Dan’s Double: Back-to-Back Pegasus Longshots

Eclipse Sportswire

Dan’s Double of the week, featuring handicapping analysis from America’s Best Racing’s New York correspondent Dan Tordjman, is brought to you by Horseplayers.com, the official online qualifying site of the Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge (BCBC) and National Horseplayers Championship (NHC).

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When it comes to making money when handicapping races and betting on horse racing, it’s all about picking winners. Tordjman – DanonymousMan to those who follow him on Twitter – is one of the sharpest horseplayers around.

Each week, Tordjman will provide readers with his two best bets of the weekend and strategies for how to bet them. Good luck!

Saturday, Jan. 25, Gulfstream Park Race 11, $1,000,000 Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational Stakes presented by Runhappy, post time 4:49 p.m. ET

#1 Zulu Alpha: This race has longshot written all over it. The likely favorite, #12 Magic Wand ended 2019 in perhaps the best form of her career when she ran second in the Longines Hong Kong Cup – and she’s almost shown up big in her U.S. races – but she’s come up short enough to think that she’ll still need everything to break her way in order to win on Saturday. The rest of these have largely taken turns outperforming one another and could win this race on their best day. From a pace perspective, Zulu Alpha is especially interesting. In the Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf he was forced to rally wide after being taken back early to last. He ran on to finish fourth, just behind two runners who’d saved ground throughout and were much closer to the early pace. Tyler Gaffalione will jump aboard Zulu Alpha on Saturday and he’s one of the sharpest and best-prepared turf riders on the circuit. I’m expecting him to use his rail position to the horse’s advantage and try to save ground while sticking within a few lengths of the pace – which figures to be fairly slow. If and when that hole opens up late, I’d look for Zulu Alpha to burst through. Adding to the horse’s appeal is that his last two races over the turf here were both stakes wins.

$10 Budget 

$2 win, place and show on #1 Zulu Alpha ($6)

$1 exacta 1,10 with 1,10,12 ($4)

$25 Budget

$4 win, place and show on #1 Zulu Alpha ($12)

$1 exacta box 1,10,11,12 ($12)

$50 Budget 

$10 to win and $5 to place and show on #1 Zulu Alpha ($20)

$1 exacta box 1,10,11,12 ($12)

$1 trifecta 1,10 with 1,10 with 2,11,12 ($6)

$.10 superfecta box 1,2,10,11,12 ($12)

Saturday, Jan. 25, Gulfstream Park Race 12, $3,000,000 Pegasus World Cup Invitational Stakes presented by Runhappy, post time 5:34 p.m. ET

#12 Bodexpress: If you follow me on Twitter, this selection will come as no surprise. But – and I want to be clear about this – I’m not just simply going with my heart here. Yes, I was all in on Bodexpress in last year’s Preakness Stakes before he tossed jockey John Velazquez and ran the rest of the race riderless. I liked him, then but I started seriously considering his potential as 2019 went on and it became clear that Maximum Security was probably the best horse in training last year. That reminded me of last year’s Florida Derby when Bodexpress chased Maximum Security all the way around the track and, rather than fading in the stretch as most horses would have, Bodexpress held off everyone else to finish a very respectable second. Following the Preakness episode, Bodexpress came back to win his next two races including an allowance in which he posted a 116 Equibase Speed Figure and a 101 Beyer Speed Figure. There aren’t any horses in this race – especially with the scratches of Omaha Beach and Spun to Run –  who have posted numbers like that on a regular basis. From a pace perspective, Bodexpress will certainly be sent early from his wide post. Assuming he gets in the gate without a meltdown (which certainly isn’t a given), he’s the fastest horse in the race and should be able to clear to the lead if he breaks from the gate cleanly. There’s a good amount of speed drawn to the outside, but if they chase early, they’ll obviously be empty late and go home without one of the bigger checks. In his last start in the Grade 3 Harlan’s Holiday Stakes, Bodexpress acted up going into the gate, ran off early and got caught up in a wicked pace battle that would’ve surely made it impossible for the best horses in racing to kick on and win (especially at a mile and sixteenth). But Bodexpress dug in and held on for third. There haven’t been many races where we’ve seen things go Bodexpress’ way but when things have gone his way, he’s shown flashes of brilliance. I’m hoping we’ll see another flash on Saturday.

$10 Budget 

$5 win and place on #12 Bodexpress ($10)

$25 Budget 

$5 win, place and show on #12 Bodexpress ($15)

$5 exacta box 3,12 ($10)

$50 Budget

$6 win, place and show on #12 Bodexpress ($18)

$5 exacta box 3,12 ($10)

$1 trifecta 3,12 with 3,12 with 1,2,6,8,10 ($10)

$1 exacta box 2,3,10,12 ($12)

Last Week’s Earnings: $40.20

2020 Earnings: $215.90

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