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Horse Racing: Garrity heads south to Gulfstream & Tampa Bay Downs

He’s got three races on his personal card and one horse he loves

Chris Garrity

It may not seem like it, as here in the Northeast we have for weeks been enduring the winter blahs, but we are not far away from spring breaking out in the horse racing world. Come March, we'll have later sunsets, warmer temperatures, and the tracks in colder climes will have more and more playable cards.

But that's still a few weeks away.Until then, we will think warm thoughts, and go south: we'll head to Florida today for some action at Gulfstream Park and Tampa Bay Downs.

GULFSTREAM

We'll start with the 6th at Gulfstream (post time 3:08 Eastern), an allowance race at six-furlong dirt sprint for older males. We like 1-Articulator, and we like him a lot: he's got the best last-race Beyer Speed Figure; he's trained by scorching-hot trainer Jorge Navarro; and he cuts back in distance from 7 furlongs last out to 6 furlongs here. Moreover, we think his last race was even better than it looks in the past performances: He set the pace on a day when the track was biased against speed; on what should be a fairer track today, we think he goes right to the front and stays there. He's 2-1 on the morning line, and we'll take it: we'll bet $25 to win on Articulator.

The 8th at Gulstream (post time 4:10 Eastern) is another allowance race, this for three-year-old males at a mile and a sixteenth on the turf. The two favorites, 1-Sambacer, and 6-King Ottocar, both broke their maidens last out the same way: by going wire-to-wire on grass. The presence of both of them in this race means that an uncontested lead is not likely to happen for either; and there are a couple of other runners here (4-Love Point, 8-Gearhead) who have early zip as well. This makes a hot pace up front likely, and that makes us look to the horse we liked anyway, 4-Jais's Solitude. This horse has shown plenty of ability on grass, and his late-running style is a fit for the pace scenario we expect in this race. We'll bet $15 on him to win at 4-1.

TAMPA BAY DOWNS

At Tampa Bay Downs, the 6th race (post time 3:30 Eastern) caught our eye: it's a Maiden Special Weight race for older females at a mile on the grass. We are against the favorite, 1-Red Curls; she has failed to break her maiden in 15 tries. She has burned a lot of money going 0-for-15, and looks likely to burn more money today. We like 2-With Herself. This Irish-bred four-year-old filly finished a good second in a good maiden race in Ireland last June; she has been away since, but her long and steady workout tab makes her look like she is ready to fire today. And more important, the rest of the field in this race looks week, so she won't have to beat much. We'll take 3-1 on her, and will bet $25 on her to win.

That's all for today. Good luck at the windows.

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