2016 Claiming Crown Picks
By: Gregory Edwards
We’re celebrating the backbone of the racing industry. With that in mind here’s some horses to consider in today’s Claiming Crown at Gulfstream Park:
Race 3 – Distaff Dash Stakes
#6 Spectacular Me is working really well while cycling into top form. Has had issue with Gulfstream in the past, but latest bullet workout and appearance of money rider J. Ortiz places this one in the garden spot.
#1 Eila is the speed of the speed here and will be aided by inside post at 5-Furlongs. Could be long gone.
Race 4 – Rapid Transit Stakes
#4 Shaft of Light comes off a needed layoff with solid works for trainer Jorge Navarro, who says he sees this gelding as a stakes horse. Will be aggressively ridden and aided by inside horse Flashy Jewel.
#5 Norman’s Hero local works and record show he really loves Gulfstream Park and could be coming with a big run late if the front-runners are gasping for air in the stretch. I Really like that he has closed on this speed biased track before.
#8 Sharp Art a versatile runner who could be placed close enough for first jump on the leaders. Has won at 7-Furlongs before and Lanerie rides these types well.
Race 5 – Glass Slipper Stakes
#12 A Place to Shine is in the right place to shine as she is 2-for-3 at Gulfstream Park and 4/2-1-1 at the distance. Love that Joe Bravo takes the call to navigate from the outside post. Lightly raced filly with some room to improve.
#11 Moonshine Promise looks for a triumphant return to Gulfstream, where she was on a win streak during the beginning of the year before being eased and walking off the track in the Lady Bird Stakes on February 15. Doesn’t seem to be the same horse, but this isn’t the scene for a dump.
#9 Sweet Madea is in really sharp form. This filly likes this one-turn mile, but more important likes Gulfstream’s surface. Has been on a roll since Alvarado took the reins, and the jock is back on today.
Race 6 – Express Stakes
#5 Mitos y Leyendas gets Luis Saez, who has taken many photos with this gelding. Perfectly bred for this distance, loves the track and distance, and goes 3rd off a layoff. Me Gusta!
#9 Proper Freud cycling into form for a top claiming barn pointing towards this race. Paco Lopez gives a nice boost to this one’s late kick.
#4 Great Lou – Claimed by sharp-eyed trainer Michael Maker and moved right up to this level. Let’s see if the new barn can wake this one up.
Race 7 – Iron Horse Stakes
#1 Chepstow is in a nice spot void of speed and should take full advantage with early gate speed, quick first turn, and inside post.
#10 Rich Daddy goes for his second start since layoff and has an affinity for Gulfstream’s dirt. Positive angles for connections here. May be sitting on a big effort.
#5 Francois has kept some tough company on the Illinois circuit. Ran well over this track in the past. He’s a real wild card here.
Race 8 – Canterbury Stakes
#4 Fast Flying Rumor has run well fresh in the past. Lopez opts to ride and a turn back to the Tampa days makes him a big player.
#10 Super Spender put up a big Beyer last time out and last work shows he is still in top form. Jockey and trainer have good numbers, but go-to rider (Paco Lopez) is on Fast Flying Rumor.
#3 American Sailor goes for his second start following a layoff, but has wired the field last two times out. Runs at Gulfstream for the first time and could be a problem as inside speed.
Race 9 – Tiara Stakes
#8 Temple Fur makes his second start off a long layoff and was pointed to this very race. Solid numbers on the turf here and a little Dynaformer NEVER hurt. Lightly raced and room to grow!
#4 Royal Jewely suffered some burn out last out, but is working well after the refresh. Paco Lopez is up and he knows the track. If he’s on today, it’s a go.
#3 Hanover Honey – yes, 30-1 Hanover Honey! Any horse that can handle the Suffolk turf is a big player in my eyes… and Joe Bravo thinks so too!
Race 10 – Jewel Stakes
#1 Bigger Picture has enough tactical speed to ensure a two-turn inside trip and comes in from open company G3’s. Go time!
#7 John Jones – hats off to Lacey Gaudet for the work she’s done here. Luis Garcia is in the irons and I’m a believer.
Race 11 – Emerald Stakes
#6 Indian Guide comes back to Gulfstream and gets Paco Lopez, who — at this point, you all should know — knows the track well. Should get this one home.
#1 Laythatpistoldown dangerous with speed on the rail switching to a more forward friendly rider in Tyler Gaffalione.
#4 Keystoneforvictory off to a nice career so far and enjoys Gulfstream, the distance and the surface. Adds Jose Ortiz today with 8-1 odds. If you get that price, jump on it!
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