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For the past decade, the percentage of winning favorites has been creeping up steadily, from about 32% Win in Y2K to 35% presently. Here at Tampa, in March, we saw 41% favorites win and 82% were in the money. If I wasn’t in such a comfortable rut here in Oldsmar, I’d swear the place was coming apart at the seams and was about to fold and I’d start looking to move shop elsewhere. Short fields (even on the grass), crazy conditions expressly designed to help fill and the top 10 trainers taking a full 33% of all the purse money don’t give me a warm and fuzzy feeling inside, but you can’t fight City Hall.
1st -Exacta Key Box 1/4,6 and Pick 3 – 1,4,6/1/All
Race 6 offers a bet against scenario that can’t be beat (figuratively, not literally). KOC is 0-47 with her angle and Bradley is 1-46 with his. Ronso is 1-19 on the dirt here but has the Quirins but has been knocking at the door. Mott has solid singles all around.
Pick 4 – 2,6/2,4,7/1,2,5-10/2,6
7th – McBride is 7-9 ITM with FBK + UC types and 62% ITM with Stretchouts. Ransom (2) returns to the grass where she belongs
9th – Block and Mott have the only win angles here (9-29 and 8-23 respectively). Pick’em.
IT’S FREE PLAY WEDNESDAY – March 8th
When Daniel Murphy set a major league record by hitting homers in six straight postseason games in 2015, “the hot hand” debate had another log to throw on the fire, and yet every attempt I’ve seen to empirically study the phenomenon concludes, in effect, that there’s no such thing. That said, I doubt hot streaks are entirely random. I think we’ve all had periods when things just clicked better for us, physically, mentally and emotionally, times when our internal rhythms meshed well with the rest of the world.
Maybe I just want to believe that life is less random than the scientists say it is.
Aside from today’s feature, it’s another lousy Wednesday card, so I’m going to accentuate the positive by including any “hot” trainer in today’s selections.
I’m not feeling a hot streak coming on today.
1st – This is a solid historical MATP for Wright but he hasn’t popped with one this season or last.
Trifectas All/2,4/2,3,4,5 (30 bets)
2nd – Raymond’s signature move is the Shortenup/Stretchout in Sprints (see last) but the 0-21 bridesmaid will be chalky today and he’s sub-par with Favorites (only 25% (in L7T) win versus 39% for all (this season)), however he is reliable for a piece in this situation (13-24 ITM in L7T). Gonzalez and Spieth collude. For several years they never tried with FTSs and popped regularly with 2TSs. Now that they are getting big prices in debut starts, they’ve turned it on its head and are bombing with the firsters. Looking at the odds of Miss Absolute (1) one can only conclude that if she could run, she already would have done so.
Exacta Key Box 3,4,6
3rd – Sea Treaty (2) comes out of a strange race. Hoosier Boy went 2 1/2 clicks below the track record in that one, only to have Bris amend the final time by -10 clicks two weeks later. Before we knew the adjustment was coming, MInecraft came back fast and won at 2-5 with big numbers again. Then he won again on Sunday while moving UC. But Hoosier Boy was trounced in next, and so was Hadron, so I find myself ambivalent. Nevertheless, Sea Treaty won with a par number last season at today’s distance.
Dominguez is 2-83 with Plain Shortenups.
Win 5, Saver Trifectas 1,2,4,6/5/1,2,4,6
4th – Trifectas All/6/3,4,5,8
5th – Brnjas hit the board in 10 of last 11 and is 9-10 ITM when the favorite. Azimut (1) was above par in last.
6th – If Brnjas is hot, then Ward has gone nuclear. He’s been in the money in 14 of last 15. Dennis is about 45% ITM with RBs also. Boyce is 7-10 ITM with her angle with four wins. She’ll have to get going soon if she intends on remaining 50% ITM in all starts in L3T.
Exacta Key Box 4/1,3,5,8
7th – Kirk has won 24% on the dirt here in L5T. Gotta respect that.
Exacta Key Box 8/1,3 and Saver Trifectas 1,3,8/2,4,6/1,3,8
Pick 3 – 1,3,8/All/6,8 (42 bets)
8th – This one is untouchable.
9th – HVG has won only four on the turf in L5T, so I gotta be off Noble Night (10).
