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Racing expert Sweet Lou Monaco's picks for Race 8 at Gulfstream Park

After an unsuccessful try at Zia Park on Monday, we shift focus today on Gulfstream Park in Hallandale, Florida for their feature, an allowance optional claiming race for 3-year-olds and up about 7 ½ furlongs on the turf.

The short field of 6 will go to gate for race 8 on the 10-race card with an approximate post time of 4:00 p.m. ET.

#4, Projected (GB), Paco Lopez, 5-2

The second-choice money line favorite will be making his 31st career start (6-12-2) and only his sixth start this year (0-1-0). Projected has been transferred from trainer Chad Brown to Eddie Kenneally since his last start, where he finished fourth in an allowance optional claiming race at Belmont Park on Sept. 20. He hasn’t won in over two years since taking home the Grade 2 Baltimore/Washington International Turf Cup Stakes at Laurel Park on Sept. 30, 2017. Since coming to the states in March 2017, he has raced in 10 graded stakes races. Maybe the switch to Kenneally with Paco Lopez will be the spark this horse needs, taking a chance. The pick.

#3, Frostmourne, Irad Ortiz, Jr., 6-5

The 5-year-old morning-line favorite is 5-1-0 in 11 career starts. He has not raced since a 6th-place finish in an allowance optional claiming race at Belmont Park on Oct. 19, 2018. He does have two graded stakes wins to his credit: Grade 2 Penn Mile Stakes at Penn National (6/3/17) and the Grade 3 Kent Stakes at Delaware Park (7/15/17). This will be his first start as a gelding for trainer Christophe Clement who has Irad Ortiz, Jr. in the saddle for today’s race. The long layoff could help or hurt. I think it will help because the horse needed a break after wind surgery. I think my choice had more career graded stakes starts than Frostmourne and I think that could help. Wouldn’t be surprised if he took this, but going with another. Runner-up.

#6, Gemonteer, Emisael Jaramillo, 3-1

Gemonteer is 3-2-2 in 10 career starts including his last, a one-length win at 9-1 odds in an allowance optional claiming race at Kentucky Downs on Sept. 12. This will be his sixth career start at Gulfstream Park (2-2-1). Emisael Jaramillo is in the saddle for trainer Jena Antonucci. Obviously, he loves Gulfstream with his past performances here. Contender.

#2, Sand Dancer, Luis Saez, 8-1

Winless in just three starts this year, this will be Sand Dancer’s 17th career start (3-3-1). He is looking for his first win since an optional claiming race at Monmouth Park on July 13, 2018. In his last start, he finished fifth in an allowance optional claiming race at Belmont Park on Oct. 25. Luis Saez gets the call for trainer Timothy Hills. In the mix.

PICKS: 4-3-6-2

By Lou Monaco


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