Horse racing, Tampa Bay Downs

Tampa Bay Downs opinions for Friday, Dec. 23

Preview: Finally we had 3 out of 4 winners on Wednesday and two of them at double-digit winners. Jockey Scott Spieth is 1-for-60 at the meet and has had better numbers in the past. Spieth might be aligned with some bad barns like Anthony Rini, who started Wednesday 0 for 15. In my initial handicapping for Friday, I like a couple of Spieth horses but I just can’t pick him right now.

Race 4: #8 Queen of the Party (10-1) (turf only)
No doubt the 7-5 favorite Naifah will be tough to beat but this 2-year-old from the Kathleen O’Connell job might be able to get the job done. O’Connell is 18% with horses off a 46 to 90-day layoff and the sire Kantharos gets 18% winners first time on grass.

Race 8: #8 Oatfield (5-1) (MTO)
If this race gets taken off the turf here is your play. This 3-your-old has the top class rating and huge edge in late race rating from Brisnet, not to mention jockey Daniel Centeno.

Race 9: #7 Stapleton (9-2)
The gelding showed speed in a stakes race for 2-year-olds three weeks ago. He now drops back in with maidens and gets Daniel Centeno to ride. If he runs back to the fourth-place finish, he should win even with a pair if Todd Pletcher first-timers in here.

Race 10: #6 Ballinskelligs (2-1) (turf only)
This filly drops to her lowest level ever for the potent duo of Daniel Centeno and trainer Arnaud Delacour. The 3-year-old is coming off a win at Laurel and shippers from that track have been eating up the competition. Delacour is 33% with shippers.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter


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