The rains came to Tampa this morning, and the main track is sloppy, and all races have been taken off the turf. First picked post is 3:26 pm EDT.
The racing on this fine Friday is at Gulfstream Park, Tampa Bay Downs, and Oaklawn Park. We’ve settled on four total plays.
The rains came to Tampa this morning, and the main track is sloppy, and all races have been taken off the turf. We’re expecting fast dirt and firm turf at Gulfstream, and fast dirt at Oaklawn, but the forecast for both is iffy, and that may change. With that out of the way, let’s go.
$8,000 Claiming, 7 furlongs, Dirt, 3 & Up
Eleven go in this $8,000 claimer. The pick is 8-C’Era Una Volta. He has good breeding for the slop, high speed, good overall form, and ran well in his one career start on an off track. Look for him to stalk the pace from the outside, and win going away. We will bet him to win at 4-1. The bet: Tampa Bay Downs, Race 7, $30 to win on 8-C’Era Una Volta.
Allowance/Optional Claiming, 1 ⅛ miles, Turf, 3-Year-Old Fillies
This good first-level allowance, at nine furlongs on the turf, drew a field of nine 3-year-old fillies. We love one of them, 1-Nope. She’s incredibly well-bred, by superstar turf sire No Nay Never, out of a Galileo mare, and she looks to us like the class of this field. She’s making her first start in North America, after finishing a very close fourth in a Group 3 race at Newmarket in England and July: she looked plenty good in that race, but we think she will actually be better at this longer distance, and on the firm grass she will hopefully get today. The layoff is a concern, but trainer Brendan Walsh is good (20% win rate) with horses making their first North American start.
Add it all up, and we think 10-1 is a big overlay, and we do not let overlays pass us by. We will bet her to win,and we will do so with gusto. The bet: Gulfstream Park, Race 8, $60 to win on 1-Nope.
Allowance/Optional Claiming, 6 furlongs, Dirt, 3 & Up
This is a tough non-winners of two allowance for older horses, with twelve pretty swift horses going to the starting gate. Speed figures allow us to identify three that look to be the fastest: 1-Strike That, 2-Pete’s Play Call, and 5-Volatile all earned Beyer Speed figures of 90 or better in their last starts, and we think the three of them will all be right there at the end. We will box the three of them in the trifecta: that’s a 1-2-5 trifecta box, which will cost $6 at the $1 level. We’ll play it for a $2 base wager, for a total play of $12. The bet: Oaklawn Park, Race 9, $2 trifecta box, 1-2-5.
Allowance/Optional Claiming, 6 furlongs, Dirt, 3-Year-Olds
Twelve 3-year-old colts go to the post in the 10th at Oaklawn, but we have eyes for only one: 1-No Parole, who starts for trainer Tom Amoss. He was on the Triple Crown trail this winter, running well enough that he was sent off at 10-1 in the Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn on March 14. He ran dismally that day, contesting a fast early pace before fading and finishing last. It’s not often we have enthusiasm for a horse who lost his last race by nearly 50 lengths, but we do here, as No Parole returns to sprinting, where he’s been very, very tough. He’s got high early speed, and with the additional fitness he got running in the nine-furlong Rebel, we think he’s going to run this group right off their feet. We will bet him to win at 3-1. The bet: Oaklawn Park, Race 10, $40 to win on 1-No Parole.
That’s all for today. Enjoy the racing, be safe, and, as always, good luck at the windows.