Saturday Racing Picks: Sunshine Millions Classic Stakes

Sweet Lou Monaco takes a look at the big race from Gulfstream Park
Lou Monaco
Sat, January 18, 4:28 AM EST

A busy racing weekend is in store for Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Florida as five Sunshine Millions stakes races will take place on Saturday, highlighted by the $200,000 Sunshine Millions Classic Stakes for state-bred 4-year-olds and up over 1 1/18 miles on the dirt.

The field of 7 will go to gate for race 11 on the stacked 12-race card with an approximate post time of 4:38 p.m. ET.

#2, Tap the Mojo Luis Saez, 4-1

This will be the 10th career start for Tap the Mojo (3-0-1), who has won two of his last three races, including his first start ever at Gulfstream Park on Dec. 29 in an allowance optional claiming race by an impressive four lengths ($19.80) as the sixth choice of seven in the field.  His previous eight starts have been at Woodbine. Luis Saez is in the saddle for trainer Mark Casse, who also has No. 5 Salute With Honor in the field.  The pick.

#6, Red Crescent, Irad Ortiz, Jr., 5-2

The crafty veteran and morning-line favorite will be making his 43rd career start (7-7-8) and has won two of his last three starts, including a triumph in the Millions Classic Preview Stakes at Gulfstream Park West on Nov. 9. In his last start and his first graded stakes appearance, he finished fourth in the Grade 3 Harlan’s Holiday Stakes here on Dec. 14. Red Crescent has raced here 21 straight times so he has a “home-track” advantage. Irad Ortiz, Jr. is in the saddle for trainer John Vinson. He definitely has the experience and is coming into today’s race on a positive note. He will be right there. Runner-up.

#5, Salute With Honor, Tyler Gaffalione, 7-2

The other Mark Casse-trained entrant is 5-2-2 in his 15 career starts. Just like Red Crescent, he comes into this race winning two of his last three (both at Woodbine) and in his last, finished fourth in the Grade 2 Autumn Stakes at the Toronto-based track on Nov. 3. This will be his first race at GP since a runner-up finish in an allowance optional claiming race on March 2, 2018, so he has been away from Florida for some time. The tough Tyler Gaffalione gets the mount. He also comes into today with some solid numbers and experience.. Contender.

#7, Super Dude, Jose Ortiz, 6-1

Today will be Super Dude’s first career appearance at Gulfstream Park after posting a 5-4-2 record in his last 15 starts. He has won two of his last five starts including an AOC race at Delaware Park on Sept. 23. In his last start, he finished a disappointing sixth in an AOC race at Aqueduct on Dec. 12. Maybe the change of scenery will boast an improvement. Jose Ortiz is in the saddle for trainer Michael Maker. In the mix.

PICKS: 2-6-5-7

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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