Horse racing, Tampa Bay Downs

Tampa Bay Downs opinions for Sunday, April 3

Preview: There was plenty of rain on Saturday so the chances of there being an turf racing is likely to be slim at best..

 

Race 3 – Tam

#2 Supreme Stature (9-2): This gelding broke his maiden over an off track at this distance so he could be tough here. The 3-year-old has the top Brisnet Class Rating and best speed at the distance. Jockey Ronnie Allen Jr. is 22% with trainer Ian Wilkes.

                              

Race 4 – Tam

#5 Desert Summer (4-1): Leading jockey Antonio Gallardo usually rides for trainer Jamie Ness but eschews his entry here to ride this mare for trainer Saul Matos, who is 27% first off the claim.

 

Race 8 – Tam

#2 Refer (6-1): This will be the seventh different track this colt has run over in attempt to break his maiden. He seems to like this track with three good works coming into this. Trainer John Terranova is 23% with shippers.

 

Race 9 – Tam

#7 Spark Kit (6-1) (turf only): We’re hoping the turf course dries out in time for this race. Trainer Gerald Aschinger is 20% on the turf.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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Horse racing, Tampa Bay Downs

Tampa Bay Downs opinions for Friday, March 11

Preview: Field sizes are finally improving, but everyone is waiting for Saturday’s big Tampa Bay Derby card. On the dirt, trainers to watch are Gerald Bennett (37-119), Jamie Ness (22-84), Kathleen O’Connell (19-91), Dale Bennett (14-47) and Dennis Ward (11-92).

 

Race 2 – Tam

#1 Burley Blaise (6-1) 

Trainer Ian Wilkes races him into shape and this one has been overmatched at Gulfstream Park so Wilkes ships north and drops. Wilkes is 33% when he moves a horse down in class two of more levels.

                              

Race 7 – Tam                

#8 Wicked Rascal (9-2) 

This gelding was overmatched in a minor stakes at Gulfstream Park but he’s back and if he shows the speed he did previously at this track with jockey Antonio Gallardo, he could be gone.

                                

Race 8 – Tam                

#6 Peej (8-1) (turf only) 

Trainer Chris Block is 24% with horses coming off a 90-plus day layoff. This gelding is also coming out of a key Churchill Downs race that has produced three next out winners.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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Horse racing, Tampa Bay Downs

Tampa Bay Downs opinions for Saturday, March 7

Race 1: #2 Handy Candy (8-1)

Trainer Ian Wilkes sends this 3-year-old out for his 2015 debut off a three-month freshening. He comes out of an allowance race at Churchill Downs won by Dortmund and that race has produced three next out winners. This son of Candy Ride had three bullet works getting ready for this spot. Look for a big effort off the bench.

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Race 4: #3 Bird Prince (8-1)

Could be a big day for trainer Ian Wilkes, or he’s prepping horses for Kentucky in a month. We’re hoping for the former. This colt has been training lights out and Wilkes puts blinkers on plus Julien Leparoux takes the mount.

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Race 10: #12 Sparkling Review (turf only) (6-1)

This 4-year-old filly makes her 2015 debut, too, and she runs against older fillies and mares for the first time. She didn’t get the best of draws but she likes to come from behind so it should makes a difference for jockey Julien Leparoux.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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There is no doubt that this will be a big Saturday around the nation with graded stakes sprinkled all over the place so it’s time to put out handicapper hats on. We’ll stick mainly to the 3-year-old preps, but won’t forget the big races at Santa Anita, too.

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Grade II Swale Stakes, 7 furlongs, Gulfstream Park: 1. Bluegrass Singer, 2. Ready for Rye, 3. Daredevil. LONG SHOT: X Y Jet. Comment: This race was postponed following last week’s monsoon in Florida. DAREDEVIL might be a slam dunk as he comes out of the Breeders/ Cup Juvenile, which has proven to be an ultra-key race with many winners returning. And the biggest stat I heard was that no horse has returned from that race to win a two-turn race so that fits right in with the Todd Pletcher-trainee. However, I’m going with BLUEGRASS SINGER, who is cutting back from two turns to 7 furlongs for trainer Marcus Vitali. READY FOR RYE is stretching out from 6 furlongs and figures to be tough. Just an added note: Super Colossal has scratched out of the Swale and the Tampa Bay Derby due to a spiked fever, according to trainer Edward Plesa Jr.

