By Tom Quigley
$46,000 Allowance Optional Claiming at Gulfstream Park
Race 11 (Saturday, April 11, 2020: 5:24 p.m./ET: 2:24 p.m./PT)
One mile and a sixteenth on turf (four-year-olds and upward)
Race 11 is a full field, wide-open turf scramble. Let’s try to analyze this puzzle and recommend some winning wagers:
#1 SUBLIME APPEAL ran huge at 24/1 odds while finishing three quarters of a length behind the winner at a similar condition three weeks ago. Since winning a $16K claimer four starts ago, this gutsy guy has been competitive (but hasn’t been able to win) against high claiming and allowance company. However, his speed figures indicate he is competitive against this group.
#2 PRINCE OF ARABIA won a $50K claimer on the dirt last time, but is now entered for a $35K tag today as he has already cleared this condition. Note is he just 1-for-14 on turf.
#3 GO AWAY makes his first start off the claim for trainer Eddie Plesa Jr. after a runner up finish in a $25K claimer for runners who have never won 3 races.
#4 SUPREME AURA freshens up after a $40K claiming win at Aqueduct in February over a sloppy dirt track. He also makes his first start off the claim for trainer David Fawkes. Interestingly, he has only run once on grass, with the lone effort resulting in an off the board finish. Top Florida jockey Paco Lopez has the call.
#5 BLUERIDGE MOUNTAIN is a lightly raced gelding that makes his first career start on grass. Has been working in the mornings on turf at Palm Meadows in preparation for this start and picks up the services of well-respected jockey Tyler Gaffelione.
#6 NOTSOSUBTLE hasn’t been seen since September of 2018. He also makes his first start for trainer Armando De La Cerda, who is 1-for-12 (8%) with his trainees making their first starts off a layoff longer than 180 days.
#7 GENTLEMAN JOE has hit the board at this condition in his last two starts, both of which were run at Tampa Bay Downs. Since returning from the layoff, he has improved every race, and if he can take another step forward, he might be able to run big at what will probably be a juicy price.
#8 CONVICTION TRADE freshens up two months for trainer Jorge Abreu after two straight losses against first level allowance foes. Barn is cold, but connections paid $275,000 for him at 2017 Keeneland September sale, so expectations at one point were high.
#9 FIFTH TITLE didn’t fire in a $40K claimer over this turf course last time out and has yet to be competitive in three races over the Gulfstream Park lawn.
#10 BATTLE OF BLENHEIM has won his last two races, both against high level claimers and over this turf course. Will surely get bet with good form and top human connections in mind.
#11 HONEY WON’T was a dominant five length winner against starter allowance company in January for Hall of Famer Bill Mott. Like his rival to the inside, this colt has shown pace versatility in previous starts.
#12 HIEROGLYPHICS makes his first start off the claim for trainer Mike Maker after a third-place finish against $40K claimers. Gelding’s poor post position is cause for pause.
#13 BASHA is one of three also eligibles that will need a scratch in order to draw in.
#14 SOUPER SCAT DADDY is the second of three also eligibles.
#15 CARBON DATA is the final also eligible.
1. #10 BATTLE OF BLENHEIM - Maker and Saez team up.
2. #8 CONVICTION TRADE - Easier competition this time.
3. #1 SUBLIME APPEAL - Exotics contender.
LONGSHOT VALUE PLAY - #7 GENTLEMAN JOE - Showing an improving pattern.
I’ll box my top selections in exactas in addition to keying my top pick over my other three selections in trifectas. I’ll finish off the wagers with a $2 win bet on my longshot value play
BANKROLL PLAY ($50 Budget)
$3 Exacta Box: #1 SUBLIME APPEAL and #7 GENTLEMAN JOE and #8 CONVICTION APPEAL and #10 BATTLE OF BLENHEIM ($36).
$2 Trifecta Key: #10 BATTLE OF BLENHEIM over #1 SUBLIME APPEAL and #7 GENTLEMAN JOE and #8 CONVICTION TRADE ($12).
$2 Win: #7 GENTLEMAN JOE
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