Keith Melrose thinks a promising maiden is worth backing at Gulfstream Park
6.34 Gulfstream Park
8.11 Gulfstream Park
10.47 Gulfstream Park
The second race on Gulfstream's Sunday card (6.34) is a maiden claimer over a mile.All but one of the runners are three-year-olds (the exception, four-year-old Three Deep, is morning line favourite) and plenty are relatively unexposed.
Similarly, many have looked quite limited. Few have shown as much promise as Apache, who is set to make his third start with top local rider Luis Saez in the plate for the first time.
Both of Apache's previous runs have been here. The first, over 7f, was forgettable in the way debuts often are. The basis for backing him here comes almost entirely on the strength of his last run.
That was over 6f, when winner Tapping burnt them all off from the front. Apache was among the first struggling, and might still have been green given how he hung off the final bend. Still, he kept on for fourth in the manner of one who will be suited by further. His dam won over an extended mile.
With a good draw and the booking of Saez going down as firm positives on top of the promise he retains, Apache is sure to go well.
The latermile claimer on the dirt for fillies and mares (8.11)is a weak affair. The idea of getting 12-1 about an improving, last-time-out winner seems a bit steep, but that is what the morning line suggests about Distinctly Sassy.
It is not as though she could be declared a fortunate winner. She won by over four lengths and the gap was only growing. More than that, she broke from an outside stall and had to run wide around the bend. In short, she smashed them up.
Miguel Vasquez keeps the ride and Distinctly Sassy steps back up to a mile now. She had previously flopped over that trip, but watching back her last run it is hard to imagine she won't be at least as effective at this distance. It would be a surprise if she cannot make a good attempt at bridging the form gap to the market principals and it seems as though her chance is being underestimated.
The closing claimer over 6f (10.47) requires a leap of faith, but you would be in good company as Joel Rosario is making the same call.
Rosario is riding Bold Envoy in the race. His mount has not been seen in a race in a little more than a year, but his best form is almost black-type quality. His record fresh is excellent, too, with his two best performances both coming on the back of an absence.
He has left Georgina Baxter since his last run but recent track work for new connections has been promising. He has worked four times in the last month and has generally breezed among the best in his group, including when clocking 48.40 seconds over 4f last Friday. If he is within shouting distance of his best, he will be right there.
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