Gulfstream Horse Racing Picks for Saturday, April 25, 2020

Race 7 at Gulfstream Park – Post Time 3:48 PM Eastern

Freedom Force finished second to an eight length winner in his debut on 2/28, in a one turn mile race then cut back to six furlongs on 3/21 for career start number two. He pressed the pace in third in that sprint, moved up to a half-length from the leader at the top of the stretch then tired. Those two preps set him up exceptionally well for a route today, particularly if the race stays on turf as scheduled. He put in a turf workout recently and being a son of American Pharoah should take to turf like a duck takes to water. A STATS Race lens query shows me sons and daughter of the champion have won seven of 24 races when trying turf for the first time in a maiden special weight race. Also, the race is devoid of early speed and so as the colt is stretching out he could have an easy lead and never look back.

Shamrocket is the other horse with the bulk of the probability to win. He has been second or third in all three starts since his debut last August, including most recently in an 11 horse field three weeks ago. Returning Irad Ortiz, Jr. rides and by far Shamrocket has the best Equibase figures in the field so if Freedom Force doesn’t lead all the way this colt could win by default, but as he opens at 9/5 compared to 6/1 for Freedom Force he’s a poor win bet.

Win: Freedom Force at odds of 2 to 1 or higher.

Box Freedom Force and Shamrocket

Double: Freedom Force and Shamrocket in Race 7 with Supreme Aura, Legit and Ice Tea in Race 8.

Pick 3: (ticket one)
Race 7: Freedom Force and Shamrocket
Race 8: Supreme Aura, Legit and Ice Tea
Race 9: Americanus, Relentless Dancer, South Bend and Attachment Rate

Pick 3: (ticket two)
Race 7: Freedom Force and Shamrocket
Race 8: Supreme Aura, Legit and Ice Tea
Race 9: Americanus and Relentless Dancer


Race 8 at Gulfstream Park – Post Time 4:21 PM Eastern

Supreme Aura runs first off the claim by sharp trainer Fawkes, held out two months but running at a higher claiming level then the one he was claimed at. He was entered to run on grass two weeks ago but scratched and is entered here on dirt, where he’s done all of his winning. He won before the layoff at the same 50K level and it was a sharp win with a106 Equibase figure, the best last race figure in a route in the field. He won the Pegasus Stakes at this trip on dirt at Monmouth in the summer of 2018 and could prove to be an astute claim for Fawkes and give us a nice profit as well as he opens at 8/1.

Legit is the 2/1 starting favorite and is a contender but a poor win bet at those odds. He won his first two starts, in April and May of 2018 then apparently had issues which kept him away from the races for 22 months, returning last month in a sprint prep where he closed from last of 10 to get third at the end. He won the second start of his career, first around two turns, in May of 2018 so he should improve nicely second off the layoff and on the stretch out but he’s no standout.

Ice Tea is a “WIN” type with 11 victories in 24 races, eighth on dirt and two at Gulfstream. He opens at 6 to 1 because his last two races were on grass but he won back-to-back on dirt over the track last July and he can run well on the lead or from off the pace. Although third in his most recent race, he should run big here because that has turned out to be a “KEY RACE” from which the winner won again, the runner-up finished second next out and from which the fourth horse, 2 ¼ lengths behind Ice Tea, came back to win.

Win: Supreme Aura at odds of 5 to 2 or more.
Ice Tea at odds of 3 to 1 or higher.

When making multiple win bets, use a “Dutching” tool to do the work of allocating your wagering dollars for the best edge. Amwager has a great dutching tool available, among many other great features.

Box Supreme Aura, Ice Tea and Legit

Double: Supreme Aura, Ice Tea and Legit in Race 8 with Americanus, Relentless Dancer, South Bend and Attachment Rate in Race 9.


