Garrity's first post time is at 3 pm EDT.
It’s a sign of how much the world has changed, we suppose, that what would normally be the biggest news story on this April 15, tax day, is on nobody’s mind. These are certainly strange days that we are living through.
Tampa Bay Downs joins Fonner Park and Will Rogers Downs as active tracks today. We’ve looked at the card from all three, and will play a race or two at each, a total of five plays in just two hours’ time. We expect fast dirt and firm turf in all races; let’s go.
Tampa Bay Downs, Race 6, 3:00 pm ET
$10,000 Claiming, 1 1/16 miles, Turf, Fillies & Mares 3 & Up
A field of nine goes to the post in this turf claimer. We like a class dropper, 9-Big Angel, who starts for trainer Norberto Palavecino. She’s a 4-year-old filly who has been bumping heads with tougher fields, at the $16,000 claiming level, where she ran passably well. At this lower $10k level, she fits, especially against this field, which on paper looks very weak. We will bet her to win at 7/2. The bet: Tampa Bay Downs, Race 6, $35 to win on 9-Big Angel.
Will Rogers Downs, Race 3, 3:15 pm ET
Allowance, 6 furlongs, Dirt, Fillies & Mares 3 & Up
A short field of six will start in this second-level allowance race. We like the favorite, 4-Karate Hottie, who won her last start, which was just nine days ago at Will Rogers Downs. That win was very game: She set pretty quick fractions on the lead, and still managed to have enough in the tank to win at a mile. She cuts back today to 6 furlongs, and we think that the additional stamina from that taxing race will be a big benefit to her today. We think she wins this one by open lengths, and will bet her to win at 8/5. The bet: Will Rogers Downs, Race 3, $50 to win on 4-Karate Hottie.
Tampa Bay Downs, Race 7, 3:30 pm ET
$16,000 Claiming, 7 furlongs, Dirt, 3 & Up
This claiming dirt sprint drew a field of ten. The pick is 8-Absalom, who is switching from grass to dirt and from a route to a sprint. That’s a lot of change, but she has run on dirt before, and she starts for Darien Rodriguez, who is hot right now, with a robust 25% win clip, and who is also good in all the relevant categories (turf to dirt, route to sprint, etc.). Absalom also has quite a bit of early speed, and at 6-1, we think she has a big chance today. We will bet her to win. The bet: Tampa Bay Downs, Race 7, $30 to win on 8-Absalom.
Will Rogers Downs, Race 5, 4:15 pm
Handicap, 5 furlongs, Dirt, Fillies & Mares 3 & Up
This handicap drew a field of eight. The mare on the outside, 8-Drip Brew, is a deserving favorite, as she’s run a couple of good races in a row coming into today, but we think that she is in a tough spot here, as she is a need-the-lead type, and the entrant just inside of her, 7-Euromandy, is equally fast early. Drip Brew wins only when she is able to establish a clear early lead, and we do not see that happening in today’s 5th at Will Rogers Downs: we see Euromandy and Drip Brew setting an unsustainably fast early pace.
That makes the pick 6-Ima Discreet Lady, who starts for the powerful Karl Broberg barn. We think she will get ideal trip here, sitting just behind the dueling pacesetters, and will be able to take advantage when the pair in front of her begin to tire. Handicappers call this position, sitting just behind dueling speedsters, the “garden spot,” and we think Ima Discreet Lady will be in it today. We will bet her to win at 2-1. The bet: Will Rogers Downs, Race 5, $40 to win on 6-Ima Discreet Lady.
Fonner Park, Race 1, 5:00 pm ET
Maiden Special Weight, 6 furlongs, Dirt, Nebraska-breds 3 & Up
This state-bred maiden special weight drew a field of seven. We’re going with a bit of an outsider here, 3-Pete and Repete. He’s a 4-year-old who is coming off a long layoff, having last raced in July, and while he’s winless in three career starts, his last two were in state-bred stakes, which suggests that his connections have held him in high regard. We think that is enough to give him the edge over this group of slow maidens. At 6-1, we think he offers real value in the betting pools, and will bet him to win. The bet: Fonner Park, Race 1, $35 to win on 3-Pete and Repete.
That’s all for today. Enjoy the racing, be safe, and, as always, good luck at the windows.