Expert Pick of the Week: Marshua’s River Stakes

Jan 09, 2020 John Mucciolo/

A cast of seven fillies and mares will travel 1 1/16 miles on the Gulfstream Park turf course in Saturday’s co-feature, the $150,000 Marshua’s River (G3). Sweet Bye and Bye has never missed the board from seven career starts on the sod, and she is the Expert Pick of the Week.

Trained by Steve Klesaris, Sweet Bye and Bye has been consistently good on the grass to this point, and she also has room for improvement being relatively lightly raced. The Keystone State-bred comes in with very good current form, running three strong turf races in succession in advance of this stakes test, and I think that she is poised for her best on Saturday.

The 5-year-old daughter of Sky Mesa has traded recent decisions with fellow contender Andina Del Sur of late, but Gulfstream seems like an ideal surface for this lass to shine in her local debut. The gray does her best work on firm surfaces that she will likely run upon on Saturday, and she also owns a tactical edge over most of her challengers due to her excellent early presence.

Sweet Bye and Bye shows three smart morning drills in the Sunshine State leading up to this event and she also picks up top local pilot Luis Saez for the voyage. The stakes heroine has a lot of value in being from a very productive family, and it’s my opinion that she must be in peak shape to still be racing.

I expect the talented mare to track the pace from second place early on, ease her way to the front prior to the turn for home, and then to power clear to a smart win under Saez. Sweet Bye and Bye winning the Marshua’s River is the Free Pick of the Week. 

Check out all of the contenders in the Marshua's River Study Guide!

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