The Grade III, $100,000 Harlan’s Holiday Stakes anchors Saturday’s stakes-laden card at Gulfstream Park. An accomplished field of nine will race over the tricky 1 1/16th-mile dirt configuration at approximately 4:06 p.m. EST. The Harlan’s Holiday is the ninth of a scheduled 11 races at Gulfstream. As always, feel free to check out FanXT’s Daily Fantasy Jockey game!
#5 PAGE MCKENNEY (6-1), no stranger to the winner’s circle, is the top selection. He’s won four times this year (all stakes), three of which came at today’s 1 1/16th-mile distance. PAGE MCKENNEY’s career record at the distance is an incredible 13-10-2-0, so he’s a must-use even as he steps up in class today off a dull effort at Laurel in which he was uncharacteristically worked up in the paddock and post parade. PAGE MCKENNEY, a confirmed stalker, couldn’t have asked for a better draw with the chief speeds to his inside. Horacio Karamanos maintains the mount.
#3 DESTIN (5-2, morning-line favorite) takes a significant class drop for the red-hot Todd Pletcher (42%). He has two wins from five starts this year, including the Grade II Marathon on Breeders’ Cup Friday. DESTIN typically runs speed figures that are among the best in the field and hit the board in his only try at Gulfstream to date. John Velazquez, aboard for both of DESTIN’s wins this year, will be in the irons.
#7 FEAR THE COWBOY (7-2) gets a solid rider change to Javier Castellano as he returns to the site of his most recent graded stakes win; March’s Grade III Skip Away. FEAR THE COWBOY has three career wins at Gulfstream and has never missed the board in five tries there. He’ll likely drop to the back early as the first turn will arrive quickly; look for him to roll late.
The play: $2 exacta key box 5/3,7, $2 exacta 3/7, $1 exacta box 3/5 ($12)
DFJ analysis: As mentioned above, Pletcher has gotten off to a fast start at Gulfstream. John Velazquez typically rides first call for Pletcher, but Javier Castellano has some prime mounts for the Eclipse Award-winning trainer on Saturday. He’ll be aboard Nonna Mela (5-2) in the Grade III Rampart before getting aboard a pair of 7-2 shots in the last two races. That includes All Included in the Grade III Tropical Turf. Castellano has five other mounts as well, including FEAR THE COWBOY in the Harlan’s Holiday, so he’ll have plenty of opportunities to pick up checks all afternoon.
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