2023 Pan American Stakes Odds & More GP Graded Races

This Saturday, Gulfstream Park will host three graded contests in the form of the G2 2023 Pan American Stakes and Grade 3 Ghostzapper and Orchid Stakes. 

The 2023 Pan American Stakes promises to be one of the best races of the day on a busy Saturday card. 

Master Piece out of the Saffie Joseph yard is likely to be one of the leading contenders and is looking to add to his Eddie Read Stakes victory back in August. He will face some stiff competition particularly from the Michael Maker barn who saddle three in the contest. Wicked Fast, Therapist and Bay Street Money all have live chances and should give Maker a great shot of landing this contest for the second time. 

The Ghostzapper Stakes will see seven horses head down to post for this year’s renewal. With the betting for the contest expected to be tight, First Captain out of the Shug McGaughey barn has been a multiple stakes winner so far in his career but ran poorly when last seen in the Fayette Stakes last October. He will be looking to bounce back with a positive showing here. 

The Orchid Stakes is a race exclusively for fillies and mares. McGaughey has another live contender in the shape of recent graded stakes winner Personal Best. Looking to win her second stakes race in succession, she will have to fight off the attentions of seven other horses, including Amazing Grace, who will be having her very first North American start this Saturday. 

Pan American Stakes

One and a half miles, Grade 2 Turf, open to horses aged four and over. Total prize pool: $200,000

Michael Maker and Saffie Joseph will saddle over half of the eight-runner field in this year’s Pan American Stakes. 

With the betting for the race expected to be tight, it is the Joseph trained Master Piece who is expected to start the race as the slim favorite.

A winner of 6 of his 22 career starts, Master Piece will look to better the third place finish he achieved last time out in the Grade 3 Mac Diarmida Stakes. A former Grade 2 winner, backers should expect him to be a leading contender here. 

Joseph will have both ends of the market covered, as his other runner Novo Sol is likely to start as a double figure price. A winner of two of his eight career starts, Novo Sol ran a respectable third in this contest last year and looks to have the stamina to compete once more. 

Last season this race was won by Gufo, with the Todd Pletcher trained Abaan finishing in second.

Pletcher will send his mount to Gulfstream once more in the hope that he will be able to go one better in this year’s renewal.

Winless in his last six starts, Pletcher will be hoping Abaan can rediscover the form that saw him victorious in the Grade 3 McKnight Stakes back in January 2022.

Leading the charge for the Michael Maker trained horses is Wicked Fast. Wicked Fast ran in the Mac Diarmida but finished a couple of lengths behind Master Piece and looks to have plenty to find. Look for Wicked Fast to finish fast and charge late. He clearly enjoys the Gulfstream track and has three wins from his five career starts.

Maker also saddles one of the race’s most interesting runners, Therapist.

Now an eight-year-old, this will be just his second start for the Maker team and he will be looking to back up the win he achieved when making his stable debut last month. An eight-time stakes winner, it will be fascinating to see if he still has the speed and class to compete with several progressive younger rivals. 

Rounding out the Maker trio is Bay Street Money. Likely to start as the outsider of the three, he will be having his fifth run for the stable, having won two of his previous four starts.

Ry’s the Guy and California Frolic will start the race as the two outsiders in the field and both will need to run career bests if they are to finish inside the places.

2023 Pan American Stakes Odds & Betting Pick

An open contest awaits in the Pan American Stakes. All eight horses have a chance of success but the horse to beat looks to be Master Piece. A consistent performer, he was unlucky not to be closer in the Mac Diarmida and his connections will be hoping he can run a big race here.

HORSEJOCKEYTRAINERODDS BY JAZZSPORTS
Wicked FastEdgard ZayasMichael Maker+400
Novo SolLeonel ReyesSaffie Joseph+1000
Master PieceJose OrtizSaffie Joseph+140
Ry’s The GuyJulien LeparouxIan Wilkes+2000
TherapistIrad OrtizMichael Maker+800
California FrolicEdgar PerezArmando De La Cerda+2000
AbaanJoel RosarioTodd Pletcher+500
Bay Street MoneyLuis SaezMichael Maker+450

Orchid Stakes

One and a half miles, Grade 3 Turf, open to fillies & mares aged four and over. Total prize pool: $150,000

Eight horses will line up for this year’s renewal of the Orchid Stakes. Shug McGaughey will be hoping for a successful Saturday and Personal Best represents one of his best chances of the day.

A winner of three of her last six starts, her victory last time out in the Grade 3 La Prevoyante Stakes was easily the best win of her career, and her connections will be hoping that she can build on that great showing here.

