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Saturday, January 14, 2012

Weekend Handicapping: Is GP Teaks North new best friend?

We got off to a great start last weekend, capped off by R Holiday Mood winning in a dead heat and paying $12.40.  I watched that race and she made a nice run down the rail, thought for sure she had it all to herself, but like many of my selections, they seem to get nailed at the wire.  No complaints with a DH win and a handsome payday.   Today we will stay at Gulfstream and look at the  Fort Lauderdale (G3) turf race going a mile and a sixteenth for 4YO and upward.  We have a big field, several with good G1 performances, a first time import and some dirt to turf plays.  What that all means another tough race, and a good winning price should be in the making.  So here goes …

Contenders:

#5  Mutual Trust ML 3/1

This was a hard selection to make, because I do like Teaks North a great deal.  However, I have to go with the angle of a good graded winner from GB going out the first time.  Granted all four wins in France were for a mile, but adding a bit more should not change anything.  You have Bill Mott training her and he has a respectable record with these kind of situations.  Add in Jose Lezcano who won 25% with Mott last year and you have a dangerous mix.  If we can get a square price this is the play.

#7  Teaks North ML 8/1

My heart says this is the one, I have always liked this gelding and if it wasn’t for the import angle he would be on top.  He has had great performances in the past winning at the G1 level; good Beyer’s on turf and has even beaten Stacelita.    I like his racing style of staying near the front and then taking command and one more thing he has won on the Gulfstream turf.  Here is the one thing about Teaks North he tends to be a horse for courses.  He was a killer at Monmouth does his past victory here spell another course for him to dominate?  I do like his chances and if betting at this price it would be my play.

#4  Yummy With Butter  ML 10/1

Here is another one of those horses for courses, having done well at Monmouth on the grass.  What I see in the #4 is a horse that had to strong G3 wins then went north and got himself on a yielding turf going maybe a bit too long.  Then after a brief layoff he does a dirt sprint and now we see the classic trainer play of bringing him back to a grass route.  Belsoeur has a respectable record in these situations and puts Paco Lopez back in the irons.  One thing I learned in watching Paco at Monmouth, he is one of the best at riding in the weeds.  If #4 is fit and ready, he could surprise.

Dark Horse:

#10  Silver Medallion  ML  4/1

He could end up being the favorite in this race.  It is hard to pass on a Pletcher trained G3 winner last out posting its best Beyer of96.  So what’s the issue?  I have a suspicion that he doesn’t hold his form all that long. His record while impressive seems to me to be roller coaster like and not sure if he can string another strong performance.  But due to his good record and recent race, have to consider him.  My thinking is the price will be too paltry.

Bombs Away:

#8  Flat Out ML 6/1

I don’t often go with a first time on turf entry, I always like to see one and his breeding for grass shows that he can make the switch.  But you can’t ignore this horse that has won five of fourteen, a G1 and G2 over longer distances and post multiple 100 Beyer’s. Dickey and Solis are a tough combination and if he gets forgotten in the wagering could be a huge surprise.  He is one of those plays you have to listen to your instincts.   It’ll be interesting to see how he fairs.

Selections:

5 – 7 – 4

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