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Racing expert Sweet Lou Monaco's picks for race 5 at Gulfstream Park
ANALYSIS

With a mixture of rain, snow and high winds here up in North Jersey, we are getting out of dodge and heading down to Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Florida today for a $50,000 maiden special weight race for 2-year-olds over one mile on the dirt.

The field of 7 will go to gate for race 5 on the 10-race card with an approximate post time of 2:30 p.m. ET.

#4, Point Driven, Irad Ortiz, Jr., 9-2

Point Driven finished fifth in his debut start in a maiden special weight race at Gulfstream Park West on Nov. 16. In an up-and-down race, he lead by six lengths at the quarter pole, dropped to 10th at the ½ mile mark and finished fifth as a 9-1 shot with Edgard Zayas aboard. Today, a huge jock upgrade in Irad Ortiz, Jr. for trainer Jorge Navarro. A huge improvement is expected. The pick.

#2, Candy Tycoon, John Velazquez, 3-5

He makes his fourth career start (0-0-2), finishing back-to back thirds in his first two maiden special weight races at Saratoga (Aug. 8) and Belmont Park (Sept. 21). In his last start, he finished fourth in a MSW at Aqueduct on Nov. 17. John Velazquez make his third straight start for trainer Todd Pletcher, who is 31% with 2yos going turf to dirt and with Johnny V handling the switch that could be enough. Will he live up to his morning-line odds status? We shall see. Runner-up.

#5, Easy Stride, Jairo Rendon, 6-1

This will be Easy Stride’s third straight start at Gulfstream Park, having finished sixth (Oct. 12) and fourth (Nov. 2) in maiden special weight races at Gulfstream Park West. Jairo Rendon gets his second straight start aboard for trainer Steven Dwoskin. Contender.

#6, Tiz Rye Time, Julien Leparoux, 12-1

He finished eighth in his debut, a maiden special weight race at Churchill Downs on Nov. 16. Although he was never a factor in the race, Julien Leparoux returns for his second straight start for trainer Ian Wilkes and I expect something more than his last start. In the mix.

PICKS: 4-2-5-6

By Lou Monaco

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