Race of the Week: Juvenile Stakes at Gulfstream | Saturday, November 19, 2022

The Lead:
Gulfstream Park puts the 2-year-olds in the spotlight Saturday with a pair of unique events, two-turn routes on the Tapeta synthetic surface. The $60,000 co-features go as Race 7 (Juvenile Fillies Stakes) and Race 10 (Juvenile Stakes). The 1 mile and 70-yard races are restricted to Florida-breds. The Juvenile lured a field of 8 and will be my focus.

​Field Depth:  
All 8 entrants will be in search of their first career stakes wins, but DANGEROUS RIDE, CHEERFUL CHARLIE, TIGRE and SOUPER BLESSING already are stakes-placed. MAXIMO and BIG SAVE were unplaced in stakes bids. ANAMNESTIC and CAPTAIN ANTHONY will be racing above the maiden ranks for the first time.

Sprint-to-route CHEERFUL CHARLIE may be fastest here from post 3, but is flanked by other capable early speed in MAXIMO (post 2) and ANAMNESTIC (post 4). This looks like a solid pace for juveniles going around 2 turns. A solid finisher has a strong chance.

Our Eyes:
The 2-3-4 finishers from the October 29 Juvenile Sprint Stakes are re-matched, but they'll switch from dirt to synthetic here and extend the trip another 290 yards. Note they all were in pursuit of a strong 1-2 favorite that day named Turbo, who had twice been runner-up in the Florida Sires Stakes series. DANGEROUS RIDE was runner-up in the previous match-up at 20-1, but likely benefitted on the cut-back in distance while others were accustomed to sprinting. He's lost 4 straight and didn't offer much in his only 2-turn try. BIG SAVE was fourth in the Juvenile Sprint, losing ground late and is by sprint sire The Big Beast, a question if he'll want more. SOUPER BLESSING, third in the Juvenile Sprint, is clearly my preferred alum of that race. He has a distinctly route pedigree on top and bottom, so it's impressive he's run as well as he has sprinting to date.  And while many in Saturday's Juvenile Stakes are 1-for-5, 1-for-6 and even 1-for-8 types, SOUPER BLESSING has raced only twice and recorded a victory and a stakes placing in far fewer attempts.

CHEERFUL CHARLIE has done nothing wrong on synthetic with 6 placings from 7 starts, including The Proud Man, Armed Forces and Hollywood Beach Stakes. The Armed Forces was a neck runner-up over this same distance in September. He's pretty trustworthy.

MAXIMO is a wildcard. His romp by 10-plus lengths over maidens in July at this course and distance is one of the better races on paper amongst this field. But his last 2 were terrible efforts and he was so head-strong last time they've removed the blinkers and gelded the son of Brethren since that Sept. 24 meltdown. A bullet workout Oct. 23 has been followed up with slower moves as he's plenty fit. CAPTAIN ANTHONY also is an unknown, blowing out basement $16,000 maiden claimers in his first start and changing barns to Danny Hurtak from Rohan Crichton. Until proven he's a Maximum Security, I'm not planning on another MCL sort jumping up into the local stakes races with such success.

Most Certain Exotics Contender:
SOUPER BLESSING looks strong against these.

Best Longshot Exotics Contender:
TIGRE was runner-up at 71-1 in the Florida Sire Stakes In Reality division in October. While many of these have competed in short fields of 6 or 7 most often, TIGRE is loaded with full-field running lines for experience and galvinization.

Sending it in ($100 bankroll):

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