Exacta Key Box 8/2,6 and Saver Trifectas 2,6,8/3,7,10/2,6,8
IT’S FREE PLAY WEDNESDAY – March 1st
1st – Te Encuentro (4) (I find you) has three bomb angles in play for Parra and gets Camacho today. Samy didn’t pop over the weekend but has had four bombs in the past two weeks.
Exacta Key Box 4/3,6 and Trifectas 2,4/2,4/3,6
2nd – Awesome Indeed (1) was close to par in both tries and reunites with Allen Jr.. Robillard is 4-11 Win on the dirt. Simms goes to Pizarro (and not regulars Martinez or FDLC) and I downgrade. Apache Queen (8) breaks badly fairly regularly. The wheel looks appealing in this one.
Exacta Box 1/All
3rd – Harty is 13-24 ITM with this angle and Morales had six winners in the past week. Clement hasn’t had a Non-layoff Shipper at Tampa for several years but was 6 for 8 ITM with the move in L10T (with two wins). Looking at it almost another way, he’s only tried the FBK once and was ITM.
Exacta Box 2,7 and Saver Trifectas 2,7/1,3,6/2,7
4th – Three of Wetherington’s six ITM finishes have been bombs and Margaret pops with UC types and FBKs. She’ll often go to 3rd tier pilots too. Back to back bombs may be asking for too much.
$4 Pick 3 – 2/1,3,5,6/6 (4 bets) ($16)
$8 Pick 3 – 1,2,3,4/1/6 (4 bets) ($32)
5th – 10-1 ML for a trainer with all > 50% ITM angles demands attention.
$25 Win and Place 1 ($50)
6th – Uske has five winners for Ward at the meeting (and more than any of the leaders he employs). Ward hasn’t missed with a Plain Dropdown at the meeting (he’s 5-5 ITM) and Dennis is well > 50% ITM with the angle in 79 tries. WWJ made the best Quirins in the field in last despite finish position. DB’s would-be three-peater just doesn’t have the Q’s. His other is a PTB and he is only 4-26 Win with those. Mr. Bennett wins with 3YOs and FBKs but the Doc (5) has been sub-par.
Value Play of the Day – $75 Win and Place 6
$0.50 Pick 4 – 6/3,5,6,10/All/2 (40 bets) ($20)
and Saver Trifectas 1,5,7/6/1,4,5,7 to cover
7th – Three runners that went out of Angel Fall’s (10) Jan. 6th race have won or placed (Mama Splash with back to back above par wins), Let’s Go Donna (a drawing away N2Y winner) and Served Cold (2nd), all OOM in that one. Angel Falls made +7 EP and finished with a par number that day, then failed at 3-10 with no excuses off the claim. Surely DB would have asked Dad if the mare was sound before going to the claim box. Dale wins with these singles, but the thing to watch are the odds. Dale is 77-171 (45%) Win and 129-171 (75%) ITM at odds < $2.60-1 in L5T. Let that be your guide today. Safety Claim keeps Back at the Ranch (3) with Rivelli and BATR is also out of the Angel Falls race referred to. Dacosta is 68% ITM with Plain UC types and Dacosta is 11-13 ITM with UCEs giving Beach Splash (three time APD) a piece. Moonshine Promise (5) is a Horse for the Course.
Trifecta Box 3,5,6,10
Saver Pick 3 – 3,5,6,10/1,3,5,10/2 if alive after Leg 1 of the Pick 4 (16 bets)
IT’S FREE PLAY WEDNESDAY – Feb. 15th
Valentine’s Day reminds us that 1 is the loneliest number, but nine have popped from PP1 (Dirt and Turf) in the past week and I think I’m in love (or at least infatuated).
1st – Two APDs face off here: Beach Splash (2) (3X in L2T) and Mama Splash (3) (twice in L2T). The latter went +5 above today’s par in last. Dacosta puts his regular boy on Miss Hoochie Coochie, leaving us wondering if Mama Splash is ready to pop, just yet. Dacosta is 64% ITM with Non-shipping PTBs.
Exacta Key 1/3,5 and Saver Trifectas 3,5/1/2,3,5 and DD 1/1
2nd – KD’s Cat Bird (1) figures prominently and Ward is 50% ITM with Plain Dropdowns & TtoD types. Gonzalez is 0-15 in L2T when Spieth is not in the irons.
