Dan’s Double: Live Longshots in Gulfstream Preps

Penelope P. Miller/America's Best Racing

When it comes to making money when handicapping races and betting on horse racing, it’s all about picking winners. Dan Tordjman, America’s Best Racing’s New York correspondent, is one of the brightest young minds in the game.

Each Week, Tordjman – DanonymousMan to those who follow him on Twitter – will provide readers with his two best bets of the weekend and strategies for how to bet them. Tordjman will keep track of his return on investment (ROI) throughout the year and, as a bonus, he will also provide picks for a selection of the key races on the Triple Crown trail and the road to the Breeders’ Cup. Dan was able to manage a positive ROI for his plays in 2016. Come back every week and be sure to follow Tordjman on Twitter.

Come back every week and be sure to follow Tordjman on Twitter.

Saturday, Feb. 4

Gulfstream Park, Race 6, $200,000 Forward Gal Stakes, 2:30 p.m. ET

#2 Tequilita (12-1): I’ve been known to be partial to horses based in Maryland, and horses who prep at Laurel for bigger races elsewhere. That’s where I’m at with this Union Rags filly, trained by Kentucky Derby-winning trainer Michael Matz. She’s been tested over three tracks already and has delivered in each of her last three races. Going back to three races ago, she finished second to next-out Grade 1 Darley Alcibiades winner Dancing Rags. Two races ago, she beat Make Amends, a really nice Malibu Moon filly who won a few weeks ago at Oaklawn Park. Finally, she easily handled Star Super last out, and that filly came back to win the Marshua Stakes at Laurel.

Above all, I think this race should set up nicely for Tequilita, who has shown tactical speed in her young career — and the ability to sit off a hot pace. The pace in this race projects to be very fast indeed, with the extremely-talented Ms Locust Point likely to be pressed every step of the way by Bode’s Dream. I would expect Tequilita to sit a nice stalking, and ground-saving, trip a few lengths behind.

Strategy on $10 Budget

$2 win, place and show on #2 Tequilita ($6)

$1 exacta 2,8 with 2,6,8 ($4)

Strategy on $25 Budget

$4 win, place and show on #2 Tequilita ($12)

$1 exacta box 2,4,6,8 ($12)

Strategy on $50 Budget

$8 to win, $6 to place and show on #2 Tequilita ($20)

$1 exacta box 2,4,6,8 ($12)

$1 exacta key box 2 over all ($16)

Gulfstream Park, Race 12, $250,000 Lambholm South Holy Bull Stakes, 5:35 p.m. ET

#8 Cavil: Let’s be clear, if #3 Classic Empire returns to the races for his 2017 debut as the same horse who won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile last November, it’s going to be hard for anyone to beat him. But if you’re ever going to take a shot against the leading 3-year-old Kentucky Derby contender, now is as good a time as any.

I landed on #8 Cavil after watching the replay of his last race, the $100,000 Much Macho Man. The trip notes for the race indicate that Cavil “tired” but if you watch closely, he had a much more eventful trip than the notes indicate. He was covered up for most of the race and lacked any running room turning for home. Further complicating matters was a tiring pacesetter who started running in reverse before jostling between the rail and Cavil. After the bump, Cavil packed it in and jockey John Velazquez didn’t ask him for much. You’ll note that Cavil was the favorite in the race but we never really got to see him do his best running.

I further like the fact that Cavil has some early foot in a race where the pace projects to be fairly soft. Logically, Classic Empire should win this race but if he’s off-form at all, off of a long layoff, Cavil could make a lot of noise at a big price.

Strategy on $10 Budget

$2 win, place and show on #8 Cavil ($6)

$2 exacta box 3,8 ($4)

Strategy on $25 Budget

$5 win, place and show on #8 Cavil ($15)

$5 exacta box 3,8 ($10)

Strategy on $50 Budget

$8 win, place and show on #8 Cavil ($24)

$5 exacta box 3,8 ($10)

$1 trifecta 3,8 with 3,6,8 with 1,2,3,5,6,8 ($16)

YTD Top Picks: 0/9

ROI for All Bets: -$470.55

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