US racing tips: Tom Collins expects Luis Saez to enjoy a double at Gulfstream
Green Light Go
8.16 Gulfstream Park
10.24 Gulfstream Park
Whenever you see the name Tiz The Law in a piece of form you should mark up those who finished in the same stratosphere as that beast.
Barclay Tagg's son of Constitution is my favourite horse in training and, although hesuffered defeat in the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes at Churchill Downs in November, he is the most exciting three-year-old in the US right now and should be favourite for the Kentucky Derby.
What has Tiz The Law got to do with the racing at Gulfstream on Saturday? Well, he was the only horse whoheaded the pacemaking Green Light Go in the Grade 1 Champagne Stakes at Belmont Park in October.
The James Jerkins-trained Green Light Go had previously scored in maiden special weight company and in the Grade 2 Saratoga Special Stakes, and entered the Champagne as the favourite to maintain his winning sequence.
Highly regarded by connections and a fast worker in the mornings, Green Light Go immediately made the front under Junior Alvarado and looked to take a world of catching at the top of the stretch run, but Tiz The Law loomed up large and eventually beat him by four lengths at the wire.
Green Light Go can be marked up for that effort given he vied for the lead and fended off all challengers over that mile trip, but he was clearly second-best on the day.
Jerkens gave him five months off the track to recover from that effort and he looked pretty rusty when he broke last in a strong edition of the Grade 3 Swale Stakes here in January. Green Light Go recovered but raced in rear for much of that 7f contest, before plugging on evenly for third.
His recent works indicate Jerkens has stepped up his training plan and much better is expected tonight. Jerkens will use Lasix for the first time on Green Light Go, who should make all from gate five under Luis Saez. He is a confident selection.
The second of three stakes races on the Gulfstream Park card is the Powder Break Stakes (9.42), a mile turf contest, but with rain expected I'll bypass that in favourof the following Musical Romance Stakes (10.24).
The clear standout on recent form is Georgina Baxter's Lady's Island and it's pretty hard to see the six-year-old mare being headed at any point, but her wide draw in gate seven offers hope that she might not get across to the rail.
That would then make her vulnerable late on in this 7f contest and although she is 15-29 in her career with ten wins from her last 12 starts, I'm going to oppose her at the prices with the unexposed Bellera.
Lady's Island may well go off odds-on so should make the market for this Todd Pletcher-trained filly, who has been working lights out at Palm Beach Downs leading up to this return to the track.
Bellera has improved for each start so far in her career and hasn't finished outside of the first two when completing (clipped heels and unseated her rider three runs back).
Success in the Grade 3 Comely Stakes at Aqueduct in November was a good stepping stone to an even better strike in the black-type Ladies Handicap atthe same track in January.
Run on a sloppy surface, Bellera showed good early zip to sit up with the pace in that 1m1f contest before staying on willingly under pressure to claim the $100,000 prize with plenty in hand.
She proved that she handles wet conditions that day, which will be a plus here, and has had a nice layoff since. Bigger things are expected from this filly, who will surely just get better and better with time and can score for Saez.
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