Playing Saturday’s All-Stakes Pick 4 at Gulfstream Park

Profile Picture: J. Keeler Johnson

March 2nd, 2018

The Saturday card at Gulfstream Park is shaping up to be a competitive day of racing, and for handicappers the all-stakes Pick 4 beginning in Race 11 looks like a particularly intriguing sequence.

Three of the four races include clear favorites, but there’s no guarantee that all of them will win, and an upset or two could result in a solid payoff. Here’s my take on the sequence….

Race 11: Eleven up-and-coming three-year-olds are set to contest this 8.5-furlong maiden special weight. #1 Personal Time is the clear 9-5 favorite on the morning line after rallying to finish second in a one-mile maiden race at Gulfstream on January 27th, but the full-brother to 2013 Kentucky Derby winner Orb took advantage of a very fast pace that day and might not get as good a setup this time around. I’m more intrigued by #9 Traveling Midas, who finished third in that same race after battling hard for the early lead. The Brian Lynch-trained colt will race without blinkers this time around.

Race 12: This race has drawn a remarkably deep and contentious field, so I’ll spread deep. #6 Favorable Outcome is a deserving favorite off his win in the Swale Stakes (gr. II) at Gulfstream last year and third-place effort in the Malibu Stakes (gr. I) last time out, but I’ll also use #7 Noholdingback Bear, who won the 2016 Gallant Bob Stakes (gr. III) over the accomplished sprinter Mind Your Biscuits; #10 Unbridled Outlaw, who steps up in class off a decisive two-length allowance win at Gulfstream last month; and #3 First Growth, who has back class good enough to contend here, including a close runner-up effort behind X Y Jet in the Mr. Prospector Stakes (gr. III) at Gulfstream in December.

Race 13: #1 Sadler’s Joy is by far the most accomplished horse in the field by virtue of his win in the Sword Dancer Stakes (gr. I) last summer, and he’s just a head away from being 2-for-2 in graded stakes company at Gulfstream Park. He ran well off a layoff last winter and is a must-use on all tickets, though given how competitive turf racing can be I’ll also add #8 Patterson Cross and #12 Oscar Nominated to my tickets, as both have run well over this course and distance and are the logical candidates to take advantage if Sadler’s Joy misfires. #5 Markitoff, beaten two lengths by Oscar Nominated in the W. L. McKnight Handicap (gr. III) last time out, could have a chance to outrun his odds

Race 14: The Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (gr. I) winner #6 Good Magic is the obvious choice while making his three-year-old debut, but as I mentioned in my analysis of the race, I think #2 Free Drop Billy has a live chance to post the upset. I’ll use both in the Pick 4.

Here are my proposed tickets based on a $50 budget:

$0.50 Pick 4: 1,9 with 3,6,7,10 with 1,5,8,12 with 2,6 ($32) $1.00 Pick 4: 1,9 with 3,6,7,10 with 1 with 2,6 ($16) $0.50 Pick 4: 1 with 3,6,7,10 with 1 with 2 ($2)

Good luck!