Moon Over Miami
By: John Caro, S. FL ThoroFan Member
Another great stakes race at Gulfstream with six stalwart competitors lead by Appleton winner All Included (Pletcher/Castellano) with three geldings, two four year olds; Applicator and Our Way, six-year-old Diamond Bachelor and two of Clément’s older fighters War Correspondent and Lubash. This small but tough field will make it an interesting race. There may be little value in a win bet on All Included who is the likely favorite given his win in the Appleton here on April Fool’s Day but, there may be some wagers that will garner some good money. For next week’s Kentucky Derby.
All Included (Pletcher/Castellano) – Four-time winner at the distance and his last three races say he is in form. Having watched the videos of all the runners today showed his ability to come off the pace and close well. That would be a plus for me in any turf race if the going is enough pace to make that tactic work. The problem in this field is everyone’s running lines show they all like to be mid pack/pressers or later with the exception of Diamond Bachelor who has won from the front and was close to the lead in the Appleton. I think Castellano is a stealthy rider and will work out what he needs to do to make it a win. My top pick for exotics.
Lubash (Clement/Panici) – I’ve gotten to see him many time when visiting Payson Park to watch the workouts. He always looks good and goes well. His appearance defies his age. His last two wins where done in fine fashion and the disqualification of Rose Brier in the Tropical Turf Handicap was well justified. Lubash was closing well and would likely have crossed the wire first if McCarthy hadn’t crossed four lanes to cut him off. The ten-year-old bolted upward and still regained his stride. Others may not have fared as well. War Correspondent was a good fourth in that race.
War Correspondent (Clement/Gaffalione) – Came in third (by DQ of Beach Patrol) by a nose to All Included (second by the DQ) when they last met in the GP Turf Handicap. At 22-1 he was on his way to second in that race, and lead briefly at the mile mark and was well ahead of All Included at a mile and 70, firing well before Beach Patrol moved three lanes to side smack him. Gaffalione was moving sideways more than forward in the last 50 yards and lucky to stay in there. Tough ride, tough horse. I’ve seen this guy at Payson Park as well and he looked sharp. His recent bullet work says a lot over Payson’s surface.
Our Way (Bond/Juarez) – Winner of the Sunshine Millions Turf, 67% ITM and raced seven times since February ’16 with only one out of the money finish while champagning here and on the road, testifies to his ability. He was third by one and a half to All Included in the Appleton after going 4 wide and a nice side step to get there.
Diamond Bachelor (Biancone/Figueroa) – Finishing sixth to All Included in the Appleton, he was last doing well (in form) in the Claiming Crown Jewel here in December. Since then he hasn’t shown much but, his near the lead speed in the Appleton and his bullet five-furlong work make him a possible candidate for the lead in this race. He has won on the front in the past on this surface.
Applicator (Yanakov/Kappushev) – He has not done well at this level and last won in the May ’16. Just not on my list.
The odds on All Included will likely preclude a win bet for me. And the odds will drive how I play. The money will be in the exotics and that is how I’ll play this one.
$5 Trifecta: 5 / 2,3,4 / 2,3,4 Total: $30 Value Play
$10 Exacta: 5 / 2,3,4 Total: $30 Some Value
Depending on the odds and because it’s racing and things happen…….
$3 Exacta: 2,3 / 1,2,3,4,5,6 Total: $30