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Weekend Stake Tip: It’s Freezing in Florida

A good Saturday was topped off by a heartburn-filled Sunday with Creative Cause failing to catch up to the two speed horses, American Act and Drill, in the San Vicente (II). I haven’t heard any excuses as to what happened, so let’s just assume he needed more ground. Before that happened, I was achieving an all-time high weekend bankroll thanks much to the races at Gulfstream Park on Saturday, one of which made the Weekend Stake Tip. Bettors’ regret, what can I say?

I’ve been cautious about supporting Ellafitz for a while, but the way she’s been running it’s hard not to give her a serious look when she approaches the gate. A very headstrong daughter of Tiznow and a Baffert pupil, Ellafitz was the favorite going postward in the Santa Maria (II) at Santa Anita followed by Vision in Gold, who while off her form, would be ridden by Joel Rosario. Taking off like a rocket from the gate was Spirit Seeker followed side-by-side by Ellafitz, who took over the lead after some protest. Great Hot [BRZ] made a case somewhere mid-race, but faded after being turned down by Ellafitz. Coasting around the turn and down the stretch, it was still Ellafitz, but she was now being tracked by old foe Miss Mittagong and Vision in Gold was beginning a razor-hot bid from the behind. A champ all the way, Ellafitz held on gamely to win by just over a length as Vision in Gold and Miss Mittagong dead-heated for second. A very intense race wired by a mare I’d like to see tested further now that I know she deals well with pressure. Watch replay below

The best performance of the weekend came with a horse who has been working wonderfully the whole time and did not disappoint. I had disregarded Force Freeze most of last year, but in the event that hadn’t changed, he definitely made a believer out of me in the Gulfstream Park Sprint Championship. He didn’t face much— Capt. Candyman Can hasn’t been on his A game lately— but his fractions convinced me to believe beyond the class level. A :12 split for his last eighth? What, did he suddenly sprout wings? Most impressive for a horse some were doubting because of the tricky 7-furlong distance with which he wasn’t experienced, but it was hard work that paid off. Kudos to Troilus, as well, a very nice local horse I was spotting. My record is now 2-for-2 in picking the winner of the Sprint (a personal favorite Tackleberry won last year at 27-1!) as Gulfstream is building up a rep as my personal favorite track to wager. View race replay here

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Tracks visited: Calder, Saratoga, Belmont, Suffolk, Aqueduct.

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