Graydar drove to a convincing win in the Donn Handicap on Feb. 9 to remain unbeaten on the main track at Gulfstream Park. (Photo courtesy of Eclipse Sportswire)
Sometimes it is as easy as having home-field advantage.
Let’s look back at last Saturday’s $500,000 Donn Handicap (G1) at Gulfstream Park. The field of ten included a number of runners that had wins against graded stakes competition on their resume and looked poised to be the top contenders to win the Donn.
Multiple Grade 1 winner Flat Out was sent off as the 2-1 favorite in the race, despite an off-the-board finish in his previous start on Gulfstream Park’s dirt track. Flat Out ran a non-threatening fourth in the Donn. Well behind the winner.
I went with a class-and-trip angle and picked Bourbon Courage, who ran a respectable second at odds of 3-to-1 but was no match for the winner.
The winner had no previous graded stakes experience, was only making his fourth lifetime start (least experienced of the group), and was sent off at odds of almost 6- 1. The winner was Graydar, who won by three lengths.
Graydar had shown a liking for Gulfstream Park, he had an undefeated record of two wins from two starts at Gulfstream before his Donn win. His only loss was a defeat at Belmont Park in New York. Whether it is something in the Florida air or just a love of Gulfstream, Graydar sure loves it there. He defeated a good group of runners and improved his Gulfstream record to 3-for-3 all while galloping strong throughout.
GRAYDAR'S PERFORMANCE HISTORY
Just as with any other sport, do not underestimate the power of home-field advantage in horse racing.
Graydar had shown a liking for Gulfstream Park and his speed figures were competitive coming into the Donn Handicap. For the bettors that focused on his undefeated record locally, they were rewarded with a nice return of $13.40 for a $2 win ticket.
The horse-for-course angle does come into play at all tracks and with many horses, so keep on the lookout for that next opportunity to cash.