Caleb’s StableDuel Strategy – Gulfstream $40k Contest 1/29 - DFS Karma
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Caleb’s StableDuel Strategy – Gulfstream $40k Contest 1/29

This Saturday, StableDuel is hosting their largest contest EVER at Gulfstream Park for Pegasus World Cup day. They are offering a $40,000 guaranteed prize pool, with the winner taking home a whopping $15,000! This is an amazing opportunity for anyone to get into the game and have a chance at a life changing score for only a $50 entry. So go ahead and load up your account and throw an entry or three into the mix!

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 at Gulfstream this Saturday. 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

Speaker’s Corner $9,000 – Race 10

Speaker’s Corner will be the anchor of all of my stables as well as my live money bets. This colt is incredibly talented, absolutely crushing a pretty decent field two races back when six lengths best over First Constitution and Backsideofthemoon. He got a little too tired last out when trying to stretch back out to nine furlongs in the Discovery stakes at Aqueduct, so I absolutely love the turnback to a one-turn mile here today. He has a cozy outside draw and should be able to either set the pace or stalk the leaders before taking the lead turning for home. Fearless is the only other horse in this race who I believe may have a chance to win, but he sometimes finds himself too far off of the pace, and I think he might be a little better going a touch further.

Knicks Go $9,800 – Race 12

I’m not exactly giving away any secrets here by saying Knicks Go is a pretty darn good racehorse. This race is undoubtedly a two horse affair between Knicks Go and Life is Good. Some folks may elect to skip this race or to only play a bomb hoping to get third (Stiletto Boy and Sir Winston are both excellent candidates for this). That’s a very valid strategy, but you do run the risk of those horses getting third but being beaten double digit lengths. While I have a tremendous amount of respect for Life is Good, I’m siding with Knicks Go in this race. He is simply the more proven horse, owning a perfect record at this distance and having won this race last year. Knicks Go has an ability to navigate around turns while maintaining an incredible level of speed, and I expect him to be aggressively ridden from the rail to secure the lead. Life is Good will likely to have to settle for sitting second, a tactic which he has never tried before. I prefer the consistency and track record of Knicks Go in this spot, so I will include him in a few of my stables.


Mid Price Plays

Pacific Gale $3,000 – Race 8

This race is extremely tricky, so I wouldn’t blame anyone for skipping it from a Stableduel perspective. Many of the shorter priced horses have significant questions to answer, whether it’s a new surface, new distance, new barn, or just exiting a monster performance last out that seemed to come out of nowhere. Therefore, my only play here would be to take a shot with a medium to cheap horse, Pacific Gale. Ignore her last race, as she is not and has never been a turf horse. Beyond that, however, you will see a horse who almost always shows up with a good effort. She has a very flexible running style, able to come from off the pace or sit near the leaders, which should prove extremely valuable in this race that is loaded with early speed. I’d love to see her sit mid-pack while the leaders duel up front, allowing her to save ground and get the first jump on the leaders before the late running closers can make their move. A minor award may be more likely than a win, but that is still a great result for a horse who only costs $3,000.


Value Plays

Gift List $750 – Race 9

One of the key factors in being successful at StableDuel is being able to identify poor morning lines. Gift List is listed at 15/1 in the book, but I’ll be extremely surprised if she goes off anywhere near that price. She was keeping company with the best three-year-old fillies in America earlier this year, such as Con Lima, Plum Ali, and Jouster. In each of her three starts in the US, she was compromised by slow paces and was unable to make up enough ground on the loose leaders. She should get an honest pace today, and I expect her to show significant improvement after getting some time off over the last six months. I believe she has a legit chance to win outright, but she should earn positive points at the very least.


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