$5 Pick 3 – 1/All/1 ($45)
4th – HVG and Potts have been teamed up for the last seven years here in Oldsmar, a tribute to the mutual respect and confidence between the two men. HVG’s ITM odds when up for Potts is 10-1 in L2T and the team has not missed the board when the favorite in years. Potts bombs with UC types and Distance Change types. Jlo (1) was par in last. 10-1 ML is a gift and JLo will go postward more like 5-1. (JLo won best dressed at the Grammy’s on Sunday for you hunch players).
Articulate (3) took no action on the dropdown in last and then finished up the track with a -14 over par (and this is a mare that likes an off track). Rodriguez has the stats, but I’m not buying today. Patrick is 2-56 with Shortenups. Raymond is 2-45 with Plain StRs.
$140 Weighted Exacta Key Box 1/2,6,8
$3 Saver Trifectas 3,4,5,7/1/2,6,8 ($36)
6th – Chasing the Stars (1) made + 7 final fractions in last two and Thomas goes to his most frequently used move, the Stretchout (127 tries in L8T) where he is 33% ITM. KOC is 17-20 ITM if the Favorite in this circumstance. Proctor is 22% W and 61% ITM with FTS + FTT types with a +87% ROI and Tom is 14-23 ITM with sharp working maidens.
Exacta Key Box 1/2,4,6
8th – Reiff is rife with ITM multiple angles: all four have 50-75% ITM strike rates. Paul came out of a solid N3L (most just a few starts and two wins) so I’m calling this a drop in class.
Exacta Key Box 2/3,5,6,10
Pick 3 – 2,3,5,6,10/5/6
9th – Wilkes is 13-25 ITM with long layoffs and has all solid singles, he’s gotta be in for a piece.
Exacta Key Box 5/4,6,7,8
IT’S FREE PLAY WEDNESDAY – Feb. 8th
Moments of clarity are a wondrous and fleeting phenomena. One such instance from my young adult years stays in my head and visits me from time to time. It was the 3rd Saturday in February in 1979 and I was stoned when I arrived at Wagner College to see Harry Chapin. I arrived early, as the seating at the tiny venue was Southwest Airlines style. There was no opening act, but I was sitting next to a 65′ Fender Super Reverb when the warm-up music began. The sound was foreign to me, strange and magical and I instantly knew with certainly that this band was destined for greatness. The band was Dire Straits. The song was Sultans of Swing. I have a few of these moments of clarity at each Tampa meeting and have had two or three so far. Let’s hope that you, or I, receives a few more of these most rare gifts again before May 7th.
1st – Hinsley is 16-27 ITM with the Plain Dropdown + Stretchout and this angle is the best among these runners. Reel Good Movie (1) hasn’t won at Tampa for two years (in seven tries) but should be Reel Good for a piece.
Weighted Exacta Wheel All/3
2nd – A tough race indeed. Proctor 21% Win with FTSs, House’s piece was well above par in first try, Wilkes has solid singles with both of his.
3rd – Rivelli hasn’t played any games and he fires with Layoff + Shipper types, so we think this one would have fired if ready off the layoff. Of course if he’s the favorite, all bets are off, as he’s 7-10 win with those.
Exacta Box 4,5,6
4th – Ness is 47% Win in 49 tries over 9 seasons with the 1OC + Shortenup + No Class Change. It’s hard to argue with that kind of success and Inaswagger (7) was above par in last two.
Raymond is 0-25 with 1OCs. Patrick is 1-52 with Plain Shortenups. Feliciano wins significantly fewer with Dropdowns than with other types and he hasn’t done anything with long layoffs in a long while. Sienkewicz’s piece should not be 30-1. Ferraro is 44% ITM at 9-1 with his angle. After a solid summer as a 3YO, Willful Warrior (8) surprised at 35-1 versus N2Ys, then got up late for a piece, and then “rallied well” but was too late. Sienkewicz claimed him back in next start and moves him UC where he is 47% ITM. WW is a bit late to the party, as only 3% of 6F races are won by Closers, but a piece would be no surprise.
$20 Exactas 7/1,8 and $5 Trifectas 2,3,4,5,6/7/1,8 ($50)
5th – Minecraft (3) was 3 for 4 ITM going two turns on the dirt way back in 2013. Navarro is 14-17 ITM with his multiple angle and is solid with all his singles. Nagle claimed Minecraft at least twice and may be shopping again today for the nickel.
