The Championship Meet at Gulfstream Park went out with a bang last weekend in Hallandale Beach, but the racing continues on at the Florida-based venue on Thursday as they kick off the spring meeting with a solid 10-race card.

The early Pick 5 is an attractive one for those who love wagering on maiden events since it includes three races for non-winners, including the fourth, a full-field special weight event for 3-year-old fillies at two turns on the sod.

Race 1:

The sequence commences with a wide-open $50,000 maiden claimer at 5-furlongs on the lawn. #3 Living Vicariously is the lukewarm 7-2-morning line favorite off of his runner-up effort at this level on Mar. 5. The son of Can the Man is amongst the top contenders, but has had five chances thus far making him hard to trust. I will use several, including #5 Officer Country and #9 Call Cut. Both 3-year-old geldings were claimed last time out and make the move up in class after slow starts, but solid late runs on debut. 

Race 2:

The pace should be honest in this low-level sprint for non-winners given the presence of #1 Truly Ambitious and #5 Mystic Comin Home. That should set things up for a filly that can sit just off the early pacesetters and take control when they turn for home. #6 Bibiana is the deserving 8-5-morning line chalk. The daughter of Stay Thirsty takes a huge drop in class after a stalk and fade effort as the favorite on Feb. 27. She will be tough to deny with a similar voyage on Thursday afternoon, but I also will include #10 Markistan in her initial try off the claim for trainer Jorge Delgado. The Drawing Away Stable runner draws well to the outside, attracts the services of Luis Saez, and will provide much greater value.

Race 3:

In Jane Cibelli we trust in this low-level claiming event for non-winners of two.

#1 Talkthetalk is the likeliest winner in the bunch dropping to the lowest level of her career. She has disappointed in both starts in 2020, but encounters a modest bunch on Thursday. A combination of her tactical speed and her foundation coming out of a two-turn turf race earlier this month should allow her to outkick this bunch. I will also include her stablemate #4 Take Charge Again. She broke a step slow as the 3-2-favorite on Mar. 13 and rushed up between rivals, which led to her demise. With a clean break she should be able to control things on the front end at a solid price. 

Race 4:

#3 Cat Lady drew outside posts in her first two starts for trainer Todd Pletcher and ran extremely well despite less than ideal voyages. In fact, in the daughter of Kitten’s Joy’s last try, she was bumped and forced extremely wide on the first turn, but recovered well and just missed in the end. The $300,000 Keeneland September 2018 purchase for Repole Stable moves inside on Thursday, which should allow jockey Luis Saez to solidify a prominent, ground saving position early on. I will lean on Cat Lady as my single in a competitive event at one-mile over the grass.

Race 5:

The early Pick 5 concludes with an open $6250 claimer at 6-furlongs over the main track. The pace is likely to be contentious given the presence of #1 Salsa Rita, #2 Memorize, and #4 Suz, so I prefer fillies and mares (#3 Fancy Fox, #6 Worth Avenue, and #9 Tuesday’s Rose) that can relax off the early pace. I will also use Suz defensively in her first start off the claim for trainer Dominick Schettino.

Suggested 50-cent Pick 5 Wager:

  • R1: 3+4+5+9
  • R2: 6+10
  • R3: 1+4
  • R4: 3
  • R5: 3+4+6+9

Ticket Cost: $32