Gulfstream: Exotics Plays for the Fred W. Hooper

January 27th, 2023

A huge field of 13 will travel one-mile on the Gulfstream Park dirt in Saturday’s $150,000 Fred W. Hooper S. (G3). The highly competitive event boasts contenders throughout the field in one of the more attractive betting endeavors of the entire weekend.

I lack a clear-cut selection in the heat and feel compelled to spread my wagers with a few of the well-meant entrants in the group.

#1 Miles D (3-1) has faced some fantastic foes in his seven-race career for conditioner Chad Brown and is a must use despite drawing the tricky rail post for this test. By Curlin, the five-year-old has won or placed in each try following a fourth-place finish on debut, and he has been training in solid fashion in advance of his first try in more than 11 months.

The bay is a Grade-1 placed stakes winner with a versatile running style, although he will likely be coming from off of the pace on this occasion due to the abundance of speed in the contest. Joel Rosario has the assignment.

#11 Dean Delivers (10-1) has been first or second in nine of his 10 local tries to date and intrigues in this spot for Michael Yates. The gelded son of Cajun Breeze was a nice second in the Mr. Prospector S. (G3) most recently, and while he’s no sure thing at eight furlongs, the in-form four-year-old loves the course and could peak in his third run off the bench. Miguel Vasquez will have the win threat forwardly placed from the break.

Nine-time local winner #2 Noble Drama (20-1) possesses the best late kick in the field and might get an ideal pace set up for trainer David Fawkes. The Gone Astray eight-year-old is a fine 7-for-14 at the distance and will be saving ground to the top of the lane with Emisael Jaramillo in the silks. The Florida-bred will be a healthy price.

#3 Mish (6-1) is another contender with exotics appeal to me for conditioner Saffie Joseph. The gray six-year-old has run two of his best races going one-mile, and I expect him to thrive cutting back to one turn after his allowance third going 1 1/16 miles off the layoff here in December. Edgard Zayas has the call.

Fred W. Hooper Exotics Wagers

  • $2 exacta: box 1, 2, 3, 11 ($24)
  • $1 trifecta: box 1, 2, 3, 11 ($24)
  • 10-cent superfecta: 1, 11 with 1, 2, 3, 11 with 1, 2, 3, 11 with all ($12)