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Racing expert Sweet Lou Monaco's picks for today's most interesting race at Gulfstream Park
ANALYSIS

Day two of the New Year brings us to Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Florida for a $50,000 maiden special weight race for 4-year-olds and up to be run over about 7 ½ furlongs on the turf.

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.

#2, Up and Onward, John Velazquez, 9-2

Winless in three starts in 2019, Up and Onward has John Velazquez in the saddle for trainer Mark Hennig in the hopes of pointing him in a new direction. His best start last year was a fourth-place finish in a MSW race at Saratoga on Aug. 31 and in his last finished a disappointing eighth in a MSW race at Aqueduct on Nov. 3. This will be his first race at Gulfstream. Taking a shot. The pick.

#5, Blue Lou Boyle (IRE), Tyler Gaffalione, 9-5

Both of his career starts have been here and in his last, finished second in a MSW race on July 20. The morning-line favorite has had 5 ½ months off and will have Tyler Gaffalione in the saddle for trainer Mark Casse. Runner-up.

#4, Seclusive, Irad Ortiz, Jr., 6-1

In both career starts, he has finished eighth in a MSW race at Fair Grounds (2/16/19) and Churchill Downs (10/30/19). Another Mark Casse-trained entrant for today’s race, Irad Ortiz, Jr. will be on the mount. I look for a change in tactics and a much better performance. Contender.

#7, Blameless, Jose Ortiz, 5-2

He has improved in each start since a ninth-place finish in a MSW race here on Feb. 23. He finished sixth a month later here in a MSW race on March 30 and placed fifth in a MSW race at Aqueduct on Nov. 16. Jose Ortiz is on the mount for trainer Michael Matz and I think the improvement will continue but not by much. In the mix. 

PICKS: 2-5-4-7

By Lou Monaco

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