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USA Today (04/01/23)

We have an interesting card at Tampa Bay this evening and as I've had some free time this afternoon, I've reviewed a few of the races below and have also provided by bets for the meeting. I'm posting a little earlier than ideal so we have to hope we don't see any significant Non-Runners or track changes.

 

R1 Tampa - $5,000 Claimer - 5.5 Furlongs - Non Winners Of Two Since July.

Whilst this is a low grade claimer, all 6 of the runners know how to win but they’re at this level for a reason and its mainly because they’re either no longer consistent, or find it difficult to get their heads in front. Whilst the top two in the betting (ARCADIA CALLS and SIR AGGRAVATOR) hold obvious claims, they have a lot of 2nd and 3rds in their form lines so I am keen to oppose them from a value perspective. The horse to carry my money will therefore be PALADIO. This horse will be having his third start for his new trainer today and Camacho takes over in the saddle. Whilst it has been a very long time since his last win, he’s looked okay on his last two starts at this level and the addition of the blinkers and Camacho may prove to be enough to get his head in front. My hope is that he’ll sit in 3rd or 4th early on and come with a sustained run in the straight. Clearly a low stakes play though, as his profile is hardly inspiring.

Advised Bet: PALADIO (8/1) - 0.25pts EW

Bet Confidence: ⭐️

 

R2 Tampa - $23,000 Starter Allowance - 7 Furlongs - 3yo Fillies


A bit more quality in this race and on paper, we should see a contested early gallop. The early speed will ultimately decide the outcome as FLAG WOMAN got the better of both ASTONISHING ANABEL and ELSA’S ROCKET on her last start but those two fillies went stride for stride early on which allowed FLAG WOMAN to get a perfect trip as the pace collapsed. Looking at the pace map today, we have to assume that AA and ER are going to employ similar tactics once again and there is also a chance that GIRL AFRAID will get involved in the early battle for the lead. With that in mind, we have to assume that FLAG WOMAN is once again going to be poised to strike from in behind and whilst they’re all stepping up an extra furlong, she hit the line hard LTO and I really don’t see the extra distance being an issue.

Advised Bet: FLAG WOMAN (11/4) - 1pt WIN

Bet Confidence: ⭐️⭐️

 

R3 Tampa - $25,000 Maiden Claimer - 1m 1/16 - Turf


We have eight runners due to go to post here and between them they have a record of 0-75 so we are certainly not looking at any future stars. The current favourite is EAU CLAIRE who probably has the best form in the book but is 0-7 in her career, including two defeats at this level. I am not jumping up and down to get involved in this contest but I do feel that IRISH KITTEN is overpriced. She hasn’t looked straightforward at times but she has a couple of prior runs over today’s trip that would at least give her some kind of chance. The major negative however is the jockey who is a little lightweight in the finish for my liking.

Advised Bet: IRISH KITTEN (9/1) - 0.25pts EW

Bet Confidence: ⭐️


 

R4 Tampa - $25,000 Maiden Claimer - 5 Furlongs - Dirt


Another Maiden Claimer but this time we switch back to the dirt. This is trappy contest but I would imagine it is going to be fast and furious, as we have confirmed speed via DISCREET DEVIL, AZTEC LEGEND and DISCREET MAGIC and it is the former that caught my eye. DISCREET MAGIC has had just one start to date and it came at this level over 7 furlongs. He was into stride quickly that day and had the field under the pump coming to the the 4f marker. However, having hit the home straight he faded noticeably to finish 4th. Given his stride distance and frequency, you’d have to think the drop back to 5f will suit and whilst he’ll face pace pressure, and steps up in class, he looks to have solid EW claims. The other horse of interest is Tim Hamms newcomer, RAINBOWS PRIDE. Tim runs two in the race but Morales rides RAINBOW so we have to assume he’s the first string. His recent track work hasn’t exactly been eye catching but he has a nice pedigree for dirt sprints and if he’s dropped in from the wide draw and the pace collapses, he could be perfectly positioned to play a part in the finish. One to watch very closely in the betting for any sustained market support.

Advised Bet: DISCREET MAGIC (11/1) - 0.25pts EW

Side Bet: 0.25pt COMBO FORECAST - DISCREET MAGIC + RAINBOWS PRIDE

Bet Confidence: ⭐️

 

R5 Tampa - $18,000 Starter Allowance - 1m 1/16 - Turf


This is probably the most competitive race on the card and a case could be made for the majority of the runners. The current favourite is INVESTMENT INCOME and she probably deserves her place at the head of the market given that she beat ANY PORT easily when winning last time out and Camacho jumps off LTO winner ROUNDABOUT to take the ride. Personally, I think she’s short enough in a race like this though and the one I like at an EW price is DYNA’S HONOR. This filly has had just two runs to date and was claimed by Jon Arnett for 16k having won a Maiden Claimer on her last start. Usually I am not overly keen to back maiden claiming winners on their next start especially when they move up in class but it intrigues me that this filly is now owned by Rodney Miller. For those that don’t know, Mr Miller is one of Jon’s primary owners and the pair have a tremendous strike rate together in the last year. The booking of Morales is also a positive given that he has prior experience with the filly and has ridden 4 winners from 11 rides for Rodney in the last 12 months. Ultimately, she may find the Favourite to be too strong in the finish but at an EW price, I am willing to take my chance.

Advised Bet: DYNA’S HONOR (6/1) - 0.5pts EW

Bet Confidence: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

 

R6 Tampa - $8,000 Claimer - 1 Mile - Dirt


Back to the low grade stuff and we have a favourite in here (I AM THAT I AM) that I have to oppose purely on the basis of the jockey. He has an extremely low strike rate and at 5/4 there is no value in the price at all despite of the fact that the horse brings the most solid form to the table. The horse to carry my small stake bet will be SHIMMERING LIGHT. This gelding has a very hit and miss profile but the booking of Suarez catches the eye and he gets the prime draw in stall one. He’s a horse that has shown speed in the past and if Angel can get him out and into stride without surrendering the rail, then my hope is that he’ll be able to hang around long enough to at least sneak a place.


Advised Bet: SHIMMERING LIGHT (9/2) - 0.5pts EW

Bet Confidence: ⭐️⭐️

 

R7 Tampa - $16,000 Claimer - 1 Mile - Turf


We switch back to the turf and this is an interesting little race. A common trend across tonight review has been my reluctance to side with the favourites but in this contest, I think we have a favourite that is going to be extremely hard to beat. The horse in question is BIRD’S EYE VIEW and he comes into this race seeking a hat trick. He is a talented deep closer who is heavily dependant on a pace collapse and he’s likely to get one this evening as there is an insane amount of early speed forecast. By my reckoning we have no fewer than 5 horses likely to want to be on the lead or close to it and if I am right about that, then the chance of the pace holding up is virtually nil. That will allow Morales to bide his time, lay up midpack and come wide off the bend with the sustained run. The biggest danger to him is likely to be CERTERFOLDPROSPECT who will come from a similar position. He was however beaten into third by the favourite LTO, so has work to do to reverse the form.


Advised Bet: BIRDS EYE VIEW (11/10) - 2pt WIN

Bet Confidence: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

 


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