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

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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