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Grade III Gotham Stakes, 1 1/16th mile, Aqueduct: 1. Lieutenant Colonel, 2. El Kabeir, 3. Classy Class. LONG SHOT: Tiz Shea. Comment: This race didn’t come up that tough, especially when Withers winner Far From Over decided to pass. LIEUTENANT COLONEL broke his maiden at first asking at Gulfstream Park for trainer Chad Brown. Personally, I love offspring of Colonel John that stretch out and that’s what we have here. TIZ SHEA is another horse in here off a maiden-breaking win at first asking and has been transferred to the barn of Bill Mott. Interesting.

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Grade II Tampa Bay Derby, 1 1/16th mile, Tampa Bay Downs: 1. Moonlight Bandit, 2. Ocean Knight, 3. Carpe Diem, 4. Divining Rod. LONG SHOT: Great Stuff. Comment: I’ll be honest I didn’t pick BC Juvenile runner-up CARPE DIEM due to that previous stat I mentioned and this is his first start of the year. Trainer Mark Casse has two horses in here, MOONLIGHT BANDIT and DANZIG MOON, and I’m probably picking the wrong won. MOONLIGHT BANDIT had a ton of trouble in his 2015 debut in a Gulfstream allowance and figures to improve off that effort. OCEAN KNIGHT is undefeated and tough to ignore for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin.

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Grade II San Felipe, 1 1/16th mile, Santa Anita: 1. Bolo, 2. Dortmund, 3. Ocho Ocho Ocho, 4. Prospect Park. LONG SHOT: The Gomper. Comment: BOLO has been a monster on the grass and now is the time to find out if he is the same on the dirt. By the sire Temple City, offspring have had no problems going two turns and have excelled going two turns. Now is the time to see how they do on the dirt. Jockey Victor Espinoza takes over for mike Smith, who is on OCHO OCHO OCHO. DORTMUND is a perfect 4-for-4, but he wasn’t supposed to run here as trainer Bob Baffert called an audible. THE GOMPER was all the talk after his maiden win, but has falter since. It’s put up or shut up time for the son of Sky Mesa here.

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Grade I Santa Anita Handicap, 1¼ mile, Santa Anita: 1. Shared Belief, 2. Hard Aces, 3. Bronzo, 4. Sr. Quisqueyano. LONG SHOT: Catch a Flight. Comment: Sorry, I’m a big SHARED BELIEF fan. Just think he is the best horse in America and don’t see him losing. BRONZO finished fourth to him in the San Antonio and should show improvement. Like the two shippers HARD ACES and SR. QUISQUEYANO but only for the minor awards. Heck, second place pays $200,000.

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Horse racing, Tampa Bay Downs

Tampa Bay Downs opinions for Sunday, March 1

Race 7: #4 Henry Ella (5-1)

This 3-year-old filly should be plenty fit after running twice going two turns on the turf. Trainer Ian Wilkes cuts back to a sprint on the dirt and cuts the claiming price in half looking for the winning formula.

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Race 9: #9 Jarrod’s Commando (2-1)

Trainer Jamie Ness drops this gelding off a disappointing effort three months ago, but he has put two big works into him recently. The 6-year-old is coming out of a key race that has produced four winners. Leading jockey Antonio Gallardo sticks around.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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Horse racing, Tampa Bay Downs

Tampa Bay Downs opinions for Saturday, Jan. 31

Race 2: #5 Alabaster (5-1)

Our Eyes: Not sure if this race shouldn’t be in New York with trainers like McLaughlin, Pletcher and Zito in here, but we’re going to trainer Eoin Harty and this 3-year-old colt. The son of Medaglia d’Oro has a race over the track and switches to leading jockey Antonio Gallardo, who is 4-for-9 with Harty.

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Race 3: #3 Senor Grits (2-1)

Our Eyes: This son of Elusive Quality drops out of a stakes effort at Laurel and that race has produced FIVE next out winners. Trainer Ian Wilkes has been working this 3-year-old at Palm Meadows and jockey Julien Leparoux jumps on.

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Race 6: #11 Prize Native (15-1)

Our Eyes: The key will be if this 4-year-old gets in the race as he is on the also-eligible list. That being said trainer Anthony Granitz is 31% with stretchouts at Tampa. This gelding drops in class and jockey Ademar Santos must work out a trip from the outside.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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