Tampa Bay Downs joins Fonner Park and Will Rogers Downs as tracks with races today. We expect fast dirt and firm turf in all these races.
Tampa Bay Downs joins Fonner Park and Will Rogers Downs as tracks with races today. We’ve picked races from all three. We expect fast dirt and firm turf in all these races. Let’s go.
Maiden Special Weight, 6 furlongs, Dirt, Oklahoma-bred Fillies & Mares 3 & Up
This state-bred maiden race drew a full field of twelve. We like a 3-year-old filly, 3-Okie Logic, who starts for trainer Michael Biehler. She has one career start, when she did a speed-and-fade at Remington Park in October and comes into today’s not having run since that effort. We like her prospects to improve today, and Biehler has good stats in two key categories: horses coming off similar layoffs (30% win rate), and horses making the second start of their careers (33% win rate). At 10-1, she merits a play. We will bet her to win and to place. The bets: Will Rogers Downs, Race 2, $20 to win/$10 to place on 3-Okie Logic.
$16,000 Claiming, 1 mile, Turf, Fillies & Mares 4 & Up
This mile turf race for older claiming females drew a field of ten. 4-Barrel of Destiny is a strong play: she drops in class from allowance company to the $16k claiming level, and she has by far the best late-pace figure in the race. Look for her to sit mid-pack early and blow away the field with a strong stretch run. We will bet her to win at 7/2. The bet: Tampa Bay Downs, Race 6, $50 to win on 4-Barrel of Destiny.
Maiden Special Weight, 1 mile, Turf, Fillies & Mares 3 & Up
Ten female maidens will go a mile on Tampa Bay’s turf course. We like a first-time starter very much: it’s 9-Gaelic Gold, who comes from the Christophe Clement barn. She’s a gray 3-year-old filly with the best turf pedigree we’ve seen in a while: she’s by the late superstar turf sire Giant’s Causeway, and Strike It Rich, an Unbridled’s Song mare who was herself a graded stakes winner on turf. That means Gaelic Gold is bred top and bottom for the grass, baby, and we think that means she beats this rather ordinary group of maidens. Another plus is that the Clement barn has been white hot of late, winning at a ridiculous 41% rate at the current Tampa Bay meeting. That kind of win rate cannot last, but we’ll ride it while it’s happening. We will bet Gaelic Gold to win at 3-1. The bet: Tampa Bay Downs, Race 8, $40 to win on 9-Gaelic Gold.
Allowance, 6 furlongs, Dirt, Nebraska-breds 3 & Up
This first-level allowance for state-breds drew a field of seven, and it’s the easiest race of the day for us to handicap: the pick is 4-Ye Be Judged. He has the best last-race Beyer Speed Figure in the field, 51, which is good, but he also earned a 51 in his prior start. That’s identical figs in his two career starts, and when a young horse pairs figs this way -- Ragozin sheet players call this phenomenon “paired tops” -- it is usually a sign that the horse will improve, will run even faster, in his or her next start. If Ye Be Judged runs another 51, he should win this; if he improves, he may win by the length of the stretch. Either way, we will bet him to win at 5/2. The bet: Fonner Park, Race 1, $40 to win on 4-Ye Be Judged.
Handicap, 5 furlongs, Dirt, 3 & Up
This handicap, which is really an allowance race, drew a field of eight. We are going with a straight speed play: it’s 4-Shannon C, a 5-year-old gelding who starts for trainer Scott Young. He has the most early speed in the race, and with an inside post position and at this 5 furlong distance, he will use it. We expect him to wire the field and will bet him to win at 4-1 to do it. The bet: Will Rogers Downs, Race 9, $30 to win on 4-Shannon C.
That’s all for today. Enjoy the racing, be safe, and, as always, good luck at the windows.