Jeff Siegel: What You Need to Know - Gulfstream Park on Pegasus World Cup Day | Saturday, January 27, 2024

Specifically designed for the rolling exotic player, Jeff Siegel’s “What You Need to Know” Daily identifies those horses that should be included in daily doubles, pick-3s, pick-4s, pick-5s, and the pick-6.**Grade Descriptions:Grade A=Highest degree of confidenceGrade B=Solid Play.Grade C=Least preferred or passGrade X=probable winner but likely at odds too short to play

RACE 1: Post: 11:00 ET Grade: B

Main Ticket: 2-Big Brass Bed; Baton Rose (Ire). Backups/Savers: 10-Typey; 5-Demogorgon.

Forecast: Big Brass Bed launches a comeback for new trainer Brendan Walsh (strong stats with layoffs) and returns to the first-level allowance ranks after finishing a respectable sixth of 14 in the Woodbine Oaks in her most recent outing last July. The daughter to Nyquist prefers the settle in the second flight and then kick home, and from her comfortable inside draw underneath Frankie she should have every chance from the quarter pole home. Boston Rose (Ire) makes her U.S. debut – and her first start since last April - after displaying some ability with modest Timeform ratings in three races in the French provinces. She could easily be a better type on this side of the pond for Christophe Clement, especially as a first time Lasix user, and with a healthy series of workouts over the deepish Payson Park dirt track and a history of firing fresh (she won her debut) the daughter of No Nay Never represents stranger danger.

RACE 2: Post: 11:30 ET Grade: B+

Main Ticket: 5-Victory Avenue; 8-Big City. Backups/Savers: 3-My True Colors.

Forecast: Among the newcomers in this hot maiden extended sprint for sophomores, Victory Avenue has shown the most in his a.m. preparation and looks very much like a live item in a race in which there is only main contender among those that have raced. The son of Arrogate, a $375,000 OBS June Sale purchase, is light in the first two dams but turned in a very impressive breeze during the preview session (:10 flat) before proving quite popular through the ring. His local drills for Gustavo Delgado (just okay with debut runners) have been visually quite pleasing, so at 5-1 on the morning line there should be reasonable value on the tote. Big City earned a very strong 84 Beyer speed figure in his debut here last month when finishing a distant second to the extremely talented Born Noble, and with that bit of experience behind him the City of Light colt has every expectation of producing a forward move as a first time Lasix user. It should take a pretty good colt to beat him.

RACE 3: Post: 12:00 ET Grade: B-

Main Ticket: 1-Sun Bee; 8-Howboutdemapples; 4-Fast as Flight. Backups/Savers: 12-Spansive.

Forecast: Sun Bee is listed at 12-1 on the morning line and may be worth a gamble at that price. She was given too much to do when a rallying fifth (beaten less than two lengths) after being last of 12 at the top of the lane in the Tropical Park Oaks last month in a race that produced a career top 83 Beyer speed figure. Though facing older runners today, the daughter of English Channel projects to enjoy a mid-pack (or better), ground-saving trip from her favorable rail draw. An eye-catching turf breeze at Palm Meadows last week (5f, 1:01.4hb du) when proving best over her Graham Motion-trained workmate Zipadoo (entered in today’s first race) gives strong indication of an improving pattern. Fast as Flight exits a series of tougher races and in fact was a stakes winner at Ellis Park last summer. She’s eligible to this condition for having been entered for $62,500 (her first start for a tag) and is a prior winner over the local lawn with several previous speed figures that exceed par for this level. Simply stated, she’s a “must use.” Howboutdemapples is a seasoned, veteran race mare with a perfect (one-for-one) record over the Gulfstream Park turf course and projects to be on or near the lead throughout. She’s not particularly fast on numbers but has hit the board in 10 of 16 career starts and figures to be in the fray once again.

RACE 4: Post: 12:31 ET Grade: B-

Main ticket: 5-Sand and Sea; 3-Candy Light. Backups/Savers: 7-Time Passage; 1-Beechnut Trophy.

Forecast: This all-weather handicap for older fillies and mares has Sand and Sea as the 9/5 morning line favorite and the high weight in the field at 124 lbs. She is unbeaten in three starts over the local Tapeta track, and while she’s primarily been a need-the-lead type the daughter of Liam’s Map can stalk and pounce if the situation requires it. If she’s pressured into a quicker-than-comfortable early pace, the race shape should set up nicely for Candy Light, now in the Saffie Joseph, Jr. barn (had been a Graham Motion) and making her first start since finishing second in a listed stakes at Presque Isle Downs in October. The winner of the 2022 Tropical Park Oaks when it was contested over this all-weather track, the daughter of Candy Rider represents the most dangerous of the closing types, with several back numbers that make her a strong fit in this spot.

