Smile Sprint, Princess Rooney headline Saturday card at Gulfstream

A pair of Grade II events each worth $250,000, the Smile Sprint and the Princess Rooney, will take place this Saturday at Gulfstream Park in Florida. The former goes as Race 10 at approximately 4:58 p.m. EST, while the latter will be Race 12, scheduled for 6:02 p.m. EST. Of course, these and the other minor stakes on the card will be worth plenty of points in FanXT’s Daily Fantasy Jockey game. Good luck if you’re playing this weekend!

My Smile Sprint selection is the probable favorite, #3 LIMOUSINE LIBERAL (2-1). Luis Saez makes the trip down from Belmont to ride this horse and he should get a good setup, as there projects to be a very fast pace in this race. LIMOUSINE LIBERAL is usually close to or on the lead, but he can lie back if he needs to. He has yet to win with that kind of trip in a spot like this but he’s been desperately close more than once, most recently in the Aristedes Stakes at Churchill Downs last time out.

#1 DELTA BLUESMAN (5-2) appears to be the fastest horse from the gate in this race and drew the rail, which should only help his chances. He’s coming into this race off two consecutive gate-to-wire wins in convincing fashion at Monmouth, and won at Gulfstream back in April by six lengths. Emisael Jaramillo picks up the mount for the always-dangerous Jorge Navarro.

The fringe players in the Smile Sprint include #2 EIGHTY THREE (3-1), who chased home DELTA BLUESMAN last time and lures Cornelio Velasquez, and #6 CHIEF LION (7-2), who’s won two straight for David Jacobson, his last coming against stakes-quality foes. Emmanuel Esquivel has the mount on this speedster that will harass DELTA BLUESMAN early.

The play: $7 exacta 3/1, $5 exacta 3/6, $4 exacta 3/2, $4 exacta 1/3 ($20)

In the Princess Rooney, I am decidedly against the morning-line favorite, #4 BIRDATTHEWIRE (8-5). Since upsetting the La Brea at Santa Anita last December, BIRDATTHEWIRE has posted several mediocre results, albeit against slightly better. At this price and with a rider downgrade from Mike Smith to Tyler Gaffalione, I’ll take a shot elsewhere.

#7 SPELLING AGAIN (3-1) gets a rider upgrade to Luis Saez and hopefully that will enable her to work out a better trip than the ones she’s gotten lately. She steadied on the turn in the contentious Madison Stakes in her first start of the year, then found a mile too far in the Ruffian next time out. Last time, in the six-furlong Winning Colors Stakes, she might’ve won had she not been forced five-wide. This seven-furlong distance should suit her perfectly.

#5 CONCEALEDWITHAKISS (20-1) might be in a little deep, especially if she tries to wire this bunch, but off two straight wins at the Gulfstream oval she’s worth taking a shot with as she cuts back a furlong.

#8 KISS TO REMEMBER (5-1) doesn’t offer much value considering she lost to CONCEALEDWITHAKISS two straight times, but with Jaramillo riding for Marty Wolfson, she has to be considered a threat.

The play: $5 exacta 7/5,8 ($10)

DFJ angle: Cornelio Velasquez ($8,500) doesn’t have the best mounts in these two races, but he rides in 11 of the 13 races on Gulfstream’s Saturday card, with all but one of those mounts being less than 5-1. Three of them are favorites. Luis Saez ($9,500), the rider of both my top picks in this article, is a must-use for me.

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