Gulfstream Park selections and jockey analysis, 12/17/16

A trio of Grade III stakes highlight Gulfstream Park’s Saturday card; the Sugar Swirl, the Rampart, and the Harlan’s Holiday. As usual, many of the nation’s top riders will be present as Gulfstream’s championship meet rolls on. Be sure to study these races carefully if you’re taking part in FanXT’s Daily Fantasy Jockey game!

#1 DEAREST (9-5) gets the call in the Sugar Swirl (Race 4, post time 1:30 p.m. EST). She’s 3-for-4 lifetime at Gulfstream and projects to work out a great stalking trip under Edgard Zayas.

#5 STONETASTIC (7-5) will likely have her hands full early with #3 SKY GOLD, and that could cost her the win. However, STONETASTIC is a solid backup in the horizontal wagers as she’s won two stakes over this course this year. Paco Lopez will have the mount.

#6 YOU BOUGHT HER (7-2) should be running on late but her 5-0-2-1 record over this course is a concern. However, Hall-of-Famer John Velazquez will be in the irons.

The play: $4 exacta box 1/5, $2 trifecta 1,5/1,5/6 ($12)

 

#6 GENRE is my top pick in the Rampart (Race 5). She’ll have strong connections in her corner in Velazquez and Todd Pletcher, who’s off to another strong Gulfstream meet (22-7-3-4). GENRE was a no-show in the Spinster last time out but had a highly productive summer (two stakes wins and two runner-ups). She has also won a race over this course and loves the one-mile distance (3-for-6 lifetime).

#3 CURLIN’S APPROVAL (5-2) stretches out for local connections, jockey Emisael Jaramillo and trainer Marty Wolfson. Her fourth-place effort in the Raven Run was respectable and now she returns to her favorite circuit (3-for-4 at Gulfstream). The pedigree suggests she’ll have no problem negotiating the added ground.

#4 SCREAMING SKYLAR (6-1) was nipped out of her first dirt win last time (third try). If she can run back to that effort she can hit the board at a decent price. Zayas has the call.

The play: $4 trifecta 3,6/3,6/4 ($8)

 

#2 MADEFROMLUCKY (3-1) and Luis Saez should take the last of the graded stakes, the Harlan’s Holiday (Race 7). The price should be fair enough to take a shot with this mid-pack closer who seeks his first victory since the 2015 West Virginia Derby (six starts).

#6 KEEN ICE (9-5) and #1 STANFORD (2-1) will likely vie for favoritism in this race, but they each have flaws that could keep them out of the winners’ circle.

KEEN ICE has run out of the money in both his career starts at Gulfstream Park and his deep-closing style usually doesn’t fare well over this strip. STANFORD has been training well for his first start since June but will likely have to duel for the lead from the inside against #4 AWESOME SLEW.

The play: $4 exacta 2/1,6, $2 exacta 1/2 ($10)

 

DFJ analysis: Edgard Zayas ($8,500) looks like a solid value play on Saturday. He has a total of seven mounts on this 11-race card and rides two favorites (Races 1 and 9). He’s also likely to at least hit the board in two of the three Grade IIIs on the card with DEAREST (the Sugar Swirl) and SCREAMING SKYLAR (the Rampart).

John Velazquez is a bit pricier ($10,000) but should also have a solid day riding in nine races. Velazquez has the call on YOU BOUGHT HER in the Sugar Swirl and GENRE in the Rampart, and he has a good chance to sweep the late double with Tuttipaesi (5-2, morning-line favorite) and Delphinia (4-1).

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