RACE 5: Post: 1:02 ET Grade: B-

Main Ticket: 6-Masen; 7-Public Sector; 11-Ice Chocolat (Brz). Backups/Savers: 2-J P Hellish

Forecast: It may be difficult to trust anything trainer Chad Brown sends out these days – to begin the week he was zero-for-26 with 20 off-the-board finishes at this meeting – but perhaps Masen (GB) can help turn things around. The veteran gelding started just twice last year, most recently when a respectable third in the Artie Schiller Stakes at Aqueduct in mid-November, and in this turf miler he should be able to fold over and secure a comfortable pace stalking journey similar to the type of trip he enjoyed when winning the Seek Again and Poker-G3 stakes during the summer of 2022. A series of nice recent breezes over the deep Payson Park dirt track should have him cranked and ready. <>b>Public Sector (GB) hasn’t won since October of 2021 but his recent numbers are solid, and with the switch to Frankie we’re expecting the veteran son of Kingman to be heard from late. At 6-1 on the morning line, he’s worthy of use on the main ticket. Ice Chocolat (Brz) is drawn farther out in the 11-hole than we’d prefer, but he does his best work from off the pace and if he can drop over early, get cover, and then have pace to run at the Mark Casse-trained import from South America may be able to justify his morning line favorite’s role of 2-1.

RACE 6: Post: 1:33 ET Grade: B+

Main Ticket: 3-R Calli Kim; 1-Romagna Mia (GB). Backups/Savers: none.

Forecast: This is strictly a two-runner race, and we’ll use both in our rolling exotics, though if you’d prefer to take a stand R Calli Kim may deserve the very slight edge on top. A vastly improved winner of her last four races – a winning streak that began last summer after more than a year layoff – the seven year old mare earned a career top number when winning the Long Island S.-G3 at the Big A in November and has clearly become one of the better distaff marathoners in North America. She can win on the lead or from far off the pace, so the race flow won’t matter, and three years ago, when running for a mid-grade tag, she captured a couple of middle distances races over the local turf course, so we know she likes it. A bullet workout a couple of weeks ago at Palm Meadows tells us she remains right on edge. Romagna Mia (GB) won the Dowager S.-G3 at this 12 furlong distance at Keeneland two runs back and then demolished an all-weather field in a listed affair at that same trip here in late December. Numbers wise, she’s right there with our top pick.

RACE 7: Post: 2:04 ET Grade: B-

Main Ticket: 1-Exact Estimate 9-Skyro. Backups/Savers: 4-Dreams of Tomorrow; 6-County Final; 12-Saratoga Flash.

Forecast: Here’s a spread affair; best suggestion is to include as many as your budget allows. Small ticket players can attempt to get by using the two listed above on our main ticket. Exact Estimate, a lightly raced 5-year-old, is fast on figures but will be making his first start on synthetic. The rail post should allow for a pace-prompting, ground-saving trip, so there should be no excuses other than the ice cold trainer (Brown) angle. Skyro was a disappointing sixth as the favorite under these conditions in late December after having won a similar all-weather affair earlier in the month in clever fashion. Anything close to his race before last puts him right there.

RACE 8: Post: 2:41 ET Grade: B-

Main Ticket: 8-Cellist; 7-Verstappen; 1-Francesco Clemente. Backups/Savers: none.

Forecast: This year’s renewal of the William L. McKnight Stakes-G3 over 12 furlongs on turf projects to be a creepy crawler affair that should promote the chances of those able to be on or near the early lead. Cellist fits the bill nicely – he may even make the running by default – and in his present form the veteran gelding seems capable of winning his first race since May of 2021. The Big Blue Kitten gelding lacks a turn of foot and needs to be within range throughout. He shouldn’t have any trouble securing that type of trip today. Verstappen can lay reasonably close in a slowly run affair and should draft into a good cozy spot early on. A close third after striking the front close home in the Red Smith Stakes-G2 at Aqueduct in mid-November last time out, the Brendan Walsh-trained gelding usually gets at least a piece of it and won’t have to improve much to win a race like this. Francesco Clemente has rising numbers and was a tad unlucky when finishing fastest of all but too late when missing by a neck in the Hollywood Turf Cup-G2 at Del Mar during the fall meeting. Freshened for two months and a winner of half of his eight career starts, the Irish-bred five-year-old may be victimized by a lack of pace. Also, as a devout late runner he may encounter traffic along the way, but if he can secure a reasonable trip he’ll be right there.

