Irad, Tyler, Jose and company chasing winners in the sun 

There is a competitive card at Gulfstream Park on Friday. The weather forecast for The Florida venue is for sunshine, so the scheduled turf contests should stay on the grass.

Jorge Navarro (race 7) leads perennial leader Todd Pletcher (races 1,2 and 10) in the trainer standings. Irad Ortiz is leading rider in what is traditionally one of the strongest riding colonies Stateside. His brother Jose, Javier Castellano and Tyler Gaffalione are having plenty of winners.


Race 1 17.35

The opener on the card is a tricky sprint on the turf for 3 year-old fillies. Many will side with Todd Pletcher’s No2 Adamant who broke her maiden last time out. She is lightly raced and may improve but as things stand has a little to find.

No6 Dance Till Dawn has better form. In her only start on turf, she was an impressive winner. No7 Salsita Roja is a wire-to-wire threat. No8 Corn Off the Cob looks a possible springer in the market now running for a red hot trainer.

Selection: No6 Dance Till Dawn

Danger:  No8 Corn Off the Cob


Race 2 18.05

No1 Can U Handle This may be worth siding with here. She had a bad start last time and never ran to her debut form last month. Her trainer now she drops in class and runs in blinkers first time.

She may be a price with Todd Pletcher having a pair of runners entered. No5 Ms. Maximum could improve switching back to the dirt. First time starter No3 Don’t Rush won’t have to be anything special to win. No4 Stroll With Becca drops in class and gets more ground for career start number two.


Selection: No1 Can U Handle This

Danger: No4 Stroll With Becca


Race 3 18.35

The twice-raced No8 Battle of Memphis is likely to be all the rage here. He’s ran big in both starts to date. The Irish-bred did seem to hang fire late on last time. That’s probably the reason why trainer Mark Casse adds the blinkers.

His danger on form is the well-drawn No1 Preacher Power. He’s been placed in his last four starts. No3 J P’s Pride finished behind the selection last time but was hung wide.

Selection: No8 Battle of Memphis

Danger:  No1 Preacher Power


Race 4 19.05

The class-dropping No4 R Limo Joe is the one to catch and beat. The speedster faded late in his comeback after a 5 month absence. The booking of Jose Ortiz suggests he’s live now back in claiming company. No2 French Quarter and No7 The Gipper are consistent but not prolific winners. No6 Diddley who was claimed last time could be a late threat.

Selection: No4 R Limo Joe

Danger: No6 Diddley


Race 5 19.37

No1 He’s Smokin Hot found the company and the distance too far when below form over an extended mile earlier this month. Not only does he get class relief but cuts back seven furlongs and one turn.

He had No4 Gran Paraiso well back when a decisive winner the time before. Recent maiden breakers No5 Justcallmenorman and No3 Joe Di Baggio add depth to this contest. The first named now trying the dirt. No2 Arrivederla is a threat to steal this.

Selection: No1 He’s Smokin Hot

Danger: No2 Arrivederla 


Race 6 20.08

No3 Matzo Bella gets a class test after finishing second in a cheaper maiden claimer last month. In theory, she faces a tough task but now she runs after a claim for high percentage trainer Jason Servis. That normally means an improved showing.

No1 Arms Wide Open has been working nicely on the turf for her start on grass. No2 Miami Rose will be a pace factor at least. No4 A Fera and No7 Bye Bye Nicky look the best of the debutantes.

Selection: No3 Matzo Bella

Danger: No1 Arms Wide Open


Race 7 20.39

No3 Livin a Dream was a non factor in a stakes event last month. A month earlier, she had No7 Royal Asscher back in third when a clear cut winner at today’s level. She gets the vote now back in with ‘claiming friends’ here.

Her biggest danger may be No4 Violent Danger. The former Puerto Rico-based filly is far from consistent but is capable on her day. No1 Prado Vision is unexposed on turf and is a possible late player.

Selection: No3 Livin a Dream

Danger:  No4 Violent Danger


Race 8 21.10

No2 Clear for Action has been an early factor before fading in much stronger maidens than this one. He is not a guaranteed stayer but may last home now plunging in class.

No11 Bunyan’s Axe, No8 Cape Desiderato and No12 Tropical Cognac have shown enough to suggest they will win a maiden sooner or later. No3 Souper Warrior and No4 Alphadar are possible improvers now trying the turf for the first time.


Selection: No2 Clear for Action

Danger: No4 Alphadar


Race 9 21.41

No2 High Flying Guy and No3 McManaman ‘ran into one’ when they filled the places in a similar event to this a fortnight ago. The pair contend but there are others in here that should do also. No7 High Risk Strategy has his claiming price halved by a trainer winning a decent rate with the few runners he’s had here.

He gets the vote over No9 Family Kitten who is trying the turf for the first time.

Selection: No7 High Risk Strategy

Danger: No9 Family Kitten


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