By Tom Quigley
$75,000 Powder Break at Gulfstream Park
Race 9 (Saturday, May 16, 2020: 4:52 p.m./ET; 1:52 p.m./PT) One mile on turf (fillies and mares, three-years-old and up)
The $75,000 Powder Break features the return of Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) runner up GOT STORMY and French import #1 NOOR SAHARA. With wet weather in the forecast, a number of dirt track specialists have entered with the possibility of the race being taken off the turf. Let’s discuss each contenders’ chances:
#1 NOOR SAHARA (IRE) runs on Lasix for the first time while also making her first start in North America for trainer Chad Brown. Daughter of LOPE DE VEGA hasn’t been seen since the summertime in France, where she finished off the board in three straight races. In one of those starts, she finished eleventh, but only lost by four lengths in a Group 1 race…not bad.
#2 JAKARTA is your likely pacesetter. However, she races against stakes company for the first time as well as making her career debut routing. She’ll need to produce a career best effort.
#3 BELLA CIAO is entered for the main track only and Irad Ortiz Jr. is slated to ride if #1 NOOR SAHARA were to scratch due to a surface switch.
#4 VALEDICTORIAN was a game third behind classy mare LA SIGNARE in her most recent start two months ago. She has failed to make a trip to the winner’s circle in four straight races, but her speed figures signals she is a legit contender in this field.
#5 SILVER KITTEN has raced solely on grass in 11 lifetime starts. Three of her last four starts have resulted in winners circle appearances, and her two-back effort, a runner up finish in the Honey Fox (G3), was outstanding. Player if the race stays on grass.
#6 GREAT SISTER DIANE hasn’t been seen since a double-digit length loss in the Suwannee River (G3) in January. Her last three starts have all been subpar. Passing.
#7 VALIANCE sports a three-for-three lifetime record and makes her first start off a ten-and-a-half-month layoff. Her trainer (Todd Pletcher) hits at an outstanding 29% win rate with his entrants making their first start off a layoff longer than 180 days.
#8 TAPIT TODAY is the second entrant in the field trained by Chad Brown and cuts back in distance after a third place finish behind next out winner and classy racemare STARSHIP JUBILEE in the Suwannee River (G3).
#9 GOODBYE BROCKLEY raced over a sloppy surface, scoring by four lengths at a big number (40/1). Even with a repeat effort, she’ll need to run faster to beat the best main track entrants in this spot. Low percentage human connections insure another big price today if you’re a believer.
#10 GOT STORMY is certainly the class of the race, losing by a neck to RIVER BOYNE in the Frank E. Kilroe Mile (G1) against the boys last time out. Her best effort wins it.
#11 W W FITZY was an eight-length winner of a second level allowance race over a fast main track last time. Surely the connections are doing a ‘rain dance’ in hopes this race comes off the turf.
1. #4 VALEDICTORIAN - Stakes quality turf router runs well on dirt too.
2. #3 BELLA CIAO - Main track only entrant will likely get in.
3. #11 W W FITZY – 7-for-13 lifetime.
LONGSHOT VALUE PLAY - #9 GOODBYE BROCKLEY - Runaway victory over a sloppy track last time.
There is going to be a lot of rain in Florida these next few days, which means this race is likely to be taken off the turf. As a result. I’ll play my top pick to win, who has stakes quality class and can run well effectively on the main track.
BANKROLL PLAY ($50 Budget)
$50 Win: #4 VALEDICTORIAN
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