Unbridled Stakes – Race 9 at Gulfstream Park – Post Time 4:53 PM Eastern

After starting his career on turf and finishing poorly to end up sixth of nine, Relentless Dancer moved to dirt and led from start to finish when winning powerfully by nearly 10 lengths last September. Winning the Louisiana Legacy Stakes in October and earning a 91 Equibase Figure, Relentless Dancer took three and one-half months off and without a prep race was entered in the Holy Bull Stakes in February. In the Holy Bull, Relentless Dancer pressed the pace early before fading to fourth like a horse which wasn’t yet back to his two year old form. One month later in the Tampa Bay Derby, Relentless Dancer set the pace for the first seven furlongs then faded to fourth, beaten a half-length by the third finisher. In spite of that finish, Relentless Dancer earned a career best 99 figure which is also the highest figure any horse in the field has earned on dirt. Additionally, as it appears none of the other six runners in the Unbridled Stakes have any desire to lead early in a race, I suspect jockey Chris Landeros will have Relentless Dancer on an easy lead from the moment the gate opens. Considering Relentless Dancer is one of only two horses with experience around two turns, the colt can successfully play “come catch me” and win this race.

Americanus is the other horse I feel has a good chance to win the Unbridled Stakes. After winning in his career debut last September in a dirt sprint, Americanus ran about as badly as a horse can run when eighth of nine in the Nashua Stakes in November. Returning refreshed in January as a three year old, Americanus finished second to a runaway five length winner to earn an 83 figure. Then, five weeks later, he rallied from last of seven to draw off late in a seven furlong sprint at Gulfstream Park. That effort earned a 90 figure which can be improved upon in the colt’s third start of the year. Another reason I think Americanus can improve is his pedigree, which suggests he will like the additional distance as he’s by War Front out of a mare that has produced dirt route winners. Likely to be in a stalking position from a ground saving post from the start, if Americanus can stay within hailing distance of Relentless Dancer in the early stages he has potential to pass the likely pacesetter and win the Unbridled Stakes.

Two more horses, South Bend and Attachment Rate, deserve mention as contenders in the Unbridled Stakes but each may be compromised by late running styles in a race without enough early pace to benefit their late charges. South Bend is the other Unbridled Stakes entrant with two turn experience. He’s also a stakes winner, having won the Street Sense Stakes at a mile on dirt in October and earning a 97 figure. His last three races were on all on grass and all were decent efforts in stakes races. First, South Bend missed by a neck and a head in the Dania Beach Stakes on February 1 then four weeks later he rallied from 10th of 11 to miss by a length and one-half in the Palm Beach Stakes. Last month, South Bend rallied from 11 lengths back in ninth position early to get second. In the Unbridled it appears South Bend will be finishing fast but it may not be enough to catch Relentless Dancer if that one is allowed to run slowly in front for most of the race. Attachment Rate was visually impressive when starting far back early and finishing fast to be second of 10 on January 25 in his first start of the year. He did not disappoint in his next start in mid-February when winning by six lengths. In his most recent race in the Gotham Stakes, Attachment Rate didn’t show the same kind of explosive kick in the last eight of a mile as he was third during the entire stretch run and did not make up significant ground. Nevertheless he earned a 98 figure and could be a factor if he improves off that effort.

I’m taking almost a complete stand against 8/5 morning line favorite Dr. Post, who opens at 8/5. I’ll only use him on exacta tickets in second. The reasons are three-fold. Although his seven furlong maiden win last month was a good effort, the 92 figure isn’t superior to any of the other contenders, even accounting for improvement. His running style appears to be disadvantaged because of the likely pace scenario as well. Last, I looked to see how Pletcher’s starters so when stretching out to a route on dirt off a maiden win and over the last five years his record is very poor at 4 for 52 and just 2 for 18 in stakes.

Win: Relentless Dancer and Americanus at odds of 3 to 1 or more.

When making multiple win bets, use a “Dutching” tool to do the work of allocating your wagering dollars for the best edge. Amwager has a great dutching tool available, among many other great features.

Box Relentless Dancer and Americanus

Relentless Dancer and Americanus over Relentless Dancer, Dr Post, Americanus, South Bend and Attachment Rate.

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Ellis Starr

Ellis is a well respected handicapper and contributor of AmWager. He has been a public handicapper for more than twenty years, educating racing fans of all skill levels with detailed commentary few other handicappers provide.

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