Liam's Lucky Charm races at Tampa Bay Downs in January, 2020.
Liam's Lucky Charm races at Tampa Bay Downs in January, 2020.|@TampaBayDownsFL on Twitter
Thoroughbreds

Wednesday at the track: Garrity picks 3 races at Tampa Bay Downs

We have plays in three of the races, all of them at a mile on the Tampa Bay turf course, which we expect to be firm. First post is 3pm EDT.

Chris Garrity

We will head today to Tampa Bay Downs in Oldsmar, Florida, where they start another four-day week with a nine-race card. The weather should be fine on the Gulf Coast today, warm and dry. We have plays in three of the races, all of them at a mile on the Tampa Bay turf course, which we expect to be firm. Let’s go.

Tampa Bay Downs, Race 5, 3:00 pm EDT

Allowance/Optional Claiming, 1 mile, Turf, 3-Year-Olds

This first-level allowance for sophomore colts drew a field of eight. 1-Queens Embrace is a strong play: this Kathleen O’Connell trainee has won four races in a row since January 1, and while two of them were on dirt, he’s done his best running on the grass. He has decent tactical speed, a good closing kick, and the advantageous rail post. Look for him to sit behind the leaders and move to the front coming for home. We will bet him to win at 2-1. The bet: Tampa Bay Downs, Race 5, $40 to win on 1-Queens Embrace.

Tampa Bay Downs, Race 7, 4:00 pm EDT

Allowance/Optional Claiming, 1 mile, Turf, 4 & Up

This is another allowance on the grass, but it’s for older horses, and it drew a full field of ten. We like 6-Blue Sky Cowboy, who starts for trainer Michele Boyce. His last race was poor, but was on dirt, and before that, he was running quite well in stakes on the grass. He has a very powerful late kick, and there should be enough early pace in this heat to set it up. Look for him to be toward the rear of the field during the race’s early stages and flying late. Key stat: Blue Sky Cowboy has been running mostly in longer races of late, but at a mile on grass he’s hit the board in five of six career starts. We will bet him to win at 6-1. The bet: Tampa Bay Downs, Race 7, $35 to win on 6-Blue Sky Cowboy.

Tampa Bay Downs, Race 9, 5:00 pm EDT

Maiden Special Weight, 1 mile, Turf, 3-Year-Old Fillies

This maiden race for 3-year-old fillies drew a full field of ten. We like a first-time starter on the outside, 9-Completed. She’s very well bred, by top stallion More than Ready and an Empire Maker mare, but what caught our eye was her sale price: she sold for a whopping $750,000 as a yearling at the August 2018 Fasig-Tipton sale. That’s some serious cabbage, and she has been working like a runner, with a long string of steady works going back to mid-March. This is exactly what we want to see in a first-time starter, and while winning at first asking is tough, and winning on turf first out is even tougher, she appears to have the ability to do it. Trainer Jonathan Thomas is having an excellent Tampa Bay meeting, winning at a 33% clip, and is also good with firsters and horses debuting on grass. Add it up, and we’ll gladly take 4-1 for Completed to beat this modest group of maidens. We will bet her to win. The bet: Tampa Bay Downs, Race 9, $40 to win on 9-Completed.

That’s all for today. Until tomorrow, enjoy the racing, be safe, and, as always, good luck at the windows.

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