We make our first foray into Florida for the new year with a look at the Grade 3 $100,000 Mr. Prospector Handicap to be run at Gulfstream Park on Saturday. The big morning-line favorite in the race is Munnings, whose last win was in the Grade 2 Tom Fool at Belmont Park in early July 2009. Needless to say, with that kind of victory drought, I am going to try and look elsewhere for a winner. That elsewhere would be 8-1 shot #8 Starforaday. His last three victories all came with Rajiv Maragh in the irons and he gets the call here. His last three workouts have all been bullets, although he has not had one listed since December 5 over the inner track at Aqueduct. I will put #4 Munnings next with Johnny Velazquez aboard. He has been off since October 3. His last three results were all thirds with Grade 1 company. His most recent workout on January 3 was a bullet five furlongs in 1:00.3 at Palm Meadows. The Sire is 2004 Breeders' Cup Sprint winner, Speightstown. I will put another horse with a recent bullet workout in the third spot with #2 Custom For Carlos. He ran 3rd and 4th in his only two previous tries with graded runners. I think he is very much underlaid at 3-1 on the morning-line here, even with Julien Leparoux up. He has hit the board in all three previous Gulfstream Park starts with one win, one second, and one third. #3 Prince Joshua takes the fourth spot for me. He ran 3rd in the Grade 3 Kenny Noe last time out at Calder on the day after Christmas. He is 5 for 7 lifetime in-the-money at this distance of six furlongs. Here is the play for the Grade 3 Mr. Prospector:
$5 WP #8, $1 EX BOX 2-4-8 and $1 TRI BOX 2-4-8
Keep in mind that as always these are merely suggestions and They Are Off accepts no responsibility for any wagers made in conjunction with these thoughts.
By the way, for those of you that thought I was off my rocker when I touted Piscitelli as a Derby possibility in my horses to watch in 2010, he posted a bullet five furlong workout in one minute flat at Palm Meadows on Wednesday. He will run in the Holy Bull at Gulfstream on the 23rd.
Tune in again on Monday for more from They Are Off. For right now, I am Gone... GOODBYE!