Gulfstream Park's season doesn't really begin for me until the running of the Donn. Yes, I know Dialed In was exactly that last weekend in the Grade 3 Holy Bull, but that's really a prep for the Grade 2 Fountain Of Youth, which is a prep for the Grade 1 Florida Derby. The Donn always seems to be the first big race of the year on the calendar and it kinds of kickstarts the true racing season. This year's version of the Donn features a field of nine going 1 1/8 miles and here is the analysis:
I might have a screw loose with this one, but I actually think #1 I Want Revenge is due to return to his form from the spring of 2009 and put forth a big effort in here on Saturday. In both of his 2010 starts, you will notice trouble at the start in the notes for each race. He finished behind Haynesfield in the Grade 2 Suburban after a year plus away from the track and the Grade 3 Iselin was just a dull effort. Is he sitting on a big race or not? I am not sure, but with a morning line of 6-1, he is an attractive enough price for me to consider it a possibility. For second, I will go with #3 Morning Line. He was sent off at even-money in the Grade 3 Hal's Hope at Gulfstream last time out on January 8, but I tend to want to write that one off given the strenuous Breeders' Cup effort he put forth and the heartbreaking defeat he endured. I know the story this week of the Sheikh purchasing part of him with the idea of pointing him to the Dubai World Cup. It remains to be seen if he can go that far against the caliber of field he will be facing at Meydan, but for Saturday, I find him second-best. I will use #8 Rule. Rule is just one of those horses for me that we all encounter during our wagering adventures. I always seem to be on the wrong side of the aisle with him. When I don't like him, he runs big, and when I do like him, he doesn't. He posted a bullet workout on January 30 and is making the second start off the last layoff here. That means I find some things to like, I just feel I need to be cautious with him in this spot. Finally, I will round out the top four with #6 Fly Down. Remember what I said about Morning Line losing his first start after the Breeders' Cup. Well, that same theory can be applied to Fly Down. His works since the Cup have been quite good, but this will be his first real action since Churchill Downs. That Cup race was a big effort for Fly Down, closing smartly to finish within four lengths of Blame and Zenyatta and get third. Does he rebound today or not? Here is the play for the Grade 1 $500,000 Donn Handicap:
$5 WP #1
$1 EX BOX 1-3-6-8
$1 TRI 1-3 with 1-3 with 4-5-6-8-9
By the way, the tally for 2011 right now is MINUS $20. We hope to get back on the plus side Saturday. Remember, They Are Off accepts no responsibility for any wagers placed in conjunction with these selections. They are merely suggestions. Tune in again next week for more from They Are Off. For right now, I am Gone... GOODBYE!