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Court Vision, Quality Road Headline Gulfstream Grade 1’s

Posted by Pete Mitchell on 2/5/2010 5:03:55 PM
WHO: Thoroughbreds – Court Vision, Yate’s Black Cat, Quality Road
WHAT: Horse Racing Betting Tips – The Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap, The Donn Handicap
WHERE: Gulfstream Park
WHEN: Saturday, February 6th

With heavy rain threatening to muddy the stakes picture at Santa Anita on Saturday, we’ll focus our attention on a pair of Grade 1 events at Gulfstream Park. The Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap and The Donn Handicap will feature heavy favorites in Court Vision and Quality Road, with the former appearing to be the more vulnerable of the two. Let’s examine each race and formulate a betting strategy.

Court Vision is the leading money earner in The Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap by a wide margin, and has logged seven Beyer Speed Figures of 100 or higher on the lawn, while none of his rivals has broken the century mark on grass in the U.S. He’s in the capable hands of trainer Rick Dutrow and gets the services of regular rider Robbie Albarado. Despite all the positives, a few words of caution are in order. Three victories in ten grass starts hardly qualifies him as a “win machine”, yet his odds are likely to be less than even money….in other words, an underlay. Also note that he finished third in this race last year as the favorite, albeit against a tougher bunch. He’s coming off a three-month break, so fitness may be an issue. He won off a similar freshening last fall at Keeneland, but it was by a scant nose going a mile on turf labeled “soft”. I’ll look elsewhere for value.

I’ll take a shot with Yate’s Black Cat, a 7YO Dale Romans trainee that appears to be in career form. Granted, he hasn’t done much vs. top-level competition, but he gets in relatively light and loves this course. Jockey Kent Desormeaux got a huge effort out of him last out, and may have learned a bit about his mount in the process. I’ll bet #2-Yate’s Black Cat to win at odds of 5-1 or better, and wheel him top and bottom in the exacta with #3-Court Vision, #4-Never On Sunday, and #5 Take the Points. I’ll also bet him in the Daily Double with my choice in the next race, #4-Quality Road.

Quality Road towers over his competition in The Donn Handicap, and it’s hard to separate the handful of “lesser lights” lined up to face him. With his gate antics apparently behind him, it’s hard to see this extremely talented 4YO getting beat, especially with what figures to be a comfortable, pace-pressing trip near the inside. Since I can’t figure out which horses to use underneath, I’ll bet him to win, and as mentioned earlier, hook him up with #2-Yates Black Cat in the preceding race.

Those are my horse racing betting tips for the weekend. Best of luck and happy gambling!

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