Exacta Key Box 3/4,6
6th – Lime Beach (6) lost momentum twice before rallying solidly with a +8 final fraction in last. Gets another chance today. Harty is now 14-17 with Plain Starts and 73% ITM with Plain Stretchouts but he generally doesn’t start PTBs and McGaughey has another runner in the same race and he’s 6-12 ITM on the grass here in L5T. Looks like a scheme to me.
$180 Weighted Exacta Key Box 6/2,4
IT’S FREE PLAY WEDNESDAY – Feb. 1st
The IV for PP1 remains steady at 0.58.
1st – ML choice Better Man (5) has nothing but goose eggs all around, so we look for an opportunity here. Rhone has won 12% here in P3T (29-248) so it’s hard to imagine he won’t break the ice soon. Bernell has a bunch of solid angles going today. Kaelin is 10-14 ITM with Plain Dropdown + Shortenup types. Blessed at Mass (1) would have to overcome the PP bias. Reavis is 0-16 on the dirt. McBride’s piece was trounced in only two turn start of his career.
$100 Conditional Weighted DD’s 3/All for a 7-2 return and Saver Exacta 7/3 to cover
4th – M R Thomas is 38% win with FTS on the dirt in L5T with a + ROI of 432% including six bombs. The bombadier is Camacho (who bombed in 8 of last 14 mounts). Joan Scott has her first FBK on record here, what do you make of that? She’s 42% Win with TtoD + Dropdown types and has solid win stats for 2TS’s and RtSs. Lebron sticks, adding another twist. Delacour has the best record with 3YOs and the best AEPS for FTS’s on the dirt. Endsley Oaks bred runners have an average finish position of 6th in L3T and their only winner was an MC on the grass in 10th try.
Conditional $33 ATB 4 for 7-2 or >
6th – I handicapped this race as a SALW16, cause that’s what it is, masquerading as a SALW25. In that light, it looks very clearly like a replay of the Jan 11th race. We give the nod to Ness runner Babe’s Ruler (4) for demonstrated success at the distance and the hot trainer/jockey combo. Only 14% have won in first three tries when claimed from Delacour (13 of 94).
Exacta Key Box 4/1,2,5
Pick 4 (if you dare) 4/All/All/1 (90 bets)
9th – This is a pure angle play that defies logic and yet, there it is in black and white. Boileau is 3-4 Win with the L1-3 + Surface Change + 1PTB move and he’s 33% ITM with the 7F Dirt to 1Mi Turf move, with three big bombs. If you only had the stats (and no PP) would you play it. You’re darn right you’d play it. Me, well, I’m wondering where my next meal is coming from and can’t get on this train.
Exacta Key Box 1/4,5,10
IT’S FREE PLAY WEDNESDAY – Jan. 25th
9th – Mr. Bennett claimed Fast Flying Rumor (4) for $25K two years ago, while a maiden and the 5YO has never raced for $25K again while racking up 1/4 Mil in earnings from just 21 more starts. Today he’s in for $20K after going four above today’s par in Turf Dash on New Year’s Eve. It doesn’t add up. The gelding will be claimed today, but while it’s true that 20% claimed from Bennett later came back to win in L6T, it’s also true that 11% subsequently broke down or never raced again. I just can’t go there except to save.
Palace Barista (8) is the ultimate put-over horse. Won in debut at $61-1, moved up in class and won the Pelican Stakes at $12-1, won as a L + S at $7-1, then went 2 clicks off the track record last spring at $5.50-1 after two dull efforts (and over a -2 variant). That effort was +3 above the Stakes par. Scace still owns him, so let’s assume she remains involved in his conditioning. Lynn won 30% and was 70% ITM with Plain FBK + Dropdown types in P4T. Switches to Martinez. May be sent today or pulling of the pin may be postponed (if they get spooked by FFR and the likely speed duel that appears imminent).
If Scace delays her gratification and FFR is not right or scratches (upon further deliberation), things set up nicely for Dom the Bomb (7), a sensible dropdown. Rivelli has won 5 of 12 with Class Change types recently and is solid with 2L + 2S types, as well as 2OCs. Both of the runner’s claimed from Servis (at Tampa), won here in a couple of tries.
Ness outperforms with the Plain Stretchout (34% W) and Charlesbrecknridge (2) was close to par in last. Ness/Gonzalez team continue to roll, winning 5 of last 8 (and five in a row when the favorite). OTP running style helps in this one.
