It’s Big Cap weekend and there are some other preps that are calling you to action ! – As always, use these as some food for thought before downloading your E-Z Win Forms and receiving the best handicapping data to make your day a winner. This is when the tempo picks up and the preps mean more than ever. Peruse these free selections and be sure to download your Winning Ponies E-Z Win Forms for a full and comprehensive picture on how the races take shape. – Best of luck from your friends at Winning Ponies !
Tampa Bay Downs
The forecast calls for highs in the 80’s and sunny. – There are five stakes and three are graded featuring the G-2 Tampa Derby.
Race #11 – The G-2 $350,000 Tampa Bay Derby – 1 1/16 – 5:27 p.m. EST
Look for plenty of pace with The Money Monster, Basha, Sonic Mule, State of Honor, Wild Shot, and Beasley up close to battle it out set the fractions. oard
#5 – Tapwrit = Jose Ortiz in the irons for Todd Pletcher and the barn has done well in this race in the past. This son of Tapit is a good up close stalker and can give them fits down the lane. He was stopped about 3-4 times during the Sam F. Davis and tipped off the rail closing stoutly against McCracken. This is his second of the shelf and Pletcher wins (25%) on this move. Two solid maintenance moves at Palm Beach Downs and he looks like a maturing colt peeking at the right time. – Take at his action late in the lane chasing the winner McCracken. He picked up his action very quickly and showed a good run out past the wire. – Use with the dangerous #9 – Wild Shot who finished 4th in the same race and is making his second off the shelf with two nice morning works. Take a look at the Sam F. Davis for a solid picture of the players.
The weather is going to be perfect in the mid-80’s and sunny.
Race #5 – The G-2 $400,000 San Felipe – 1 1/16 – 5:00 p.m. EST
The Derby trail has taken some detours and handicappers feel the likely Derby favorite will come from the left coast. There is some real talent in this race, and once the official sign is on the board many answers stand to come to light. – After Gormley, Iliad, and Mastery lock horns and the smoke clears. The Derby picture may start taking focus.
I love Iliad’s speed and second off the shelf for Doug O’Neill has him one to fear every time he sends one to post. Gormley has a versatile look for the talented John Sheriff’s barn. Toss out the BC Juvenile and he is a perfect 3/3 with wins. – That only leaves Mastery and that is where my money will be.
#4 – Mastery = Mike “Money-Man” Smith in the irons for Bob Baffert. That alone make this son of Candy Ride the chalk in most players’ heart. This is his first start in 2017 and he has been training lights out over the course. His victory in the Los Al Futurity was Baffert’s 9th and he steps back into the ring ready to stamp his ticket for Louisville. – According to The Handicapper’s Edge; Baffert put blinkers back on for the Futurity and Mastery closely tracked pacesetter Bobby Abu Dhabi in second through opening splits in :23.37, :45.65 and 1:09.53. He took the lead turning for home and after facing a brief challenge from Irap in upper stretch, easily accelerated away in the final furlong.“He relaxed very well, but I think a key point today was Bob (Baffert) putting the blinkers back on him today,” Smith said. “When he hit the front, he didn’t know where he was at and he put the brakes on there for a minute; it kinda worried me. Once I got into him and reminded him ‘it ain’t over, we ain’t done yet,’ man he jumped back into the bridle and finished really strong. – Bet with both hands in multi-race wagers and if you get anywhere near (6-5) go to windows early and often.
Race #10 – The G-1 $750,000 – Santa Anita Handicap – 1 1/4 – 7:30 p.m. EST
This race showcases the older runners as they strut their stuff in the “Big Cap.” – You could make a case for about anyone in the field, and if you listen very closely to the echos of the past. You can still hear Seabiscuit thundering home.
#2 – Shaman’s Ghost = Javier Castellano in the irons for the James Jerkens barn and this son of Ghostzapper is making his second start in 2017. He ran in the Pegasus World Cup last out and he was trying to chase the powerhouse Arrogate. He is stretching out from a 1 1/8 to a 1 1/4 and he is 2/3 ITM at this distance. Once upon a time he won the Queen’s Plate going this distance but that race is long in his rear view mirror. – The addition of Lasix the last three efforts has been just what the doctor ordered and he looks strong in his stride. You can count on a decent pace with #1 – Midnight Storm with the returning back to the saddle Rafael Bejarano. “Shaman” looks to play the role of the stalker in here and as you’ll see in his last race his turn of foot shows strong promise to move when the rider pleases. Box #2 – Shaman’s Ghost, #1 – Midnight Storm and #5 – Hard Aces.