Saturday Free Horse Racing Picks: Late Pick Four at Gulfstream

Saturday’s card at Gulfstream Park is still a fun one to bet on, despite the lack of a huge pool in the mandatory-payout Rainbow Six (which won’t happen due to a pool scoop on Friday). I’m focusing on the late Pick Four, which begins in the eighth of 11 races on the program, and I’ll attack it with a $30 ticket.
Andrew Champagne |
Sat, January 8, 8:56 AM EST | 3 min read
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Horse Racing Gulfstream

Saturday Free Horse Racing Picks: Late Pick Four at Gulfstream

Saturday’s card at Gulfstream Park is still a fun one to bet on, despite the lack of a huge pool in the mandatory-payout Rainbow Six (which won’t happen due to a pool scoop on Friday). I’m focusing on the late Pick Four, which begins in the eighth of 11 races on the program, and I’ll attack it with a $30 ticket. Here’s how I’ve put it together.

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RACE #8

We’ll kick things off with the Grade 3 Tropical Turf for older milers. The morning line man sees this as a two-horse race between #1 LARGENT and #4 VALUE PROPOSITION, and I’m inclined to agree with him.

I prefer Value Proposition, and I’m singling that runner here. Six furlongs was just too short last time out, and he was going up against a pretty strong field for the level. His two and three-back efforts going a bit longer were very sharp, and this seems like the right level and distance. Largent has talent, but he also hasn’t run in nearly a year. If he’s ready, he certainly has a chance, but his likely price hits me as an underlay given the long layoff.

RACE #9

We go back to the main track for this six-furlong optional claiming event. I’m against 9/5 chalk #8 TWICE TOO MANY, as his one win came in the slop over a suspect field of maidens and he didn’t seem to have an excuse when second last time out.

I’ll go two-deep in trying to beat him, and my top pick is likely second choice #7 RAISE THE RENT. This gelding wired a field of claimers last time out and was plucked out of that race by Kelly Breen. If you toss his two-back effort, when he broke through the gate prior to the start and likely lost all chance at that point, his career form looks considerably better, and a repeat of that last-out effort is certainly good enough to win.

I’ll also include #1 MISH, and while I’m not sure we’ll get the 10-1 morning line price, I do think there’s value here. I’m chucking out his last-out clunker at Churchill. It’s fair to assume he just didn’t like that track, and he returns to the site of his maiden-breaking score in October. His two most recent workouts have been very fast, and Irad Ortiz, Jr., lands here when he likely had several options.

RACE #10

Going fairly narrow in the first two legs allows me to spread here, and that’s a very good thing because I have zero strong opinions in this sprint. It’s drawn a field of 10 runners, and I genuinely think any of them can win on their best days.

With that in mind, I’m relying on the horseplayer’s best friend, the “ALL” button. I wish I could whittle this down at all, but I simply have no idea what to make of this group. If I’m alive at this point, I’ll sit back, relax, and root for a price that will drive the payoff potential of my ticket up considerably.

RACE #11

We finish with a wide-open turf race that’s drawn an overflow field. Your guess is as good as mine with regard to which of these runners will go favored. I’m going three-deep, and as far as I can tell, I’m using two “logicals” and one big price.

#7 GOOCH GO BRAGH is my top selection. He comes back to the turf for the first time since the summer, when his connections saw fit to run him in the Grade 3 With Anticipation at Saratoga. Prior to that, he was a solid second in his debut behind a well-meant first-time starter. Him running for a claiming tag is a bit of a question mark, but these are aggressive connections, so it’s not like it’s a giant red flag. If he runs back to his two prior turf efforts, I think he’s the one to beat.

I’ll also use #5 TAPTHESPEEDOFSOUND and #9 CHARMING CHARLIE, and the former runner is 15-1 on the morning line. It’s entirely possible he can’t live up to his massive pedigree, but I can’t read too much into his one start to date. He’s bred up and down to want two turns, he gets that route here, and his most recent work for Hall of Fame trainer Mark Casse was a head-turner. At his likely price, he hits me as a must-use.

THE TICKET

  • R8: 4
  • R9: 1,7
  • R10: ALL
  • R11: 5,7,9
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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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