That's Little Mike who ran out front and won by a head bob in the Grade III Fort Lauderdale at Gulfstream Park on January 9th. This Florida bred son of Spanish Steps three that he beat that day, including my chalk, Battle of Hastings (GB) and an intriguing filly Justaroundmidnight (Ire) in the Grade I Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap, the second leg of the Pick Four I'm working for today that also includes the Grade I Donn Handicap and two Maiden Special Weights.
Let's get after it!
In Race 8 some pretty sharp looking three year old Maidens go into the gate, and I'm covering California/6, Cal Nation/12, and two also eligibles, Arch Traveler/15 and Ninja Babe/14. Watch the scratches and changes on this as i expect we will lose at least two or more of these runners. If that's the case my alternates are in order Kanagaro/3, Eighth Avenue/10 and Benergy/11.
Race 9 is the Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap and a fine collection of quality and parity is entered. Battle of Hastings (GB) comes back after running well in the Fort Lauderdale only to get stuck in traffic. Leparoux is up for trainer Greg Fox who is clipping along at 38% wins on turf and 42% routes, but only 19 races he saddled in 2010. A nice River City Handicap win Breeders' Cup weekend at Churchill Downs showed plenty for the gelding.
Little Mike looked very impressive in the Fort Lauderdale.
GP Race 8 January 9, 2011: The Fort Lauderdale Grade III 1 1/16 Turf
6 of 6 on the turf, 7 of 10 lifetime for Little Mike who made a fast assent to graded stakes action for Trainer Allen Iwinski before be shifted to Dale Roman's barn who sports a 15% win rate on turf and 11% in graded stakes. I'm betting against him winning this Grade I but who knows. Joe Bravo is up again.
As this is gambling, I'm covering Justaroundmidnight (Ire), a four year old filly for Trainer Biancone who had a mad turn of foot in the Marshua's River Grade III for fillies on 9 January.
The Marshua's River Grade III
My guess is she will still be available at a good price, perhaps not 26-1 but still good. This pick four would be luscious with her inclusion.
I'm shading Twilight Meteor back just a bit; the 7 YO won his last start for trainer Wolfson who takes over after an aborted attempt to find value for the Smart Strike son at stud. I love the turf horses but its a tough economy,so stud duty will have to wait and we get another good runner to hold onto for awhile longer.
A nice group of next tier runners can easily jump up and wreck my day: Get Stormy is capable of explosive running on the lead and he's capable of not rating very well too. Smart Bid is winless since 2009, 3 of 3 on turf in the money and unraced at today's distance. Teaks North and Sal the Barber are possibly two grades above where they should be in stakes action.
I've already rambled enough about the Donn, here and at the Thorofan website so I'll save you the noise.
In Race 11, a Maiden Special Weight 48K for 4 YO's contested at 6 1/2 furlongs I like Macarthur Casueway/5 who is an incredible 8 of 9 in the money and no wins. I'm covering Pletcher's Blimey/6 (Pletcher a staggering 20% on 1st time starters), City Wolf/8 for Reade Baker who adds blinkers and 2nd starter Wear the Clown/9 who lost by a half length at 6f and threw up a 90 BSF.
I plan on playing the two Grade I's and then the Pick Four. Have fun with it and ignore the blathering idiots like the Ol' Turk and do your own 'cappin.