Race 14 @ Gulfstream Park - PICKS: 5-11-12-10
We travel down to Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Florida for one of the most anticipated racing days of the year en route to the first Saturday in May. 10 stakes races take center stage, highlighted by the $400,000 Grade 2 Fasig-Tipton Fountain of Youth Stakes for 3-year-olds over 1 1/16 miles on the dirt. The Fountain of Youth is worth 85 points overall on the Road to the Kentucky Derby, with 50 points going to the winner.
The field of 12 will go to gate for race 14 on the 14-race card with an approximate post time of 6:04 p.m. ET.
#5, Dennis’ Moment, Flavien Prat, 2-1 - The morning-line favorite has been an early favorite to win the Kentucky Derby since the Derby Trail began and today I think he still keeps that position as one of the favorites. After coming off two straight wins including the Grade 3 Iroquois Stakes by 1 ¾ lengths as the favorite at Churchill Downs on Sept. 14, he stepped it up and finished a disappointing eighth as the odds-on favorite in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Santa Anita on Nov. 1. He rebounds today after a good four-month layoff which will do wonders not only for the horse but for jockey Flavien Prat and trainer Dale Romans. He reestablishes himself. The pick.
#11, Ete Indien, Florent Geroux, 8-1 - This will be his fifth career start (2-1-0), where he finished runner-up in his last race, three lengths back of winner Tiz the Law in the Grade 3 Holy Bull Stakes here on Feb. 1. A start prior, he captured his second win by 2 ½ lengths as a 15-1 longshot ($30.00) in an allowance optional claiming here on Dec. 20. This will be his fourth start at Gulfstream Park. I think the finish in his second graded stakes start was huge and that should bode well for jockey Florent Geroux and trainer Patrick Biancone. At a nice price I might add. Runner-up.
#12, Chance It, Tyler Gaffalione, 7-2 - Chance It comes into today’s race as hot as anyone, winning two straight and four of his last five races. All six of his career starts (4-2-0) have come here, which makes him a hometown favorite. In his last, he won by a head as the favorite over As Seen On Tv in the Mucho Macho Man Stakes on Jan. 4. However, this will be his first graded stakes appearance. Let’s see how he takes to the competition for jockey Tyler Gaffalione and trainer Saffie Joseph, Jr. Contender.
#10, Shotski, John Velazquez, 10-1 – Shotski comes into this race just as hot, finishing in the money in three of his last four races, including two victories highlighted by the Grade 2 Remsen Stakes by ½ length over Ajaaweed at Aqueduct on Dec. 7 as the fifth betting choice ($19.60). In his last, he finished runner-up as the favorite, losing by 3 ¼ lengths to the fourth choice, Max Player in the Grade 3 Withers Stakes at Aqueduct on Feb. 1. He was right there in both graded stakes starts and will be right there again for jockey John Velazquez and trainer Jeremiah O’Dwyer. In the mix.
By Lou Monaco