Hoping to give chase to Personal Best will be Amazing Grace. Trained out of the Christophe Clement barn, this will be her first run in America. A placed performer in Grade 1 company back in her native Germany, it is hard to know what that form represents. Clement will see another German bred horse Atomic Blonde also run her first race on American shores. Atomic Blonde’s form back in Germany doesn’t appear to be quite at the level of Amazing Grace and she will certainly start the race as an unknown quantity.

Like McGaughey, Saffie Joseph is hoping for a lucrative Saturday and Joseph looks to have a live contender in the shape of Transient.

Transient made the move to Joseph’s barn last summer and has won one of her five starts for her trainer. Despite her recent defeats, she has finished inside the top three in her last two starts. Her penultimate start saw her run in the La Prevoyante Stakes where she lost out to the reopposing Personal Best. She only lost by half a length in that race and her connections will be hopeful that she can overturn that form here.

Joseph will also saddle Tamarindo but along with Viburnum, Miss Yearwood, and Lady Arsinoe, will start as an outsider for the race.

Orchid Stakes Odds & Betting Prediction

A cracking renewal of this year’s Orchid Stakes looks to be on the cards, with a mix of returning horses and unknown quantities set to battle it out for glory. Despite her margin of victory being snug in the La Prevoyante Stakes, Personal Best travelled through much of that race looking like the classiest horse in the field. With the potential of more to come, she must start as the horse to back here.

HORSEJOCKEYTRAINERODDS BY JAZZSPORTS
ViburnumLuis SaezKelsey Danner+1000
Miss YearwoodChris LanderosIan Wilkes+1000
TransientEdgard ZayasSaffie Joseph+350
TamarindoLeonel ReyesSaffie Joseph+2000
Amazing GraceJoel RosarioClaude Clement+250
Personal BestIrad OrtizClaude McGaughey+300
Lady ArsinhoeJavier CastellanoBill Mott+2000
Atomic BlondeJose OrtizClaude Clement+350

Ghostzapper Stakes

1 1/16-mile, Grade 3 Dirt, open to horses aged four and over. Total prize pool: $150,000

Seven horses will line up for this year’s renewal of the Ghostzapper Stakes. There are many different challengers for this race but one of the most prominent horses in the betting is bound to be First Captain.

Trained out of the legendary Shug McGaughey barn, First Captain has won five of his ten career starts. Winless in his last three, McGaughey lowers the sights of his runner following a disappointing last place finish in the Grade 2 Fayette Stakes.

McGaughey will be hoping that a return to calmer waters will see First Captain return to the winner’s circle. A multiple graded stakes winner, First Captain will be able to call upon the services of Luis Saez and looks to be the one they all have to beat.

Irad Ortiz is Gulfstream’s leading jockey and in this year’s Ghost Zapper he will partner O’Connor. Chilean bred, O’Connor was a Group 1 winner back in his native country but has found life tough since making the move to America.

A winner on his debut, his next two starts have seen two poor performances, particularly last time out in the Pegasus World Cup where he finished at the back of the field. Another taking a drop in class, it would be dangerous to discount his chances given some of his past performances.

When it comes to Gulfstream form, Simplification is a horse that should come under real consideration. A shock winner of last year’s Fountain of Youth Stakes, Simplification is now on a nine-race losing streak. Although he hasn’t been able to get his head in front, the majority of his defeats have come at the very highest level. Trainer Antonio Sano will be hoping that this weekend could see his charge spark back into form. Likely to start at a decent price, he could be one of the better value options.

When it comes to trying to find a decent priced winner than Surly Furious could be the horse to back. A front runner, he has been handed the dream draw in gate 1. Although he hasn’t won in his last four starts, he ran a great race to finish third in the Michelob Ultra Challenger Stakes. That was one of the best showings of his career and he could be a potential shock winner here.

Twelve Volt Man, Cajun and Clapton Magic round out the field with all three looking to have plenty to find if they are to finish in the places.

Ghostzapper Stakes Odds & Betting Tip

A host of horses who are taking a drop in class look likely to contend for this year’s Ghost Zapper. Although O’Connor has winning Grade 1 form back in his native Chile, his American form is certainly questionable. Before tackling harder races, First Captain looked to be a horse going places, and back in a race of this nature he looks to be the one to back here.

HORSEJOCKEYTRAINERODDS BY JAZZSPORTS
Surly FuriousJose OrtizGlenn Wismer +1500
Cajun’s MagicJesus RiosMichael Yates +1500
SimplificationJoel RosarioAntonio Sano +250
O’ConnorIrad OrtizSaffie Joseph +300
First CaptainLuis SaezClaude McGaughey +180
ClaptonEmisael JaramilloJuan Alvarado +800
Twelve Volt ManEdgar ZayasSaffie Joseph +800

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