Spot plays and Pick 3 ticket for Gulfstream, including Dania Beach Stakes

January 6th, 2023

Pilgrim S. (G2) hero Major Dude will kick off his three-year-old campaign in the Dania Beach S., while Todd Pletcher’s three-year-old filly Cairo Consort headlines the Ginger Brew S., both turf races on Gulfstream Park’s Saturday card.

Below we offer spot plays for the above stakes, along with a starter/optional claimer sandwiched between the two, then provide a Pick 3 ticket covering Races 7-9 in which we fade the favorite in the opening leg while leaning on two singles in the second and third.

Race 7: Dania Beach S., one mile (turf), three-year-olds

#2 Major Dude (8-5) opens as the heavy morning line favorite in the kickoff to his three-year-old season, but I like the price on European shipper #6 Souzak (9-2), who was last seen winning at today's distance at Longchamp on Oct. 1 while posting a 121 Class Rating, the highest among the field, to collect his third straight victory. Souzak will make his U.S. debut for trainer Graham Motion, a 22% winner with horses coming off layoffs of more than 90 days and a 14% winner with shippers to the U.S. Joel Rosario, a 17% winner on turf and a 15% winner this meet, will inherit the mount.

#7 Worthington (3-1) also deserves attention after winning his second straight at a mile on turf. Most recently, he won by 2 1/2 lengths in an allowance at Churchill Downs in late November and will keep rider Luis Saez in the saddle. Trainer Mike Maker is a 20% winner with horses that won their last race and a 17% winner with shippers.

Let's also take a chance on longshot #5 Barzini (15-1), who flashed an 87 Brisnet Speed rating when getting up late to win a five-furlong turf sprint at Gulfstream and will now stretch out to a mile for the first time while moving up in class for trainer Michael Trombetta, a 15% winner with horses making their first start at a route and a 17% winner with horses that won their last race. Barzini is the son of Wood Memorial (G2) winner Outwork out of a First Samurai mare, so stamina is in his pedigree. Edwin Gonzalez will retain the mount and is 2-for-5 paired with Trombetta for a +6.32 ROI over the last two months.

Race 8: One mile, 70 yards (all-weather), four-year-olds and up

#7 Fly the W (5-2) finished third by 1 1/4 lengths to winner #6 Poppy's Boys (15-1) and was three-quarters of a length behind second-place finisher #3 Wicked Finn (8-1) — both of whom re-oppose here — in a one-mile, 70-yard starter/optional claimer at this track two back. The Ghostzapper gelding then rebounded to beat both, and bested second-place finisher #11 Momza (5-1), another of today's race rivals, by 5 1/2 lengths in a 1 1/16-mile starter/optional claimer in which he took over from the two path rounding the far turn. The seven-year-old posted a 97 Brisnet Speed rating, 17 points better than his Speed rating two back, and five points better than the next highest speed figure among the field at today's distance. Trainer Bobby Dibona is a 20% winner this meet and a 17% winner with horses that won their last race. Luis Saez will stay in the silks and is a 22% winner this meet.

Race 9: Ginger Brew S., one mile (turf), three-year-old fillies

#3 Cairo Consort (8-5) is the one to beat among this field of nine. The Cairo Prince three-year-old was last seen finishing third by 4 3/4 lengths to Irish-bred Meditate in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1) in her second try at a mile. Two back, she was a length second in the Natalma (G1) at Woodbine and will now drop in class while making her first start for Todd Pletcher, a 23% winner with horses making their first start with the trainer and a 25% winner with shippers. Eclipse Award-winning jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. — a 27% winner at Gulfstream — will pick up the mount.

Pick 3 ticket, Races 7-9

$4 Pick 3: 5,6,7 with 7 with 3 ($12)