RACE 9: Post: 3:13 ET Grade: B-

Main Ticket: 9-Maryquitecontrary; 8-Gerrymander; 3-Intrepid Daydream. Backups/Savers: 10-Olivia Darling

Forecast: Horse-for-course advocates will lean on Maryquitecontrary in this year’s edition of the Inside Information S.-G3 and rightfully so. Successful in seven of nine career starts over the Gulfstream Park main track and with loads on speed signed on that should complement her late running style, the daughter of First Dude is fresh from a solid score in the one-turn mile Rampart Stakes last month in a race that was slowly run early and played against her running style. She managed to rally late and win nonetheless, and we’re expecting her to do so again, especially with the help up front that she’s likely to receive. Gerrymander has races that chart well with these and her most recent (unplaced) outing – the Go For Wand Stakes-G3 - is a toss out due to the muddy surface that we suspect she couldn’t handle. Intrepid Daydream missed at 6/5 without mishap when runner-up in the Sugar Swirl Stakes-G3 here four weeks ago but the number was strong, and this extended sprint trip should allow her to settle early and then pick up steam when called upon. First or second in 11 of 14 career starts, the Maryland-bred mare will be making just her second start since joining the Saffie Joseph, Jr. barn and has every right to run better today.

RACE 10: Post: 3:45 ET Grade: A-

Main Ticket: 6-Ruby Nell. Backups/Savers: 4-Star Fortress (Ire); 8-Queen Goddess; 9-Didia (Arg).

Forecast: Ruby Nell has really gotten good of late and the way she’s been training since her most recent runaway win in the Lady Shamrock S. at Santa Anita on New Year’s Eve we’re anticipating another career top performance in today’s Pegasus World Cup Filly & Mare Turf Invitational. Fast enough to make the running but comfortable taking back if anything chooses to engage her early, the daughter of Bold d’Oro has rising speed figures, a style that suits this glib turf course perfectly (especially with the short run in) and a morning line price of 8-1 that makes her an enthusiastic top pick. Trainer Richard Mandella doesn’t ship very often but this race was too valuable to pass up, so here she is. You may choose to protect using a few backups with legitimate credentials in rolling exotic play, but for us, Ruby Nell is our gamble of the day.

RACE 11: Post: 4:20 ET Grade: A-

Main Ticket: 1-Hejazi. Backups/Savers: 3-Steal Sunshine; 8-Accretive; 11-Tumbarumba.

Forecast: Hejazi has the perfect pace setting/forcing style for a one turn mile, and assuming he breaks cleanly from the rail the son of Bernardini should be able to control this race while on or near the lead every step of the way. The California invader is fast on figures and lost little in defeat when second to stable mate Speed Boat Beach in the seven furlong Malibu Stakes-G1 in late December. He’s been typically impressive in morning drills for trainer Bob Baffert since that race and arrives fit and ready to handle a field that contains nothing that he shouldn’t be able to outrun.

RACE 12: Post: 4:55 PT Grade: A-

Main Ticket: 3-Integration. Backups/Savers: 9-Warm Heart; 5-Webslinger

Forecast: Integration is perfect in three starts and each win was more impressive than the previous. He’ll need to produce another forward move in the Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational-G1, but we’ll gamble that he’ll up to the task. The son of Quality Road is beautifully drawn in post three and projects to settle in the second flight with a ground-saving journey and then have every chance from the quarter pole home. On pure numbers he’s where he needs to be, and with the switch back to Tyler Gaffalione, who rode him in his maiden victory last summer, the Shug McGaughey-trained four year old rates top billing at a sensible 3-1 on the morning line.

RACE 13: Post: 5:40 PT Grade: C+

Main Ticket: 4-Hoist the Gold; 7-National Treasure; 6-Senor Buscador. Backups/Savers: 8-First Mission; 12-Skippylongstocking.

Forecast: The pace projection is this year’s Pegasus World Cup Invitational is all over the map. It could be blazingly fast, which would favor the devout closers, such as Senor Buscador, or it could produce a “lone f” trip by either Hoist the Gold or National Treasure should one of the committed front runners choose to take back. Who knows what will transpire? Hoist the Gold has only one way to win and that’s for jockey John Velasquez to completely sell out leaving the gate and relegate National Treasure to a stalking role (‘Treasure has never won a race without being the controlling speed). However, if Flavian Prat, aboard ‘Treasure, goes hell bent for the lead and manages to secure the front end entering the clubhouse turn, he could easily roll all the way to the wire. Strictly due to price considerations, we’ll put Hoist the Gold on top, but truthfully this race looks on paper to be chaotic, and no result would surprise us.