Player Quick Pick for 3/16/2014

March 16th, 2014

by D.S. Williamson

A couple of great turf races at Gulfstream Park makes up Sunday’s two best bets.  Sunshine once again promises for a fair track.

Gulfstream Park 9 | 5:05 pm ET Optional Claiming (25) for 4&up F&M going 1-1/16 mi. (T)

8 – Minx – Edgar Prado almost got Kitten’s Point up at the wire in the Honey Fox on Saturday.  He’ll most likely use those same tactics, laying back and making a big run, today above this daughter of Tapit that looked great when breaking her maiden over the yielding Gulfstream turf course two races back.  She didn’t show the same turn of foot in her first try against winners but she only lost by 4 lengths.  Trainer Michelle Nevin wins 31% third time off of a layoff.

4 – Auntie Martha – Trainer Graham Motion saddles this War Path filly that finished second in her last.  Not only was that race at a higher level than today’s but it was at a mile.  Auntie Martha should relish the extra 1/16th of a mile in this race.  Jockey Joseph Rocco Jr. should get a nice trip tracking right off of Why Katherine, the likely speed.

3 – Why Katherine – She could be alone in the front in this, meaning that jockey John Velasquez will want to ration her speed for as long as he can, right?  Those tactics may or may not prove fruitful since Auntie Martha has some foot of her own and closed to pass Why Katherine for the place money the last time that they met.  My guess is that Johnny V. will look for separation, which could set things up for the top choice.  She’s a gate-to-wire threat, yes, but races don’t always play out the way that they look on paper.

Gulfstream Park 10 | 5:36 pm ET Allowance Optional Claiming (75) for 3yo going 1-1/16 mi. (T)

7 - Edison – The maiden score was visually impressive, Edison won by 4 ¾ lengths, but the speed rating leaves something to be desired.  Still, that race was at 1 1/8 miles over the turf while this one is at 1 1/16 miles.  We all know how good Todd Pletcher is as a trainer.  More importantly, Michael Tabor and Derrick and Susan Smith thought enough of this Bernardini colt to purchase him for $950k.  He should improve and the price should drift higher making him a nice key horse in this event.

6 – Dance Champion – I expect this Cristophe Clement trainee ridden by Julien Leparoux that broke his maiden in his last will go off as the favorite.  A beautiful work on March 5 should keep him on his toes for this and Clement does well, 23%, with his last out maiden winners.  He went four wide around the final turn in the maiden victory and still won by 3 lengths.

11-Camden Street – This is another Tabor, Smith and Smith buy trained by Todd Pletcher.  This guy only went for $272k, but the bettors seem to like him.  In three lifetime races, Camden Street has gone off as the favorite twice and 4 to 1 in the other.  This field is probably softer than what he faced in his last, but he hasn’t been training lights out and the 11 post could hurt his chances.  Javier Castellano riding means that a good price is anything but assured.