Gulfstream: Analyzing the $4,452 Super High 5 carryover

March 10th, 2024

The Sunday card at Gulfstream Park is highlighted by a $4,452 carryover in the $1 Super High 5.

The prize pool is available to pursue in Race 10, a maiden special weight for three-year-old fillies racing one mile on turf. A competitive field of 11 has turned out, which equates to 55,440 possible Super High 5 outcomes.

Handicapping in advance is made tricky by the fact Gulfstream has been mostly off the turf since Wednesday. Three of the four grass races on Saturday were transferred to the main track; only the five-furlong Silks Run S. stayed on grass. The course was labeled good, and the winning time was a fast :54.74, so there’s a chance the Gulfstream lawn has dried out enough for grass racing to continue as scheduled on Sunday. Except… there’s a possibility for more rain on Sunday at Gulfstream, and that could put us right back in off-the-turf territory.

If Race 10 stays on turf, #4 Pacific Front (7-2) and #5 Last Episode (3-1) are logical favorites to build tickets around. Pacific Front has finished second by close margins in a pair of 1 1/16-mile turf maiden special weights at Gulfstream this winter, while Last Episode ran fourth (beaten only half a length) in a one-mile maiden special weight at Gulfstream last month. Last Episode in particular is appealing; trainer Todd Pletcher wins at a 26% rate with horses running on grass for the second time, and five-time Eclipse Award-winning jockey Irad Ortiz is named to ride.

If, however, Race 10 is switched to Tapeta, it’s hard to predict who might shine. Only four of the entrants have ever run over a synthetic track, and none managed to finish in the top three.

We might lean toward #2 Past Tense (6-1), a daughter of Ghostzapper adding Lasix and dropping blinkers after recording top-four finishers on dirt and turf in Aqueduct maiden special weights. The fact she’s run well on multiple surfaces bodes well for her chances of handling Tapeta, as does the fact Ghostzapper has sired many high-level winners on synthetic.

We’ll also mention #8 Sweet Rebecca (8-1) as a filly to consider regardless of surface. The unraced daughter of Triple Crown winner American Pharoah is a full sister to Sweet Melania, a three-time graded stakes winner on turf. But American Pharoah was a dirt star, and Sweet Rebecca’s dam (Sweet N Discreet) won the Florida Sunshine Millions Distaff S. on dirt, so Sweet Rebecca’s pedigree offers potential for success across multiple surfaces. If Race 10 switches to Tapeta, Sweet Rebecca is eligible to handle the synthetic just fine.

Good luck!