Gulfstream Park: How to bet the Tropical Turf

Profile Picture: J. Keeler Johnson

January 7th, 2021

A deep field has turned out to contest Saturday’s $100,000 Tropical Turf (G3) at Gulfstream Park. All nine entrants in the 1-mile turf test are proven graded stakes winners.

But this doesn’t necessarily mean the field is evenly matched. To the contrary, several accomplished runners achieved their signature victories long ago, while others are returning from lengthy layoffs, making them tough to trust in the Tropical Turf.

Consider these examples:

#1 Admission Office rallied to victory in the June 13 Louisville (G3) racing 1 1/2 miles at Churchill Downs, but he hasn’t run since and will be cutting back significantly in distance on Saturday.

#2 Casa Creed nabbed the 2019 National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame (G2) at Saratoga, but he went 0-for-5 in 2020.

#4 Doctor Mounty unleashed a big late run to win the 2019 Tropical Turf, but his two victories in the interim have come in ungraded stakes, and he failed to crack the trifecta in two recent runs against graded company.

#7 Tusk parlayed pace-tracking tactics into an upset victory in the 2020 Tropical Turf, but he weakened in his lone start since then, finishing eighth in the Dec. 5 Claiming Crown Emerald S. after carving out a slow pace.

#8 Hay Dakota won the 2016 Commonwealth Turf (G3) at Churchill Downs, but he enters the Tropical Turf off fourth- and fifth-place efforts in allowance optional claiming races.

#9 Flying Scotsman dominated the 2018 Cecil B. DeMille (G3), but he failed to finish better than seventh in three starts last season and arrives at Gulfstream off a 6 1/2-month layoff.

This leaves three runners as the most likely to vie for victory in the Tropical Turf:

#3 Ride a Comet demonstrated his worth on turf when rallying to victory against a quality field in the 2018 Del Mar Derby (G2). After missing the entire 2019 season, Ride a Comet went 2-for-2 sprinting on Tapeta during the fall at Woodbine, most notably beating six-time Canadian champion Pink Lloyd in the Kennedy Road (G2).

#5 Frostmourne dominated the 2017 Kent (G3) by six lengths. The delicate 7-year-old doesn’t run often, but on Nov. 5 he wired a 1-mile allowance race at Churchill Downs by three lengths, sprinting home in a rapid :23.45 to win eased up. When he’s at his best, Frostmourne is a seriously talented racehorse.

#6 Analyze It joined Ride a Comet on the sidelines for 2019, but the talented miler returned with a summer victory in the Red Bank (G3) at Monmouth, after which he finished eighth against tough company in the Shadwell Turf Mile (G1). Facing easier foes in the Tropical Turf can help him rebound for hot jockey/trainer duo Irad Ortiz and Chad Brown.

There isn't much pace in the Tropical Turf field, so let's take a shot betting Frostmourne on top of Ride a Comet and Analyze It in the exacta and trifecta.

$10 exacta: 5 with 3,6 ($20)
$5 trifecta: 5 with 3,6 with 3,6 ($10)
Total: $30

Good luck!