Written by Daniel Benjamin
By Daniel Benjamin
Race 4- Starter Optional Claiming (Purse -$33,000)
Eight fillies are slated to go one and one-sixteenth miles on the carpet in this $50,000 optional claimer. #2 Hurricane Breeze makes a huge jump in class and is coming off a long layoff, earning her first win in a $50,000 maiden claiming event on Jan. 3. The three-year-old is making her first start for trainer Mike Maker and get Irad Ortiz Jr. in the saddle. Hurricane Breeze has raced well at Gulfstream in two outings. #5 Memphis Showboat is back at this level, after finishing a disappointing seventh in an allowance optional claiming event, where he crossed the wire first two starts back before being disqualified for interference and placing last. Multiple graded stakes jockey winner Nik Juarez, who has struggled this year, gets the ride. Memphis Showboat has a field high early ESpeed average of 82. #6 Sunset Promise has shown a lot of class, having been on the stakes circuit, where she recorded two second-place finishes in five events, and the three-year-old Kentucky-bred horse is getting the drop after finishing eighth against $75,000 optional claimers. Edgar Zayas gets the call for the ride for trainer Mike Maker. I also like #4 Bird Map if the event is moved to the main track.
Picks: I like a win bet on the #2, I also like an exacta bet of #2, #5, #6.
Race 5- Maiden Special Weight ($65,000)
This 10 two-year-old filly field will go five furlongs on the carpet. #8 Pretzel will look to improve off her third-place finish in her career debut back on April 16 where she was outsprinted in the four-path to the top of the lane and could not gain ground. Pretzel has also put up pretty consistent solid numbers over the last three workouts, which includes going four furlongs in 47.72 seconds on May 22. Plus, trainer Jose Alvarez has selected Emisael Jaramillo -- who has a career winning percentage of 20% and a 48% WPS percentage with two-year-old -- to be in the saddle. #3 Alpha Babe, the daughter of Malibu Moon -- whose sire fee is $95,000 -- was once again a top 10 dirt sire in 2019, has also had some nice workouts recently. Trainer Dermot Magner has had success with two-year-olds this year posting a winning percentage of 24% and a WPS percentage of 67%. #4 Stepping Forward’s sire Mineshaft’s foals have won a field high 16% of their races. #5 Hara and #9 Jill’s A Hot Mess should also be considered in exotic bets.
Picks: I like a show bet of the #8. I also like an exacta box bet of #8, #3, #4. Additionally, for an exotic bet you could box #8, #3, #4, #5, #9.