Horse racing, Tampa Bay Downs

Tampa Bay Downs opinions for Saturday, Feb. 13

Preview: Great card. All one had to do was look at the jockeys scheduled to run (Javier Castellano, John Velazquez, Julien Leparoux, Jose Lezcano) to know it’s a big stakes day at Tampa. Four stakes on card so should be some prices, hopefully.

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Race 2: #6 Quick Coconut (6-1) 

This is a first-time starter from the Gerald Bennett barn, which is 29% with debuting maiden claimers. Jockey Ronnie Allen Jr. rides and he is 12-for-24 with Bennett over the last 60 days.

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Race 4: #7 Ms. Scarlet Fever (6-1) 

This 3-year-old filly has never been worse than fifth in five races and that was a stakes race where she was over her head as a maiden. This is a tough race, but trainer Joe Arboritanza is 4-for-7 with horses cutting back in distance.

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Race 6: #5 Mata Mua (turf only) (15-1) 

It isn’t often that you get a morning-line like this on trainer Shug McGaughey and jockey Javier Castellano. McGaughey is 2-for-2 this winter shipping in to Tampa and Castellano got to know this filly last time at Gulfstream Park when she showed speed and tired going longer.

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Race 10: #3 A Lot (turf only) (10-1) 

 Trainer Bill Mott ships this son of Tapit in for this race. Mott takes the blinkers off and he’s 23% with that move. This 4-year-old finished third by a neck in the Tropical Park Derby at Gulfstream Park. The big difference today is he’s moving from an outside post to inside, where his speed can be rationed better by Jose Lezcano.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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Horse racing, Tampa Bay Downs

Tampa Bay Downs opinions for Friday, Jan. 22

Preview: Looks like a decent card for a week day. Trainer Shug McGaughey and jockey Jose Lezcano snuck in on Wednesday and won a couple of races. Always check out South Florida-based outfits come in looking to cash. Trainer Efren Loza Jr. and his 44% first-time starters number has one in the first with #1 Brilliantbydesign but at 5-2 won’t list it but I couldn’t talk anyone out of a horizontal single.

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Race 3: #7 Scottish Sweetie (turf only) (3-1) 

Trainer Joan Scott has won three races at the meet and they have all been with jockey Ronnie Allen Jr. They team up here with this 4-year-old filly which has a 4-1-2-1 record on this course and drops into a claimer for the first time a move Scott is 25% with.

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Race 7:   #8 Hymnotic (6-1) 

Trainer Christophe Clement is one of the South Florida guys we were talking about. He ships this first-timer starter by War Front here for he first start and gets jockey Daniel Centeno, who he teamed up with earlier in the meet for a winner. Clemente is 2-for-3 with firsters at Tampa the last few years.

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Race 8: #5 Ms. Short Fuze (8-1)

Jockey Fernando De La Cruz has been on a roll for a few weeks and he’s 30% over the last year with trainer Jason DaCosta. This filly is dropping into a maiden claimer for the first time and DaCosta is 23% with shippers.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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Breeders' Cup, Horse racing, Santa Anita

Santa Anita/Breeders’ Cup picks for Friday, November 1

ARCADIA

Bias alert! Bias alert!

Keep a close eye on the main track for Friday’s early races because Thursday’s races were run in wire-to-wire fashion, except the last race when the leader still finished a strong second.

It brings back memories of last year’s Breeders’ Cup when there was a pronounced speed bias. The smart jockeys will smell it out so watch the races very closely.

The word around the track is that the inside of the track was “scrapped” on Wednesday. For most of the fall meet the track has seemed fair, but many jockeys didn’t stay on the rail. They will on Friday, if Thursday is any indication.

We’ll see.

FIRST RACE: 1. He’s Had Enough, 2. Omega Star, 3. Pure Loyalty. LONG SHOT: Yankee Rebel.

HE’S HAD ENOUGH was on the Triple Crown trail earlier this year facing the likes o f Orb, Flashback, Violence and Shanghai Bobby, who he finished to in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile last year. The son of Tapit has been off since late March and trainer Doug O’Neill tries something new with him, running down the hill on the turf course. If he’s 90 percent, he might just outclass this field.

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SECOND RACE: 1. Got Even, 2. Heir of Storm, 3. Door’s Open. LONG SHOT: Newfound Gold.

This could be an all-Peter Miller exacta as he trains the top two. I was leaning to HEIR OF STORM, a son of Wildcat Heir, who gets a barn switch to the red-hot Miller (11 wins at the meet) until the speed bias showed up on Thursday. GOT EVEN has speed and he gets Joel Rosario to ride. HEIR OF STORM is trying dirt for the first time in his career after synthetic and grass attempts. Miller puts the blinkers on and Eastern-based jockey Jose Lezcano jumps aboard.

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THIRD RACE: 1. Cinmars Dance, 2. Tamarando, 3. Life Is a Joy. LONG SHOT: Electric Eddie.

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FOURTH RACE: 1. Harlington’s Rose, 2. Moving Desert, 3. Cal Gal. LONG SHOT: Smoove It.

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FIFTH RACE: 1. Procurement, 2. Gervinho, 3. Gabriel Charles. LONG SHOT: Dry Summer.

PROCUREMENT, a 3-year-old son of Milwaukee Brew, has lost to a few of these before, but he has two wins over this course and one victory at this distance of 1 1/8 mile on the grass. Jockey Gary Stevens keeps the mount and the way he is riding the odds are well worth a shot. We think his downhill trip last time was just a prep for this spot.

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Breeders’ Cup races begin here.

SIXTH RACE: 1. Ever Rider, 2. Suns Out Guns Out, 3. Commander, 4. Worldly. LONG SHOT: Old Time Hockey.

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SEVENTH RACE: 1. Giovanni Boldin1, 2. Wilshire Boulevard, 3. Bobby’s Kitten, 4. Bon Accord. LONG SHOT: Aotearoa.

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EIGHTH RACE: 1. Alpha, 2. Brujo de Olleros, 3. Fed Biz, 4. Goldencents. LONG SHOT: Broadway Empire.

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NINTH RACE: 1. Chriselliam, 2.Vorda, 3. My Conquestadory, 4. Clenor. LONG SHOT: Ready to Act.

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TENTH RACE: 1. BEHOLDER (BEST BET), 2. Royal Delta, 3. Princess of Sylmar, 4. Authenticity. LONG SHOT: Close Hatches.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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