US racing tips: Tom Collins strongly fancies miler to score at Gulfstream Park
9.52 Gulfstream Park
10.24 Gulfstream Park
Wild Medagliad'oro looks set to go off a warm order in the$41,000 allowance optional claimer (9.52) after a promising comeback at Gulfstream in March.
I have long been a fan of the four-year-old, who returned from an 11-month absence to contend an average allowance optional claimer that was unfortunately moved to the sloppy main track after heavy rain.
He finished a gallant second that day but that race could have taken its toll on him and, ata morning line price of 2-1, Wild Medagliad'oro is worth taking on for this dirt contest given all of his best form is on turf.
Iwill take a chance on the Todd Pletcher-trained Roman Empire, who needs every yard of this 1m½f trip but there was plenty of encouragement in the way he cleared away from his rivals in maiden special weight company here in late February.
He took plenty of rousting along down the backstraight and rounding the bend, but got the idea of the job turning in and won by a huge margin at the wire.
He was unsuited by the turf and a wide trip on his next outing in this company, before paying for trying to stick with the talented Untitled last time out.
Roman Empire finished last of four that day but rider Luca Panici was riding to win rather than take second despite the fact Untitled was clearly the best in the race, and he paid for that late. He will reverse the form with the two in front of him that day, Gray Beau and First And Three.
Pletcher has booked Irad Ortiz and his draw in gate three should mean he gets a rail run. Hopefully he can pounce late.
The main fancy on the card is the Luis Saez-riddenBacano in the closing $19,000 claimer (10.24).
A three-year-old and therefore in receipt of a 6lb weight-for-age allowance from most of his rivals, Bacano has been steadily winding up at this venue and lost his maiden tag in the most impressive fashion three runs back when barely being touched by rider Paco Lopez to draw clear.
He lugged left in the straight (a tendency of his), but changed his legs and quickly found his stride again to draw clear for trainer Antonio Sano.
Claimed after that race for $16,000 by Juan Avila, Bacano was pitched into starter optional claiming company and was given a torrid ride by 5lb claimer Cristian Torres, who sent him up four-wide on the pace and paid for the early exertions when fading in the straight.
He was much better last time on the dirt when sauntering clear under Edgard Zayas, holding a six-length advantage coming into the straight only to be picked up by a conservatively-ridden rival who finished powerfully.
Sano obviously liked what he saw as he decided to re-claim Bacano and, given the trainer's impressive record with horses first off the claim and the fact that he knows this gelding well, an even better display is expected in this contest.
He reverts back to turf, has a good draw in gate four and will have plenty of speedy rivals to stalk. Expect Saez to pull the trigger entering the straight– I would be surprised if he wasn't bang there at the line.
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