Happy Easter! Gulfstream Park is the only North American track to offer Thoroughbred racing Sunday, and 12 races are scheduled at the Hallandale Beach, Florida venue.
I will recommend a horse in race 7, an $8,000 claiming event at 6-furlongs. #5 Desert General will probably be shorter than his 8-1 morning line price, but he should still offer fair value with a couple of rivals likely to be well-supported.
Combination has been installed as the prohibitive 9-5 morning line favorite. The gelding owns a 1-for-7 record at the 6-furlong distance, and the confirmed closer will be seeking his fourth consecutive win after a hard-fought head decision. He looks vulnerable in my estimation. Ray’swarrior has been favored in his last eight starts, burning a lot of money during the current four-race losing streak, and bettors will still flock to him on the class drop here.
Desert General has good tactical foot in a race lacking serious speed, and the 7-year-old gelding will make his first start for Gerardo Quiroz, who I would assume is related to trainer Angel Quiroz. Gerardo began his training career in early March, winning his first two starts, and the promising horseman is 2-for-3 overall.
Previously based in California, Desert General has run well in all five starts at Gulfstream and was claimed from a head second at 9-1 odds last time. He registered an 88 Brisnet Speed rating, the second best last-out figure in the field, and I like his improved Pace numbers last time (87 E1, 87 E2, and 95 LP).
Desert General appears to be rounding toward a top performance, and I like his chances in this spot.