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Free Picks For Gulfstream Park - 8/22/20

Race 2 - Maiden Claiming $25,000 - $20,000 (Purse -$33,500)

Seven 2-year-old male runners will go six furlongs on the dirt. In a race where every horse has a race in hand and none that are very strong. I am going with #2 Win for Winslow who is dropping down from $50,000-$40,000 maiden claiming after finishing sixth in a five-furlong race as he faded down the stretch on July 19. Edgar Zayas, who has a career strike rate of 18% with 2-year-olds for his career, replaces Samy Camacho in the irons.#4 Awesome Beach has had issues in each of his two career races at the special weight class but he has shown promise in each start. Awesome Beach is also the fastest competitor in a field that lacks gate speed. Plus, Ralph Nicks -- who has tabbed Camacho for the ride -- has the 2-year-old Florida colt training well. #5 Dang It has shown some potential but has been unable to put everything together while also switching between maiden claiming division and the special weight class. The son of Perspective will likely be among the top flight in the middle and could go for the lead right out of the gate with Miguel Vasquez in the saddle.

Picks: I like a winning bet on the #2. I also like a show bet on the #4 as well as an exacta box bet of #2, #4.

Race 5 - Maiden Special Weight (Purse -$65,000)

Seven 2-year-old male runners, including six that have a race in hand, will go seven furlongs on the dirt. #6 Cobb is in the best of the form of all the runners, posting an Espeed of at least 60 in each of his three career starts, and has shown the earliest speed of all the competitors in the field -- although there is not much speed in this event. Cobb, who has one third-place finish in three starts, has put up a decent training outing since the last outing. #4 Congrats Again has raced heavily since making his debut in May and while he has not been great on the track, the son of Congrats does have four cashes. Congrats Again, like Cobb, has experience at this distance finishing third the last time out following a mild rally. #3 Wicked Brody has improved each of his two races after making his debut in June despite not getting any results. Wicked Brody, who will have Marcos Meneses in the irons this go around, finished fifth at this distance after passing tired horses.

Picks: I like a winning bet on the #6. I also like a show bet on the #3 and an exacta box of #6, #4.

Race 7 - Maiden Special Weight (Purse - $55,000)

Nine 2-year-old fillies, including six first-timers, will go five and one-half furlongs on the dirt. #4 Mon Petit Chou will look for a better result after a tough trip in her debut. The daughter of The Big Beast overcame a light bump with a foe after breaking from the gate and took the lead but weakened down the stretch as she finished fourth in a five and one-half furlong event. Miguel Vasquez has fared well with 2-year-old female runners over his career. #7 Beth’s Dream is making her debut and appears to be the best of the first-timers. Trainer Edward Plesa Jr., who has a career 17% strike rate along with a 47% WPS percentage with 2-year-old runners, has had his horses fare very well at this distance this year.#8 Dem A Wonder rallied for third, edging out Mon Petit, in her debut at the beginning of the month.

Picks: I like an exacta box of #4, #7, #8.

Race 10 - Allowance Optional Claiming $25,000 (Purse - $47,000)

Six quality horses will go one mile on the dirt and this is a hard one to handicap. I’ m going with #2 Colour Guard as I believe the huge drop in class will do the 4-year-old colt some good as he hasn’t earned any results since beating $62,500 optional claimers back in January here at Gulfstream. Saying that, the Illinois horse has run well at this distance and has finished in the money in 62.5% of his starts on the dirt including a 28% strike rate. If Colour Guard, who was outrun at the and eased off to finish a distant seventh in her last start on Aug. 15, is scratched I will take #6 Glory of Florida for the win.Glory of Florida is coming off a driving two and three-quarter victory at this distance at the beginning of the month. While the 4-year-old Florida colt has never won two straight races, he does have a pair of wins at this distance and has been running well recently. After being outclassed in his last two races -- against $100,000 optional claimers and in the $600,000 Grade 2 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes -- I believe #5 Hard Lighting, a son of Hard Spun, will find this race more to his liking and he also gets a reprieve in distance after going one and one-eighth miles in his last outing. #4 Tap The Mojo is my fourth selection as he raced well in his first start following a layoff the last time out as he finished third in the same optional claiming event that Glory of Florida won.

Picks: I like a winning bet on the #2. I also like a show bet on the #5.

Race 11 - Maiden Claiming $10,000 (Purse -$17,000)

Nine male runners will go six and one-half furlongs on the dirt. #6 Poznan is my choice here kind of by default. The 3-year-old Florida colt seemingly found his footing in his return to Gulfstream from Tampa Bay in his last outing despite experiencing trouble at the start and then fading from second to fourth down the stretch. Poznan, who gets a little weight relief with apprentice jockey Joseph Trejos in the irons, has run decently at this distance and has reached the podium in 50% of his dirt races. While I believe #4 Oroscopo is the best horse in the field, the 5-year-old Kentucky gelding amplifies the phrase “always the bridesmaid never the bride” Oroscopo has finished in the money in six of his nine career dirt races including in each of his last two efforts overall, closed the gap down the stretch but proved no match for the winner -- in the same six-furlong race that Poznan was fourth.#9 Maquiavelo has raced pretty evenly lately though he had trouble at the start in each of his last two outings. Still, the son of Rule has finished in the money in 70% of his 10 career races including five of six on Gulfstream’s main track.

Picks: I like a winning bet on the #6.

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Daniel Benjamin

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