A hard watch for backers of Rapstorerocks on his previous start will hopefully be compensated for in today’s opening race. He was behind a couple of rivals from today’s race that day but I’m more than happy to forgive him a torrid run and pretty poor ride. The jockey situation looks much brighter this time around with Paco Lopez, fresh off a seven timer at the weekend, taking over. He won’t have many traffic problems on the rail today given his draw in 12 and with what looks like an honest pace to aim at I can see a far better result for punters today.
This looks a dead match race between the number five, Liza Star, and the #6 horse, Day By Day. Liza Star only has one way of doing things and that’s from the front, which has been detrimental to her chances in the past and I’m banking on history repeating itself. The #2 horse, Kiffle, is the likely outsider but he’ll play a big hand here given he won’t be hanging around either.
The battle for the lead is enough to make me take her on with the ultra-consistent Day By Day. She never runs a bad race at a course she adores, finished outside of the first 3 only once in her twelve starts at Gulfstream. Her trainer Jorge Delgado knows the score, he only books jockey top jockey Luis Saez when the chips are down, they’ve got a 60 per cent strike-rate so far this year and that could only build confidence that another big performance from his mare is on the horizon.
Some fairly decent animals are up for grabs for only $16k and amongst them is Saffie Joseph’s Keepsakekitten. The horse drawn inside him, Allgorilla, drops down from Grade 3 company last time out where he was heavily outclassed but he could well find things difficult again today from gate seven. He’s one of a couple of leaders in this and that may well force him to use up more than he needs to from this draw on a very, very short run to the first bend. His style of running is going to play right in to the hands of Keepsakekitten, who should be watching everything unfold from the rear. The win in his previous start may not look much on paper but he overcame a slower pace than ideal and today should be more his cup of tea.
Undoubtedly the feature of the card, this is a pretty trappy seven runner affair. Fast Pass is likely to be at the top of many shortlists but I’m going with one who finished behind him recently, that’s Whyruawesome. They met here on New Years Day and four lengths separated them but Irad Ortiz simply went to quick on Whyruawesome and set it up for a stone-cold closer in Fast Pass. Today’s race won’t give Fast Pass the same setup and it wouldn’t shock me if the selection has an easier time of it up front. He has admittedly looked a bit tricky in the past, including on his only subsequent start, but this test is likely to bring the best out in him.