Fort Lauderdale Stakes 2018
If there's a single word that would describe this talented field, it's parity. In fact, there is very little separating 8 or 9 horses in this field, and one could even make an argument that contention runs even deeper than that. Load up the online accounts and get ready for action.
Analyzing the field
Someone had to be the morning line favorite in this race, and Projected is the tepid choice at 4/1. From the powerful turf barn of Chad Brown, Projected will be joined by his less-regarded stablemate Almanaar (10/1), but bettors simply relying on Brown's reputation and name recognition will surely be taking the wrong approach here.
Here's the rest of the field:
- Glorious Empire 12/1
- Quarteto de Cordas 30/1
- Projected 4/1
- Qurbaan 5/1
- Hi Happy 9/2
- Blacktype 12/1
- Almanaar 10/1
- Oscar Nominated 15/1
- Mr. Havercamp 15/1
- Divisidero 6/1
- Postulation 20/1
- Zulu Alpha 20/1
- Doctor Mounty 20/1
- Inspector Lynley 15/1
- Revved Up 20/1
- Zennor 15/1
In a race like this, you've got to do some fine-line handicapping, and go with the runner(s) who appear to be putting their best foot forward and weed out the ones who may not be entering the event in top form. Here are a couple runners I like Saturday:
- Zulu Alpha (12/1), looks the part. This 5 year-old gelding ran his best two races in consecutive starts last fall, winning an allowance race at Churchill and the Grade 3 Sycamore at Keeneland. Since then, Michael Maker has taken over the training responsibilities from John Ortiz, and Maker connects at a 15% clip with debuting runners. I like this guy coming in well-rested and he has the ability to lay close to the early pace and punch on for home. This is an outstanding price on a horse with a very legitimate chance.
- Divisidero (6/1) may not be a sexy choice, but this guy ran great in the Breeders' Cup Mile last-out, finishing a game fourth. Now, he gets back to a distance I believe he is better-suited to handle, with an extra eighth of a mile to negotiate his closing move. He has notched 3 wins in 5 career starts at 1 1/8 miles and should hae plenty of pace to run at here.
Betting the race
On smaller pick 3 and pick 4 wagers, I'll stand firm with Zulu Alpha and Divisidero. For the purposes of exacta and trifecta wagers, I'll use my top two picks, in a boxed wager with Hi Happy (9/2).
In summary, my major plays will look like this:
EXACTA BOX: 5, 10, 12
TRIFECTA BOX: 5,10,12
TRIFECTA WHEEL 10.12/ALL/10,12 AND 10,12/10,12/ALL
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