Weekend Stakes Preview for 2/27/16 Selections for Stakes run on Saturday, 02-27-16

Mohaymen leads small but high quality field of three year olds in Gulfstream’s Fountain of Youth Stakes selections (GP Race 12):

1st – #6 Mohaymen

2nd – #2 Zulu

3rd – #1 Fellowship

4th – #5 Awesome Banner

5th – #4 Awesome Speed

6th – #3 Golden Ray

This field is loaded with runners, and it is possible two or three from this weekend’s 8.5 furlong race will go on to compete for the Roses in Louisville on May 7th.  MOHAYMEN has never lost, and proved he can handle the Gulfstream Park layout in his last race.  Good to see the Kentucky Derby favorite is going to get three prep races (Holy Bull, Fountain of Youth, Florida Derby).  Catch him to cash.  ZULU is the inside speed, always an advantage going 8.5 furlongs on the main track.  FELLOWSHIP has low speed figures but almost always fires late, consistently putting up strong BRIS Late Pace (LP) figures.  He might benefit from an early speed duel and get into the trifecta at good odds.  AWESOME BANNER is the outside speed and has run big speed figures, but to my eyes he is built very much like a sprinter and I would find it unlikely he can beat the top two choices to the wire going a route.  AWESOME SPEED is a very nice horse that may need more seasoning to show his best, as this is his only second route race.  GOLDEN RAY appears to be completely outclassed in this strong field.


Manhattan Dan tries shorter 5 furlong distance in Gulfstream’s $75,000 Texas Glitter Turf Sprint selections (GP Race 1):

1st – #7 Manhattan Dan

2nd – #6 Noholdingback Bear

3rd – #9 Francesco Blue

4th – #8 Drama Club

MANHATTAN DAN has run all over the continent against the best runners of his crop, including leading the BC Juvenile Turf field into deep stretch.  He’s not a cinch because sometimes he can be a really poor finisher, but his best three races were around 1 turn on the grass.  NOHOLDINGBACK BEAR has never won on dirt, but has the best “sprint numbers” if you count his dirt races and he did break his maiden on the Woodbine Polytrack by five lengths.  His pedigree for grass is OK, and he certainly can win if ‘Dan blows up.  Larry Pilotti has a great record with horses coming back after 90 days or longer (25% strike rate for a 98% flat bet profit), and FRANCESCO BLUE did break its maiden on the grass, although in slow time.  DRAMA CLUB broke its maiden on turf and just ran very well on an “all weather” surface in Ocala.  He’s second off the layoff here and really does not need to improve much to be a factor.


The all-powerful X Y Jet heads the Grade 3 Gulfstream Park Handicap Selections (GP Race 4):

1st – #5 X Y Jet

2nd – #7 Trouble Kid

3rd – #4 Ready for Rye

4th – #1 Candip

Since X Y JET was shipped to South Florida this winter, he has been a sprinting machine, winning his South Florida races by an average of 6 lengths.  Catch him to cash in the 6.5 furlong dash.  TROUBLE KID drew well and usually puts in a strong effort.  READY FOR RYE has always had a better reputation than his main track consistency warranted (note:  he has only 1 win in 5 fast track starts).  Figures to try to tussle with the top selection on the front end.  CANDIP is a solid sprinter that might find a good trip on the inside off the speed.  He is worth using in horizontal bets if you think X Y JET is vulnerable.


Some of the East’s Best Three Year Old Fillies Compete for KY Oaks points in the Grade 2 Davona Dale Selections (GP Race 5):

1st – #5 Catherine Sophia

2nd– #4 Lewis Bay

3rd – #2 Dearest

4th – #6 R Girls a Charmer

Although CATHERINE SOPHIA has a great record sprinting, but she broke slowly last time and finished her race on the wrong lead.  Those behaviors get a horse beat sooner or later.  Do not take too short a price; this is a very strong field today at the one mile distance.  LEWIS BAY showed last year she could sprint (breaking her maiden by six lengths) and Chad Brown rarely enters horses in stakes that are not well prepared.  DEAREST might have the most talent of anybody in this race.  Much respect.  I do get the feeling today is as far as she wants to go, however.  R GIRLS A CHARMER is a small horse that got handed a very soft lead against overmatched fillies at Tampa in her last.  The water gets about 6 feet deeper here.


Some of the East’s Best Three Year Old Turf Fillies Compete in the Grade 3 Herecomesthebride Stakes Selections (GP Race 6):

1st – #8 Catch a Glimpse

2nd – #4 Lira

3rd – #2 Hold Harmless

4th – #1 Pulled the Goalie

CATCH A GLIMPSE’s two best career races win this 8.5 furlong race easily.  The Mark Casse operation was terrible with Airoforce at Fair Grounds last weekend.  Let’s hope this filly makes amends.  LIRA is three for three on grass, should be able to compete very well at this level.  HOLD HARMLESS is another late developer for Shug McGauhey and Stuart Janney.  She adds value for the exotics.  PULLED THE GOALIE can compete for a top 3 finish.


Long On Value returns for Gulfstream’s One Mile Grade 3 Canadian Turf Stakes Selections (GP Race 8):

1st – #3 Long On Value

2nd – #8 Heart to Heart

3rd – #7 Avanzare

4th – #1 Tower of Texas

After running well at Santa Anita, Gulfstream and Keeneland last season, LONG ON VALUE makes his return.  I love the switch to Florent Geroux, who is excellent on the grass and rides well in big races.  HEART TO HEART is THE speed and figures to run well again.  AVANZARE has been very competitive in California and fits with this group.  He appears to have been pointed to this spot.  TOWER OF TEXAS may need Woodbine’s much longer stretch but can be a factor from the rail.


Older Mares Battle on the Turf in the One Mile, $100,000 Sand Springs

 Bet Selectons (GP Race 9):

1st – #5 Hope Cross

2nd – #1 Celestine

3rd – #9 Sweetie Girl

4th – #11 Uchenna

5th – #14 Sawyer

HOPE CROSS just needs a little improvement to win here.  Slight class drop from Grade 3 can get it done.  CELESTINE has run very well in three of her last 4 starts.  Can save a lot of ground in this huge field.  SWEETIE GIRL was ambitiously spotted in a Grade 3 last time, beat half the field.  She might have more punch at this shorter distance.  UCHENNA is extremely well bred for turf.  Her recent career efforts put her in the conversation.  SAWYER loves Gulfstream’s turf course and her speed figures are great, but her last win was the result of a dream trip and post 14 looks more like a nightmare today.


Three Year Olds Clash on the Turf in the 8.5 furlong, Grade 3, $150,000 Palm Beach Selections (GP Race 11):

1st – #8 Scholar Athlete

2nd – #3 Ousby

3rd – #6 Urban Bourbon

4th – #11 Converge

5th – #14 Azar

SCHOLAR ATHLETE had a really rough trip last time, hoping to get a nice price in a wide open race.  OUSBY has great speed but is moving up.  Figures to get some pressure today.  URBAN BOURBON should be competitive this weekend, coming back again in a Grade 3.  CONVERGE was a monster last year.  If he is taking serious tote action consider him a strong win candidate.  AZAR was OK last year, his best puts him in the mix.  Post 14 is no bargain though.

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