By Tom Quigley
$48,000 Allowance Optional Claiming at Gulfstream Park
Race 12 (Saturday, April 11, 2020: 5:54 p.m./ET; 2:54 p.m./PT)
Six furlongs on the main track (Fillies and mares, four-years-old and upward)
Eight of the nine filly & mare sprinters entered in Race 12 have run in stakes races (many were against graded company), so there’s no doubt there’s some quality to this field. Here’s my analysis:
#1 PRINCESS CAUSEWAY makes her four-year-old debut for trainer Ian Wilkes, who wins at 6% with trainees making their first start off a layoff between 61-180 days. Additionally, she must overcome a poor inside draw and her best runs have come at farther distances. We’ll take a wait and see approach.
#2 J P’S DELIGHT sports a four-for-five lifetime record, with her lone loss coming over this track in the Inside Information (G2) three months ago. Her most recent win, a romping victory at Tampa Bay Downs, was a beauty as she earned a career high 94 Beyer Speed Figure. She likes to be close to the pace, so expect her jockey to send her hard early as there is plenty of other speed drawn outside of her.
#3 MOLTO BELLA, the second Ian Wilkes trainee in the field, has failed to fire in a pair of recent stakes races. She is likely to sit off the pace, which could be beneficial given there is a hot pace expected, but this is not an easy group by any means and recent form suggests she needs to pick up the pace to win.
#4 LIZA STAR will be up close to the pace. Speedy Florida-bred comes off an easy second level allowance win over this track, a surface in which 9 of her 10 career victories have occurred. She also appears best at this distance, with a half dozen recorded at this six panels. Her ‘A’ effort makes her competitive.
#5 VIOLENT TIMES has competed on turf in her last five starts. She makes her second start off a two-and-half-month break, having most recently finished third in the March 7 Captive Island Stakes being graded stake caliber turf sprinter GIRLS KNOW BEST. Her best speed figures have come while racing on the grass, so she needs to run her best race ever on dirt to win this.
#6 STARSHIP BONITA makes her 2020 debut and her conditioner is 0-for-20 with his runners making their first start off a layoff over 180 days. Pass.
#7 HEIRESSALL failed to fire in a Grade 3 affair over this track last month. She raced at this level two starts ago, where she went off as the 9/5 second choice before finishing a non-threatening third. In the fall, she finished second in a pair of Florida-bred stakes races while earning solid speed figures. Is the leading career money earner leader in the field, but her poor recent form is something to be a bit concerned about.
#8 JAKARTA is a speedy mare that will likely go to the lead. She makes her second start for the Mike Maker barn after an easy gate to wire win sprinting five furlongs on grass.
#9 PACIFIC GALE hasn’t raced since finishing off the board in a pair of graded stakes races over the summertime. Trainer John Kimmel wins at 18% with his trainees making their first start off a layoff longer than 180 days and top jockey Luis Saez takes the call.
1. #9 PACIFIC GALE - Figures to get a perfect trip.
2. #4 LIZA’S STAR - Loves this track.
3. #2 JP’S DELIGHT - Obviously talented.
LONGSHOT VALUE PLAY - #7 HEIRESSALL - Fall form was sneaky good.
I’ll place my entire bankroll on my top pick to win.
BANKROLL PLAY ($50 Budget)
$50 Win: #9 PACIFIC GALE
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