If you are looking for a full day of horse racing action, Easter Sunday is not going to be your day. No, Tampa Bay Downs and others didn’t get forced to stop racing, but a few tracks will be off because of the holiday. Tampa Bay Downs, Oaklawn Park, and Remington Park are all scheduled to have the day off. This day was dark on all of their calendars, so no reason for concern. The lone track racing on Sunday is in Hallandale Beach in Florida at Gulfstream Park. At least we have one card to go over and handicap today. With the lack of other options available, Gulfstream Park is taking advantage of the situation to offer a pretty big card on Easter Sunday. I split at Tampa Bay Downs on Saturday to take a slight profit going into today.
Gulfstream Park is offering up 12 races on Sunday for a full day of racing in Hallandale Beach. Business continues to churn at Gulfstream Park despite no fans sitting in the grandstands. They’ve been under heat from local officials and continue to race regardless of the government getting on them. That does not include the state government, which seems content with allowing horse racing and almost everything else go on as well. If people can party on the beach, then horses should certainly be allowed to race and maintain their regular routines. Head below for our free Gulfstream Park Picks for April 12, 2020.
Post Time: 12:58 EST
Distance: 6 Furlongs
Race 3 will feature a seven-horse field vying for a total purse of $41,000. That’s a pretty sizable purse size for an early race. The largest purse is Race 11 with $47,000 up for grabs, which will be the feature race of the day. Halo’s Dance will be looking for the upset from the No. 4 post in this one. The colt has not participated in a race yet, as this will be his debut on Sunday. He had a serviceable workout on April 3, with a time of 49.64 at 4 furlongs. It was a slight improvement from the 49.90 seconds that he ran on March 21.
Intend and Tortola Pride are also expected to go into Race 3 with lofty odds. Intend will be making his debut today, too. Meanwhile Tortola Pride has been fairly strong in three events, having placed in his first two outings. However, when he made the transfer from Tampa Bay Downs to Gulfstream Park, the results were not the same.
Tortola Pride finished 5th in his latest race on March 13 behind Parkland Strong. He started 1st out the gate and 2nd at the ½ pole, but slowly fell back and didn’t have any gas left in the tank. The 6 ½ furlongs proved to be too long for him and he couldn’t sustain the added distance in that event. In any case, Tortola Pride might be your best option if you’re seeking a horse with long odds in Race 3. He has more experience than several horses in this race, including Bahamian Beat who has appeared in only one event on August 25, 2019.
That isn’t the case when compared to Chinomadito, though. He’s the most experienced pony in Race 3, having galloped in 15 career events. However, he doesn’t have much to show for those 15 races. Chinomadito is still searching for some consistency, and has shown in just three of those outings.
He is coming off a promising effort on March 15, though, as Chinomadito was beaten by the length of a head to finish 2nd. Chinomadito had the lead at the ½ mark and in the homestretch, but was unable to hold on. We’ll see if he can use that effort as a springboard. It was the first time he showed since November 7, 2019.
You certainly won’t be able to discount Whiskey Sunrise and Victory Town here. Whiskey Sunrise is coming off a strong debut, having finished 2nd on April 26 behind Absolute Grit. He was neck and neck against Absolute Grit and had the lead at the ¼ pole and homestretch, though was ultimately edged out by a half length.
It was a bold bid by Whiskey Sunrise, but was unable to finish the deal. Victory Town has three races under his belt, with finishes of 4th, 8th, and 3rd. His most recent race was on March 14, and he made a nice effort to ride up from 8th at the ¼ pole to 3rd at the wire. That late surge looked promising, but I’m going to side with his rival in this outing and back the No. 6 horse.
Post Time: 3:59 EST
3 to 5-year-old fillies and mares will be the main attraction in Race 9 at Gulfstream Park on Sunday. There are three horses who have a good chance of closing at post time with odds at +1000 or greater. Royal Meghan, Blue Blue Ice, and Prospective Diva will all be out looking for the upset. Royal Meghan, named after Meghan Markle you have to assume, is currently a +1000 underdog in Race 9 on the morning lines at BetOnline.
She is coming off a win in only her third career race on March 6. Royal Meghan didn’t have a great debut on January 3, but was able to respond in her next two outings. She nabbed a 2nd place finish on February 16 and did one better in the next race. This is a tougher assignment for her, though, but might be able to be a minor threat.
Blue Blue Ice has been better recently, having placed in 2nd twice and then won on March 13 by 2 ¾ lengths over Papa’s Little Girl. She has shown in 9 out of her last 10 races. That is some nice momentum going into today, but just like we said for Royal Meghan, this is a much tougher event for her. Having said that, I think there is some value to be had on this race, but elsewhere.
Bion Magic gets the No. 1 post and is a live dog there. She doesn’t have the most experience, but is just as talented as some of the other horses offered in Race 9. The morning lines don’t really line up with her actual odds of winning here, at least the way I see it. Bion Magic won in her debut on September 19, 2019 from 6 ½ furlongs. She was 1st at the ¼ pole and never let go of the lead to edge out Irish Thunder. Her next start wasn’t as sharp, but still managed to show in 3rd and finish 7 lengths ahead of Rain.
Shes All Woman and Merseyside are both tempting options. Shes All Woman has shown in six straight races, though hasn’t won an event since April 27, 2019. Meanwhile, Merseyside has shown in three out of four races with a win on December 22, 2019. She had a recent race on March 5 and finished 2nd by 4 lengths behind Up in Smoke. I think both horses are about on the same level as Bion Magic, who is catching much better odds and is on the rail out of the gate. I’ll take a chance on the value play and go for Bion Magic from the No. 1 post.