Friday Racing Picks 12/20: Gulfstream Park

Red-hot Lou Monaco looks to continue his good form at Gulfstream Park today
Lou Monaco
Fri, December 20, 4:35 AM EST

We were going to head back to Aqueduct today, but with the cancellation of yesterday’s card and the threat of rain/sleet in today’s forecast, we will stay put here at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Florida for a $47,000 allowance race for 3-year-olds and up (F&M) over seven furlongs on the dirt.

The field of 6 will go to gate for race 7 on the 10-race card with an approximate post time of 3:30 p.m. ET.

#6, Concerned, Luis Saez, 3-1

Concerned has finished in the money in three career starts this year (1-0-2), including her second straight third-place finish in her last start, an allowance race at Aqueduct on Nov. 15. She won her debut in a maiden special weight race by 5 ¾ lengths at Belmont Park on June 23. Luis Saez gets the nod in the saddle for trainer Mark Hennig, the third straight jockey change in as many starts. This is a tight field with a strong contingent and am going to take a shot with the third choice morning-line favorite. The pick.

#4, Gorgeous in Rags, Irad Ortiz, Jr., 9-2

This will be her 10th career start today (1-2-1) and ninth this year. She has finished in the money in three of her last four races, including a runner-up finish in her last by two lengths, an allowance race at Churchill Downs on Nov. 16. This will be her second career start at Gulfstream Park since a sixth-place finish in a maiden special weight race on March 21. Her lone win was in a maiden special weight race by a solid four lengths at Ellis Park on Aug. 3. Irad Ortiz, Jr. is in the saddle for trainer Brendan Walsh with solid odds to take a shot on, especially with Irad in the mount. Runner-up.

#3, Nonna Madeline, John Velazquez, 5-2

The second-choice, morning-line favorite is coming off a 14-plus month layoff, after racing in three straight graded stakes races in 2018, including back-to-back fifth-place finishes in two straight Grade 1s: Frizette Stakes at Belmont Park (10/7/18) and Spinaway Stakes at Saratoga (9/1/18). She has been working well leading up to this however and with John Velazquez aboard for trainer Todd Pletcher, you can’t go wrong. Contender.

#5, Bella Tormenta, Emisael Jaramillo, 2-1

The morning-line favorite will be making her seventh career start (2-3-1), all at Gulfstream Park. In her last start, she finished runner-up for the second straight time in an allowance optional claiming race at Gulfstream Park West on Oct. 2. Emisael Jaramillo gets the call for the morning-line favorite for trainer Jorge Navarro. In the mix.

PICKS: 6-4-3-5  

Lou Monaco
Sweet Lou is a sportswriter with a passion and skill for picking winners on the track. Lou always knows when there's a horse you should be backing, whether it's the favorite or a longshot.
Mar 2020

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