Champagne's Sunday Racing Picks: Gulfstream Park

Racing Expert Andrew Champagne previews Sunday's blockbuster day of racing at Gulfstream Park
Andrew Champagne
Sun, January 26, 6:23 AM EST

Sunday’s card at Gulfstream Park features a mandatory payout in the Rainbow Six. The pool could approach eight figures, and while the sequence is far from easy, it promises big payouts to those skilled enough to figure it out.

I’m diving in on Sunday, and I’m happy to explain my logic in this special preview. Let’s take a look!

Race #6: Good Luck!

We start off with what I felt was the most puzzling race in the Rainbow Six. It’s a two-turn turf race that drew a field of eight, and I had a lot of trouble separating these horses. In fact, I opted to hit the “ALL” button and buy the race. The field isn’t small, but it’s not prohibitively large, so playing them all doesn’t have too many adverse effects (provided, of course, a short-priced favorite does not win!)

Race #7: Let’s Beat the Chalk!

I’m far from sold on #1 FREE TO FLY, the 3-1 morning line favorite. She just missed last time out, but that was going two turns, and nothing says she wants to sprint. The rail draw isn’t ideal, either, so I’m going against her.

#2 JANET B DOESIT ALL drops in off of an allowance race, and a repeat of her two-back effort may very well be good enough to win. I’m also using #6 I’LLMAKEYOUSMILE, who’s 10-1 on the morning line but has been running against far better horses. Both of her wins have come over this track, and I think she’ll come rolling late.

Race #8: Let’s Eat Chalk!

I can’t get too creative in this starter allowance. #3 ARMCHAIR JOCKEY will almost certainly be favored after crossing the wire second in a similar spot earlier this month. He’s done his best running over this turf course, and if he gets any pace to run at, I think he’ll be tough.

I’m also going to throw in #2 TOUPHA, who exits the same race as my top pick. Toupha has more tactical speed than he showed in that spot, and I think he could sit a perfect stalking trip.

Race #9: A Near-Single

#10 QUICK POINT sure seems like the most likely winner. She’s won two in a row and beat several of this race’s rivals in a last-out romp at this route back in December. The outside post is a plus, and there’s plenty of early speed signed on.

However, the more I look at #6 WATCHIN THE WHEELS, the more I like her. She ran for far bigger claiming tags last summer, and while the drop in class is a bit of a head-scratcher, this barn does very well with horses going from turf to dirt. Add in that Paco Lopez gets the mount, and that this trainer/jockey combination doesn’t mess around, and you have what certainly seems like a recipe for a horse to outrun her odds. I’m throwing her in, and my hope is that if she wins, we’ll knock out some tickets that singled Quick Point.

Race #10: The Actual Single

If you’re playing this sequence on a budget, you need to single somewhere. I’m taking my stand here with my best bet of the day, despite the fact that he’ll be a short price and, likely, a popular single.

#2 SAYYAFF stretched out to two turns effectively last time out, when he wired a field of allowance runners here at Gulfstream. He did have a perfect trip that day, but he’s hinted at significant talent in the past, and there doesn’t appear to be much other early speed around him. Javier Castellano rides back for Chad Brown, and I think he’s going to be very tough to catch.

Race #11: Five-Deep in the Payoff Leg

We’ll finish the Sunday card with a real head-scratcher. This is a maiden race for 3-year-olds going two turns on turf, and I wouldn’t be surprised if many people with deeper pockets opt to hit the “ALL” button here. I’ve whittled my ticket down to where I’m five-deep, and I sincerely hope that’s deep enough.

#6 U S ARMY CORPS and #7 LONESOME FUGITIVE certainly appear well-meant, and they’ll likely take lots of money. I’m using them, but it’s not like the race starts and ends with that duo. Among the others I’m using is an intriguing 10-1 shot. That’s #10 CENTURION, who was one-paced in his debut going shorter for a barn whose horses often need a race to get going. He’s bred to go long, and while the post is a problem, it’s interesting to see that Javier Castellano will ride. I’m also throwing in #4 SCANNO and #9 SOUPER ENERGIZER, but I think Centurion is the must-use, especially at his likely price.

How I’ll Play It

My ticket costs $64 for a 20-cent play. It’s a bigger investment than I usually give out for these tickets, but given that I’m turning this into a Pick Five by buying a race in which I have no strong opinions, I can’t complain too much. Hopefully, we can justify the move by catching a price to kick things off and getting to the payoff leg, where my ticket is five-deep.

R6: ALL

R7: 2,6

R8: 2,3

R9: 6,10

R10: 2

R11: 4,6,7,9,10

320 Bets, $64

By Andrew Champagne

Andrew Champagne
AndrewChampagne
Andrew Champagne is a horse racing handicapper with a specialism in juveniles. One thing is for certain, Champagne gets the party started.
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