The $0.50 Pick 5 at Gulfstream has gone unhit the last two days at the south Florida track, triggering a $172,000 carryover into today's sequence. Today's Pick 5 will begin with race six at approximately 3:25 Eastern time (12:35 Pacific).
Today's Pick 5 sequence will involve the following races (and the field size of each):
Race 6: Maiden Special Weight (turf), 5f, 4up, F&M (9)
Race 7: Maiden Special Weight (turf), 8f, 3yo, (12)
Race 8: $10k Claiming, 8f, 4up (11)
Race 9: Allowance (turf), 11.5f, 4up, F&M (11)
Race 10: Starter Allowance (turf), 8.5f, 4up (12)
Get your turf handicapping on for this one as
three four of the five events are scheduled to go over the lawn, including an allowance event at 1 7/16 miles...a bit of an odd distance.
The Pick 5 kicks off with a turf sprint which is sort of a good news/bad news situation for me. The bad news is I can't pick a turf sprint winner to save my life. The good news is that I'll probably be out of the Pick 5 fast enough to avoid the agony of losing later on.
(The last race of the sequence provides an opportunity to play the old "last time vanned off" angle with the 12-Empty Handed.
I'll be spending the morning handicapping and mapping out my ticket as I plan on being firmly involved in this sequence.
UPDATE #1: The second leg of today's Pick 5 is a study in power trainer angels. Take a look at some of the numbers popping up for this 1 mile MSW on the lawn:
1-War Clan: Kiraran McLaughlin is 8-for-20 (40%, $5.11 $2 ROI) with 61-180 day layoff horses returning in MSW events on the lawn.
5-Artisanal: Todd Pletcher is 10/28 with 180+ layoff horses returning in MSW events on the lawn.
6-Caution Sign: Christophe Clement is 3-for-5 at Gulfstream this spring in MSW turf races.
It would appear that a ticket without any of those three would be quite vulnerable.
The fourth leg, the 1 7/16th mile turf race, has a very interesting 1st time North American runner, 8-La Luna de Miel (GER), that can't be ignored. The pedigree on this filly is stamina, stamina, stamina...and some more stamina. She'll face formidable opponents in the 4-Silk Route and the 10-Up in Lights, two fillies that finished 2-3 in a 12f N1X at GP last time out.
UPDATE #2: A very tricky sequence; I went deep in the first leg due to it being a very even turf sprint. Leaning on the Motion horse in the 4th leg, with tickets to the Leparoux and Desormeaux mounts, as well.
Omi's Vindication won the first let at 7/1....a good start for me since I had her on my ticket. One down.
UPDATE #3: I'm four deep in the 2nd leg - 1, 5, 6, 11 - but have a lot more flexibility if the 1, 5, or 6 win, as opposed to the 11.
UPDATE #4: I was really hoping the 5-Artisanal would get up but the 1-War Clan will do just fine in the second leg as it keeps me alive to just as many tickets as Artisanal. War Clan was the clear favorite at 9/5 and you could see why in mid-stretch when he easily split foes to draw off and win.
I'm four deep in the 3rd leg - 4, 5, 6, 9; if the 6 wins, I'll be alive five by four in the final two legs. If any of the other three win, I'll need my top choice to come home in at least one of the last two races. The 6 will be the clear favorite, likely right around 7/5, but at this point it's about staying alive to the most tickets in the final legs.
UPDATE #5: It's a tough game for a reason; 7/5 favorite 6-Coach Ryan comes up empty at the top of the stretch and 4-Pressure couldn't handle just that from 8-Huff'n Hughes in deep stretch to crash down my Pick 5 dreams. Huff'n Hughes wins at odds of 6/1 which when combined wit the flop of the 7/5 favorite will eliminate a lot of Pick 5 tickets.
UPDATE #6: Anytime I write about the fact that quality European horses are consistently ignored at the windows in the U.S., think of La Luna de Miel (GER) who was much the best in her first N.A. start at Gulfstream Park in a 11.5 furlong turf event. This filly was bred to run all day long and did just that to score at odds of 8/1.
The win bet on La Luna de Miel helps to lessen the loss in the Pick 5 but it's also a twist of the knife in my back knowing that I had this filly as one of my top choices in this leg yet I couldn't get through that damn dirt race in the 3rd leg. Agggh!
UPDATE #7: A quick rundown of today's winners in the Pick 5:
Race 6: 3-Omi's Vindication [$16.60]
Race 7: 1-War Clan [$5.80]
Race 8: 8-Huff'n Hughes [$14.40]
Race 9: 8-La Luna de Miel (GER) [$19.80]
Race 10: 13-Paster's Bad Habit [$11.00]
5-of-5: $7,104.20 ($0.50)
4-of-5: $56.60 ($0.50)
UPDATE #8: 13-Paster's Bad Habit breaks alertly, guns it to the front and rolls to a wire-to-wire win to close out the Pick 5 at Gulfstream Park.
While my Pick 5 died an untimely death, all was not lost - the 4-of-5 consolation paid $56.60, which I had four times. So at the end of the day I had $226.40 come back to me, lessening the sting of getting knocked out in the 3rd leg. I would have rather had the $7,000 that Pick 5 paid out to 5-of-5.