dale (G2) while being dispatched at 112/1 that day. Next.
#12 SUNSET PROMISE must overcome an undesirable outside post position. She broke her maiden as a 2-year-old on grass in June of 2019 but has lost six straight races against winners since then, all of which came on turf. On paper, others look more appealing.
#13 FOUR GRANDS needs a scratch to draw into the race from the also eligible list.
#14 MARIALUISA needs two defections to draw into the main body of the field.
1. #9 TONALIST’S SHAPE - Undefeated filly looks to continue her winning ways.
2. #5 SPICE IS NICE - Needs to make up a length on the top choice.
3. #4 LAKE AVENUE - Give her another chance?
LONGSHOT VALUE PLAY-#7 LUCREZIA - Bump ups in class after big Tampa Bay Downs win.
All or nothing on my top choice.
BANKROLL PLAY ($50 Budget)
$50 Win: #9 TONALIST’S SHAPE
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