02/09/2012 5:26PM

How to bet Gulfstream Park's Saturday Pick 5 - Feb. 11, 2012


Here's my race-by-race rundown of Saturday's pick five at Gulfstream Park. I'm building my wager with TicketMaker, found exclusively on DRF.com.

Race 8 (Grade 2, $150,000 Hutcheson)

THUNDER MOCCASIN (#3) is clearly the one to beat on the strength of that debut Beyer, verified when the 2nd, 3rd and 4th-place finishers all returned to win their next starts, with respective Beyers of 88, 74 and 79. He was loose on the lead there, though, and he doesn't figure to have that luxury today, and a more difficult trip could lead to him regressing in his 2nd career start. I'll also use QUICK WIT (#4) and EVER SO LUCKY (#6) on the main ticket, thinking they'd be the main beneficiaries if a hot, contested pace does develop. I'll use Il Villano as a "B", and the inside pair, Tarpy's Goal and Wildcat Creek, as "C" plays as insurance.

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Race 9 (Grade 3, $150,000 Suwannee)

Standing alone with DENOMINATION (#2) on the main ticket, partly due to economics (the other legs seem more difficult) but also because she showed last year that given the right race flow she's capable of a big effort. She was off the board, behind a couple of these, in the My Charmer, her last start, but she was on the lead there, and that's not her game; expecting her to enjoy a stalking trip here, and that should help her run to her best figures. Backup tickets will include Cumulonimble (#1) , Hit It Rich (#6), Here to Win (#7), Snow Top Mountain (#8) and Speak Easy Gal (#9).

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Race 10 (Grade 1, $500,000 Donn Handicap)

FLAT OUT (#7) has some imposing back Beyers, and he clearly can't be held accountable for that dull try in his latest, a failed turf test. That said, he did take a few races to get into full gear last year, when he made his seasonal debut, and that help SHACKLEFORD (#9) in his bid to capture that elusive 4th win. He ran some big races over this strip last year and he's always tough given at least a decent set-up, something he didn't always get in 2011. Backup tickets will include Sangaree (#11).

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Race 11 (Grade 1, $300,000 Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap)

SILVER MEDALLION (#1) and HOLLINGER (#2) were just a half-length apart in the Ft. Lauderdale last time out, with both closing nicely despite tepid splits up front. They should get a much better set-up here, with more speed signed on, though they are tough to separate. BOISTEROUS (#5) just loves to win, and while he may be at his absolute best at a slightly longer distance his win in the Knickerbocker proved that he's capable at nine furlongs.

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Race 12 ($22,000 maiden claiming race)

I defy anyone to accurately cull this field down to an acceptable number, especially without the benefit of scratches and any late information, i.e. a possible bias. As it stands it seems the only way to feel comfortable would be to use them all, in one form or another, as there's not a more than a couple that can be summarily dismissed.

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My wagers

With TicketMaker I'm able to put greater emphasis on my "A" selections while still having coverage with my "B" and "C" picks just in case. This allows me to maximize my budget for this pick five.

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