Happy Florida Derby day! We head down to beautiful Hallandale Beach, Florida today for an absolutely loaded card at Gulfstream Park! We have an astounding 14 race slate today, and StableDuel is offering a monstrous $40,000 guarantee for only a $60 buy-in! This is a huge opportunity, and there is a likely chance of a significant overlay. With 14 races to choose from, we can afford to be more selective in skipping races where we have weaker opinions. The winning score is likely to be higher than normal, so get out your form, download the app, and let’s dive in and make some money.
If you’ve been following along with us here at DFS Karma, you already know the gig. You have a mythical $50k budget to pick 10 horses racing today. Each horse has a price, based on it’s morning line odds. Horses who are heavy favorites will cost you more salary to use, but they also generally bring more upside. Longshot horses will be cheaper but do carry some risk. You will either earn or lose points for each horse you’ve selected based on where they finish. The short version is that finishing in the top 5 earns you 10-60 points from 5th to 1st, respectively, plus or minus some points based on the margin of victory. If you finish worse than 5th, however, you lose points based on how much you lost by, so be careful with taking longshots!
Below, I’ve outlined a few horses at varying price tiers who I feel are compelling horses to include in some StableDuel stables.
If you need a refresher on scoring, please refer back to our debut article that goes a little more in-depth, located here.
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High Price Favorites
Fearless $11,000 – Race 6
While the price tag certainly isn’t cheap, Fearless nevertheless projects to be one of the most likely winners on the Gulfstream card this Saturday. He finally gets to dodge his nemesis Speaker’s Corner, who has developed into one of the top four-year-old colts in the country. This is a much softer spot than the races that Fearless has been running in lately, as the only other graded stakes winner of the bunch is Greatest Honour, and that colt was not impressive whatsoever making his first start off of the layoff last month. Fearless will need to overcome what projects as a slow pace, but I think he is unquestionably the class of the field and will get the job done at short odds.
Mid Price Plays
Scarlett Sky $5,000 – Race 13
The Grade 3 Appleton Stakes is a race that appears to have a ton of early pace signed on. In this field of nine runners, it can be argued that at least five of them are need-the-lead type of runners. Of the remaining entrants, there is really only one true closer in the race, Scarlett Sky. Scarlett Sky has some dirty form recently, but there are reasons to be optimistic. He has legitimate excuses in each of his last three starts. At Gulfstream and Churchill, he was compromised by an extremely wide post draw and lost a ton of ground. At Keeneland, he likely just didn’t handle the soft turf that day. Scarlett Sky should get a great pace setup today, coupled with a favorable draw and a huge rider upgrade to Joel Rosario, who was aboard for the last victory. While he may not be a surefire winner, he should be an excellent candidate to hit the board with real upset potential.
Strike Hard $250 – Race 14
The Florida Derby is shaping up to be a very competitive affair. Classic Causeway, Simplification, and White Abbario are all major contenders, and I struggle to really separate them in this race. Rather than pick one of three horses whom I like nearly equally, I’m instead going to go for a big price play who I think has a really good chance to outrun his odds. Strike Hard is probably not as talented as the aforementioned three runners, but he’s finished within a few lengths of them each time they’ve met. I was really impressed with his effort in the Sam F Davis at Tampa Bay Downs. The outside posts at Tampa going two turns on the dirt is nearly a death sentence, as posts 9+ have only won at a combined rate of 3%. Strike Hard had a brutal draw, lost a ton of ground, and still closed stoutly in a race that was won in gate to wire fashion. He needs to avoid getting burnt up in a pace battle with Classic Causeway and Charge It, but if he rates just behind the speed and saves ground from the rail draw he should have a good opportunity to score some points.