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Best Horse Racing Bets Today | Gulfstream Park, January 27

Written by: Brian Zipse
Published January 27, 2024
7 min read
Best Horse Racing Bets Today January 27

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America’s richest day of racing of the winter, Pegasus World Cup day, brings us a loaded card on Saturday. More than $5.7 million of purse money will be spread out over 13 races. Not surprisingly, the marquee afternoon at Gulfstream Park has attracted big fields and quality horses. 

Leading the strong card in South Florida will be the $3,000,000 Pegasus World Cup. National Treasure, last year’s Preakness winner headlines the overflow field of 13. In the $1,000,000 Pegasus World Cup Turf, Warm Heart will make her second start in the U.S. and is favored against the boys. Without further ado, let’s get to my best bets in four of the biggest races from the excellent afternoon of racing.

Race #13 Pegasus World Cup (Grade 1) $3,000,000 1 1/8-Miles Dirt - 5:40 pm EST

Second by a whisker last time to Cody’s Wish in the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile, National Treasure looks to get the job done on Saturday when he tops a deep field of older males in the $3,000,000 Pegasus World Cup at Gulfstream Park.

The son of Quality Road only won once last season as a 3-year-old for trainer Bob Baffert, but the victory came in a classic when he went gate to wire in the Grade 1 Preakness at Pimlico. That score, coupled with his very strong effort last time in the Breeders’ Cup, makes him the horse to beat in Florida’s richest race.

Chief among his competition in the Grade 1, 9-furlong affair is the Brad Cox-trained First Mission. Still lightly raced, the son of Street Sense has done no worse than second in five career starts. A winner of the Grade 3 Lexington Stakes in April, he returned from a layoff to win an allowance race at Keeneland before just missing in the Grade 2 Clark last time.

With both of the favorites having early speed, as well as a few others, the race could set up very well for late runners. My top choice among that bunch is O’Connor, who comes off two straight graded stakes scores. Last time out, the Chilean-bred rallied up the rail to win the Grade 3 Harlan’s Holiday over the Gulfstream Park track. He is the top pick.

My Play

  • $10 Exacta Part Wheel - O’Connor over National Treasure, First Mission, and Senor Buscador = $30

  • $10 Exacta Part Wheel - National Treasure, First Mission, and Senor Buscador over O’Connor = $30

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Race #12 Pegasus World Cup Turf (Grade 1) $1,000,000 1 1/18 Miles Turf - 4:55 pm EST

A Group 1 winner in both England and France, Warm Heart continues her travels as the morning line favorite in Saturday’s $1,000,000 million Pegasus World Cup Turf. She will take on an overflow field of older males in the Grade 1 contest which will be run over 1 1/8-miles on the Gulfstream Park turf course. 

In her only previous start in the U.S. the daughter of Galileo looked like a winner in mid-stretch of the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf, but was nailed at the wire by the champion Inspiral. In her only start since for trainer Aidan O’Brien, she finished a solid third against males in the rich Honk Kong Vase (G1) six weeks ago.

A very dangerous opponent to the classy filly will be the unbeaten Integration. Trained by Shug McGaughey, he will be giving up serious experience to his competition on Saturday, but has looked good in winning his first three starts. In his last two, he showed an explosive rally to win the Grade 3 Virginia Derby and the Grade 2 Hill Prince. 

An interesting value play in the Pegasus World Cup Turf is the Mike Stidham-trained Catnip. The son of Kitten’s Joy strung together four very good races in a row to start last season at Keeneland and Monmouth Park. Freshened since a disappointing effort last time in the Grade 1 Arlington Million, I look for him to be ready to roll in this one. He is the top pick to pull off the upset. 

My Play

  • $20 Win & Place - Catnip = $40

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Race #9 Inside Information Stakes (Grade 2) $200,000 7 Furlongs Dirt - 3:13 pm EST

Fresh off her seventh win in nine career starts at Gulfstream Park, Maryquitecontrary looks to add to her credentials when she tops a field of ten older females going 7 furlongs in Saturday’s Grade 2 Inside Information Stakes at Gulfstream Park.

Trained by Eddie Plesa, Jr., the 5-year-old daughter of first Dude kicked in her consistent rally four weeks ago to score in the Rampart Stakes. She used a win in the same race a year before to set up an impressive victory in the 2023 edition of the Inside Information. A true horse for course, she will once again be tough to beat.

Chief among her competition on Saturday will be the Maryland-bred Intrepid Daydream. The daughter of Jess’s Dream was narrowly beaten last time over the track in the Grade 3 Sugar Swirl. Before that, she had rattled off four consecutive stakes victories in Maryland and Delaware.

Another to watch out for in the Inside Information is Olivia Darling. The consistent Palace mare was lapped on Intrepid Daydream when beaten less than a length last time in Sugar Swirl. Although she has yet to win a stakes race, she has been knocking on the door of late. Still, I see Maryquitecontrary as strictly the one to beat here, and she will be the top pick.

My Plays 

  • $50 Win - Maryquitecontrary = $50

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Race #10 Pegasus World Cup Filly & Mare Turf (Grade 2) $500,000 1 1/16-Miles Turf - 3:45 pm EST

She has only run once in America, but an overpowering win in the Grade 3 Cardinal Stakes at Churchill Downs in November makes Star Fortress a likely favorite among a full field entered in Saturday’s $500,000 Pegasus World Cup Filly & Mare Turf.

Bred in Ireland, the daughter of Sea the Stars only won once in seven starts in Europe and was sent off at odds of 6/1 in her U.S. debut. Catching a course with some moisture that afternoon, she rated kindly and exploded down the stretch to win by ten lengths.

Fluffy Socks, one of two in the race from the Chad Brown barn, has been a hard-knocking graded stakes performer for several years. A winner of the Grade 2 Distaff Mile last year at Churchill Downs, she comes in off a strong runner-up performance in the Grade 1 Matriarch last time out.

Two others warranting strong consideration here, include Queen Goddess and Didia. The former was a convincing winner of this race last year, while the latter has won 9-of-12 overall on the turf. She finished tenth last time in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf, but Didia was beaten less than five lengths. I believe this is a good spot for her to bounce back. She is the top pick. 

My Play

  • $10 Exacta Part Wheel - Didia over Fluffy Socks, Ruby Nell, and Mission Joy = $30

  • $10 Exacta Part Wheel - Fluffy Socks, Ruby Nell, and Mission Joy over Didia = $30

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Image for Brian Zipse

Brian Zipse

Horse Racing Betting Analyst

Expertise:
Horse Racing
Betting Picks
Taken to the races at a very young age, Brian has been a passionate fan of horse racing his entire life. Professionally, his work has been published on several leading industry sites. Brian served as the Editor of Horse Racing Nation from 2010-2017, where he still writes a regular column and hosts the popular weekly webcast HorseCenter.
Nationality: American
Education: Bachelor of Communications
Favourite Sportsbook: FanDuel Sportsbook
Favourite Casino: BetMGM Casino
Experience:
15 years
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