By Tom Quigley
$100,000 Musical Romance at Gulfstream Park
Race 10 (Saturday, May 16, 2020: 5:24 p.m./ET; 2:24 p.m./PT)
Seven furlongs on the main track (Florida-bred fillies and mares, three-years-old and up)
The Musical Romance, named after the sensationally talented Florida-bred 2011 Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint winner, showcases nine Florida-bred distaffers in what looks like a wide-open affair. Here’s the field in post position order:
#1 LIZA STAR is a consistent gal who has been facing open company in recent starts, with her last three efforts resulting in top three finishes, including two starts back when she went gate to wire against a second level allowance field sprinting six furlongs. However, she is 0-for-7 at today’s distance and has finished behind #3 WILDWOOD’S BEAUTY in two previous starts.
#2 BELLERA is a Grade 3 winner making her first start off a fourth month layoff. Has never finished worse than second in the races in which she has crossed the wire, and her human connections are top class. All that said, she may be more effective while traveling a route of ground.
#3 WILDWOOD’S BEAUTY gets the services for the first time of world-renowned jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. and has finished in the top two in 12 of 13 lifetime starts and has also never finished worse than second in six starts at this distance. All signs indicate she is a must use on tickets.
#4 TWO SIXTY is the lone three-year-old in the field and freshens up three months for trainer Mark Casse after a poor effort routing in the Suncoast Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs. Her last win came two starts ago sprinting this seven-furlong distance. Speed figures indicate she needs to run a career best race to beat the main contenders.
#5 PICARA cuts back from a turf route to a dirt sprint after a fourth-place finish at 97/1 odds in the Sand Springs Stakes. She makes her career debut on a fast main track for jockey Rajiv Maragh and trainer Jorge Delgado, who win at an 18% clip together. Many questions to answer.
#6 STARSHIP BONITA ran well in Florida-bred sprint races throughout 2017 and 2018. However, she has run very poorly in her last three races and will need to pick up the pace to be competitive.
#7 LADY’S ISLAND loves Gulfstream Park, with a six-for-nine record over the South Florida oval, and enters the race for a trainer (Georgina Baxter) who is 15-for-51 (29%) this year. She only has one way to go, so expect her to soar to the front and try to stay there throughout.
#8 OCEANS OF LOVE makes her first start of 2020 after a series of races in Canada over the fall last year. This second Mark Casse entrant comes off of two straight gate-to-wire victories against allowance foes at Woodbine over their synthetic surface.
#9 J P’S DELIGHT is a lightly raced filly that either wins or runs poorly and was last seen fading badly in a second level allowance race sprinting six furlongs. That said, she sports a three-for-four record when traveling seven panels, with one of those wins occurring two starts ago, a race in which she earned a 94 Beyer Speed Figure.
- #9 J P’S DELIGHT – Perfect outside draw.
- #7 LADY’S ISLAND - Win machine.
- #3 WILDWOODS BEAUTY - Ultra consistent.
LONGSHOT VALUE PLAY - #1 LIZA STAR - Can outrun her odds.
I’ll make a straight win bet on my top pick and box my top three selections in exactas.
BANKROLL PLAY ($50 Budget)
$20 Win: #9 J P’S DELIGHT
$5 Exacta Box: #3 WILDWOODS BEAUTY and #7 LADY’S ISLAND and #9 J P’S DELIGHT ($30).
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