I used to pass on this oval. There was some really cheap runners, and there was never a marquee horse. But if you look at the field sizes, and trainers targeting this meet, there is a great upside to playing this Florida oval. So, without further delay, lets kick off the weekend in a winning way!
Tampa Bay Downs
Race #4 – Claiming $5,000 – 6f – 2:02 p.m. ET
#5 – Harlan’s Pepper (2-1) = Dean Butler up for Bernell Rhone, and they are 1/1 with a win for the start of the meet. A bit of a horse-for-the-course going 7/9 ITM over the track. Been off for 3 months, and makes the turf to dirt move, and they win 28% doing this. Add in that she is dropping in from the open company $7,500 into condition $5k, and you have a player.
Race #7 – Claiming $16,000 – 1 mile on the turf – 3:26 p.m. ET
#6 – Live the Dash (5-2) = Angel Serpa gets the call for Jamie Ness who is winning 31% on the year. These two team up to win 29%, and this gelding is 13/18 ITM on the weeds. Goes turf to dirt, and they roll at 24% on this strategic move. Ships in from laurel, and Ness does well with travellers winning 33%. He should be close, and Ness has a special hand at getting horses ready.
Race #8 – O.C. $16,000 – 6f – 3:55 p.m. ET
#1 / 1A – Dublin Da’ Bet – Thatlleaveamark (2-1) = Jamie Ness brings some runners moving up in class. Either or could win this race, and both have been doing the Delaware circuit. I like his abilities on getting his runners ready, and jumping a bit in class should pose no problem. You may want to put the Ness barn on your stable to watch list as he should do very well this winter.
Race #9 – O.C. $100,000 – 5f on the turf – 4:25 p.m. ET
#7 – P J’s Back (6-1) = Pedro Cotto for Yvon Belsoeur. He makes his second off the shelf, and is a distance specialist going 3/3 with wins. Also, you have to respect the 3/4 over the green with wins, and they have the $100,000 tag on this 5-yr-old gelding. Looks to be a nice price, and you may even get better at the windows.
That should get you thinking about the weekend. I am going to have my Betfair Hollywood Park goggles in place on Saturday. Winning Ponies has consistently done well over the Florida oval, and have had some “blow-out” days in California. Get your E-Z Win Forms in hand, and you can check on everything you need in real time to get yourself ready for a winning day. If you have the need to check-in on what is happening in the world of racing, be sure to tune in with John Engelhardt and his special guest Kentucky Senator Damon Thayer.
Best of luck, and let’s make this weekend a winner!