Image for Brian Zipse Brian Zipse - December 8, 2022

Pulpit Stakes (Gulfstream Park): Todd Pletcher Wields a Powerful Pair

Pulpit Stakes Odds and Post Position

Check out our predictions and odds for the Pulpit Stakes at Gulfstream Park!

PP

Horse

Odds

Jockey

Trainer

1

MAXIMO

15/1

BET HERE

S Leon

J Alvarado

2

LIGHTS OF BROADWAY

4/1

BET HERE

E Gonzalez

M Casse

3

BRUMBA WAFFLE TOES

20/1

BET HERE

J Ortiz 

K Rice

4

ARI GOLD

7/2

BET HERE

L Saez

T Pletcher

5

CONGRUENT

5/1

BET HERE

E Zayas

A Sano

6

DANGEROUS RIDE

8/1

BET HERE

T Gaffalione

C David

7

SENDERO

2/1

BET HERE

I Ortiz Jr

T Pletcher

8

ANAMNESTIC

8/1

BET HERE

J Alvarado

K Danner

*Odds provided by author Brian Zipse.

Pulpit Stakes Predictions and Best Bets

Here are my plays ($60 in total)

$5 Trifecta Part Wheel - Ari Gold over Sendero and Congruent over Sendero, Congruent, Lights of Broadway and Dangerous Ride  = $30

$10 Exacta Box - Ari Gold and Sendero = $20

$5 Exacta Box - Ari Gold and Congruent = $10

If you're playing only to win, go with my top pick Ari Gold (7/2).    

TwinSpires

9/10

$1000 Risk-Free Bet

21+ | Terms and conditions apply

Pulpit Stakes Predictions

Trainer Todd Pletcher wields a powerful pair when he sends out Sendero and Ari Gold to top a field of eight 2-year-olds entered in Saturday’s $75,000 Pulpit Stakes going 7 1/2-furlongs on the turf at Gulfstream Park. 

Sendero is the likely favorite after being beaten just over a length in the 1 1/16-mile Awad Stakes at Aqueduct six weeks ago. Already with three sharp turf races under his belt, he had sprinted in his first two career starts at Colonial Downs. 

After just missing in his debut, Pletcher brought back in a stakes race and the City of Light colt responded with an impressive 2 1/4-length victory in the 5 1/2-furlong Jamestown Stakes

Ari Gold, meanwhile, comes in off a sharp maiden score over the Aqueduct turf course. A son of Medaglia d’Oro, he finished a competitive fourth in his debut which came on the grass at Saratoga. 

After finishing fourth in the slop behind a future graded stakes winner next out, he returned to grass last month and dominated the field wire to wire.

Of the rest, Lights of Broadway may have the best chance to upset the Pletcher pair as he switches from synthetic to turf for the first time. Trained by Mark Casse, the son of City of Light is a winner of two straight at Gulfstream Park. 

An easy maiden winner two starts back in his second career start, he made it two in a row last time with a solid late run to get up and win the Armed Forces Stakes on September 24. 

Pulpit Stakes Predictions and Race Analysis

Sendero

This son of City of Light has already run three times on the grass with a first, second, and fifth. The first two came at Colonial Downs, where he just missed in a maiden event before breaking his maiden in the Jamestown Stakes. Both of those efforts came at 5 1/2 furlongs. 

He stretched out and faced a little tougher competition last time in the 8 1/2-furlong Awad Stakes at Aqueduct, and while he finished fifth, he was only beaten just over a length. 

He should appreciate the cutback in the distance on Saturday and is clearly one of the horses to beat in this field. To be successful here, he will need to stay a little closer to the pace, though, than he did last time in the Awad.

Ari Gold

The second of the two Pletcher runners, he looked good last time going wire-to-wire in an Aqueduct allowance race while racing with blinkers for the first time. It was his second try on the turf after running a solid race in his career debut at Saratoga. 

Even his slop race in between the two turf efforts was solid, having shown good speed. The winner of that race came back to win the Grade 2 Remsen Stakes next out. 

With his early speed, the son of Medaglia d’Oro should be right at home on the Gulfstream Park turf course and the 7 1/2-furlong distance. His stablemate might be the top threat, but I like this one best. He is the top pick.

Lights of Broadway

Trained by Mark Casse, this son of City of Light has won two straight after running fourth in his career debut in August. After breaking his maiden easily next out, he came back two weeks later to get up late in the 1 mile and 70-yard Armed Forces Stakes. 

Saturday’s start will be his first in 11 weeks, as well as his first on the turf. His last three workouts are all on the grass, so it looks like his connections believe he will handle the surface.  

He is an obvious threat to the top two, but I expect that this will be his toughest test yet as he goes for a third straight victory.

TwinSpires

9/10

$1000 Risk-Free Bet

21+ | Terms and conditions apply

Congruent

This gray son of Tapit will be dropping significantly in class after running in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile most recently. He never threatened that afternoon, but that is understandable against those tigers. 

The start before he showed some talent by winning a sloppy edition of the Laurel Futurity in impressive fashion. Twice a winner in five career starts, he returns to Gulfstream where he broke his maiden on the dirt four starts back. 

This will be his first try on the grass, but the breeding suggests he will like the surface. He is one of the top threats to the top pick.

Anamnestic

This improving son of Bucchero made his stakes debut last out in the local Juvenile Stakes and finished first by a half-length, but was disqualified for interference. This will be his first start on the turf after running on Gulfstream Park’s synthetic surface in his last four. 

With his recent form and the turf influence in his pedigree, you would have to consider him here. He also has enough tactical speed to stay in touch early as he cuts back a bit in distance for trainer Kelsey Danner.

Dangerous Ride

This son of Lord Nelson has been pretty consistent so far in his six-race career, but unfortunately, his worst performance to date came in his only start on the grass. It should be noted, however, that he was bothered at the start of that very fast 5-furlong race. 

A debut winner at Gulfstream, he has kept stakes company ever since and comes in off a pair of second-place finishes. Last out, he was actually placed first by the stewards ahead of Anamnestic. 

I think the cutback in distance to 7 1/2 furlongs will help here. He should offer value and looks like a realistic player to use in the exotics.

Maximo

Trained by Juan Alvarado, this gelding broke his maiden in style, winning off by more than ten lengths at Gulfstream four starts back. The race was pretty slow, though, and in three subsequent tries against stakes company, he has finished sixth, seventh, and eighth. 

A son of Brethren, he’ll look to change his luck on his first try on the turf. It’s possible he moves up on the turf, but I just don’t see enough in his past performances or his turf pedigree to like his chances on Saturday.

Brumba Waffle Toes

The most experienced young horse in the field this son of Social Inclusion will be starting for the tenth time on Saturday. Not only has he only won once, but he has not finished in the top three in any of his other eight starts. 

He has attempted three stakes races, all while sprinting, but has not found any success. Coming off a fourth in a Gulfstream Park allowance race, only a big turnaround in his first try on turf would give him any chance here.

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TwinSpires

9/10

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9/10

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9/10

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How to Watch the Pulpit Stakes

Pulpit Stakes Race Information

  • What: Pulpit Stakes

  • Location: Gulfstream Park

  • Time: Saturday, December 10 -- 1:38 pm Eastern time

  • How to Watch: FanDuel TV

  • Purse: $75,000

Image for Brian Zipse

AUTHOR

Brian Zipse

225 Articles

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.

Email: [email protected]

More info on Brian Zipse
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