Friday, April 29, 2016

Handicapper's Corner: Miami Mile Stakes (G3)

Smokem Kitten Has Speed to Burn in Miami Mile Stakes

By John Caro

Eight three year olds are eager to contest the Grade 3 Miami Mile Stakes at Gulfstream Park on Saturday.  South Florida ThoroFan handicapping expert John Caro uses his keen eye to discover long shots flying under the radar.

Miami Mile Stakes GIII - $100K –Turf 3 and Up
Lots of top turf veterans horses in this one with top turf trainers and jockeys that have some of the best stats for this kind of race. 

#1 – Conquest Tsunami has limited turf experience but put out a fast turn of foot in his last outing at a mile and an eighth at Tampa in January. He has had many breaks the past year and his ITM record is 0 for 3 since his good efforts as a two year old. On the plus side; Casse is 25% on turf with 68% ITM and 24% at a distance, Jaramillo Emisael is winning on the turf at 31% and ITM at 47% and is the top distance jockey at Gulfstream with nearly 40%. Tsunami’s early speed may make him the rabbit for this one but will likely give others the chance to run at him through the stretch. Nice workouts with two bullets though his record’s not strong enough for me as a winner. Bottom of exotics but Jaramillo may play it different today and could show up for second.

#2 – Smokem Kitten is a “JOY” to watch. Setting the Gulfstream track record last time out at 7.5 was very impressive. Under Johnny V’s direction he pressed (albeit 7 lengths back) in a furious pace to move at the half and finished 5 up in his fourth start. Great video. The finish is an indication he can go longer today with no problem as he did in his maiden win with Prado aboard. Maker has not fared well on the turf this meet with his lone win by Smokey and 3 more in the money out of 7 races (57% ITM). Interesting note is he seems to do better inside and he is versatile on the lead or as a presser. I really like this fella for the win!! Hope the odds are right.

#3 – Amigo is a road warrior veteran but has not shown much this year and the last win was in an OC at GPW. He did hit the board in the Tropical Turf H. against Locate and Flashlight with a furious run down the stretch at 63-1 under Jaramillo E. (above). Great news is Ronny Werner is 2 for 3 at a distance and 42% on the turf and 57% ITM with only 7 attempts. Caraballo is 1 for 11 on turf and 1 for 10 at a distance and not having a stellar season. Could see him plodding along and try to revisit the furious run tactic but, Amigo is not on my list even with a steady diet of .49 works and a winning trainer.

#4 – Hothersal this 8 year old veteran is out of a Theatrical mare and is pretty handy at Gulfstream while 71% ITM here. The numbers for the trainer and jockey as posted on Brisnet are in error. Gaffalione is winning at 17% and 65% ITM on turf with 21% and 71% at a distance. Serves is a top trainer on turf at the meeting with 42% and 81% ITM with 14% at a distance. Hothersal three important factors to note; can take a quick pace and catch up, is a mid-pack closer and has done a mile in 1:34. I like this guy as a second and third place finisher…. He’ll be in the mix.

#5 – With Exhalation has great breeding for this event, has won two at Gulfstream this meeting but I’d like to see a little bit more in his works while he goes with the high weight. Elvis is doing well on the turf at 18% here and may be able to overcome Weaver’s low stats. When he wins he is fairly close to a moderate pace. I don’t think we’ll see that today. Third place, maybe. 

#6 – Middleburg is ITM 15 of 17 lifetime and his conditioner is winning at 33% on turf and tied with Serves for ITM at 83%. Steady works at Payson Park (Recreation and Relaxation Center) since January indicate to me that Clement has been waiting for the right race at the right time. Bravo has not had a turf race here at the meeting but, that doesn’t scare me. His class, ITM record at this or any level, and the weight break. Make him a top pick with Smokey Kitten.

#7 – Akatbantay is the Out-of-Towner… two races back he closed to within 1.25 and lost with the very hot Victor LeBron at Tampa against… Who…. Ok, I read the Equibase article about him and the thoughts about a well bred colt who failed in Europe and came for the American game ….blah, blah, blah. Sorry the performance since two has been abysmal even when Europe’s best riders are aboard losing by 61 lengths in the last 5 races. Trouble Prone? Castro is hot and a smart jockey with a competitive spirit but, you have to come with a horse….. may be a scratch candidate. NO!

#8 – Quiet Force has just about everything a horseplayer would want to see on past performance. He either wins or is out of the money. The great news is he may be a price today. Not real happy with Walder’s stats but, the breeding, the speed, the pace marks, two wins after a break and Zayas aboard gives me a lot of hope. Force can meet the forecast pace and show up from mid-pack to take a piece or win. Like him as much as my other two above.

Let’s make a bet…..Hoo-Rah

Use the Dutch bet method with the #2, #6 #8
i.e.- $20 win on the lowest odds of the three, $10 on the second lowest and $7 on the highest odds

$0.50 Trifecta  2,6,8 / 1,2,4,6,8 / 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8    $36
$0.50 Tri Box   2,6,8              as many as you feel comfortable with…. Check the odds
$2 Exacta 2,6,8 with 1,2,4,6,8   $24

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