$100 Weighted Exacta Box 2,7
$20 Saver Trifecta 4/2/7
$10 Saver Trifecta 8/2/7
IT’S FREE PLAY WEDNESDAY – Jan. 18th
1st – Scott has a solid bet against here (only 3-42 Win) but this is a sadly bunch.
Exacta Box 1,3,5
2nd – Rhone’s piece looks wrong but he has a 7-16 Win angle here. The 3 & 6 were both par in last.
Exacta Box 1,3,6
3rd – In this race it’s what is known versus what is unknown. Harty runner Venus Serena (3) was above par in last and has a %E that is in the zone for the 7F to 8.18F move.
4th – Who’s Jack (5) has made satisfactory numbers and Jackson is 18% W with Plain FBKs and is 49% ITM with Dropdowns in 83 tries and 42% ITM with Stretchouts.
5th – First tries always generate excitement and Max Ubide has a 23% W and 56% ITM angle here, the FBK + Dropdown. He’s 50% ITM with TtoDs in 34 tries and bombed with a RtS already at the meeting. Gonzalez has now won six of last twelve.
$60 ATB 3
6th – If Galvan is the favorite, he’s 7-9 Win and 8-9 ITM in this situation.
Weighted Exacta Wheel 1/All if the Canuck’s piece is the Favorite
9th – KOC is 22-34 ITM with the L1-3 + S + Dropdown with 14 wins recently and I’m not liking anything that came out of that Dec. 7th race (see 3,5,10). The top three that went were all soundly beaten in next. Garcia is hot with three wins on Saturday, including a couple of bombs ITM.
Win 2 – OK By Me
10th – See 9th DD
IT’S FREE PLAY WEDNESDAY – Jan. 11th
On Sunday, the PP1 drought was broken with two winners and another two bombs up for a piece. We didn’t get the Golden Rail, but the inside was certainly Silver. Sunday’s variants were -3,-4 indicating the main track was in transition after the rains. Until we see a reason to change our opinion, we’ll assume the main track will play fair this afternoon, but this really cheap card leaves us with few options.
On Sunday, Jan. 8th our conditional exacta in the 8th did not meet the 5-2 return condition (the $150 wager called for a $375 profit and at post time the weighted returns were only $281). Action players caught the 3rd race DD for a modest profit and in the 4th our exacta key horse scratched but the three unders combined for a $99.20 exacta when Street Rage, with a 76% ITM angle was up for 2nd at $51-1. As always, it’s which ones did you have and for how much? It’s a game where the success or failure of the entire meeting can come down to the nuances of one wager.
My subscribers are better positioned than I am to make the most of my selections. While I’m busy working, you have the luxury of ruminating on my work, a benefit and opportunity that I can only dream about. Have confidence and act boldly. You will be rewarded for your effort!
2nd – The 2 & 4 come out of races that saw Pink Mama 2nd and then 1st in next two and Be Mind Phil 3rd (behind Pink Mama). Ness’ piece had a worse trip, he is 10-15 ITM with Gonzalez up (with 5 wins) and Jamie is 17-23 ITM with this multiple angle and he tends to fare slightly better with 2Ls and 2Ss than their counterparts.
Win 4 and Saver Exacta 2/4
4th – An interesting race wherein the riders should be playing musical chairs but aren’t, and that interests me greatly. Allen sticks aboard the Ward claim, but it’s his 1st mount for Ward at the meeting. Mr. Bennett goes back to Ferrer (who was up before the claim) and it’s his first mount for Mr. Bennett. Bowersock, whose boy is Allen (of course), sticks with Centeno off the claim and it’s his 1st mount for Maria. Kizuna had a lousy trip in first try, then was sent next time out (while UIC) and making a +16 early but finishing only 4 over par despite being 12 back. Gets another chance on the Dropdown as Mr. B is 72% ITM with this multiple angle.
$160 Weighted Exacta Key Box 4/1,5
$3 Saver Trifectas 1,5/All/4 (14 bets) ($42)
6th – Competing angles leave us guessing with Ness. He has an 18% Win (somewhat of a) weakness angle here, but he’s 3-6 Win with it at the meeting after being only 8-55 Win in P5T. However, he’s 64% win and 93% ITM with another multiple angle if the favorite.
Give me the 4,9 Exacta Box if Ness is the favorite, otherwise ATB 9
IT’S FREE PLAY WEDNESDAY – Jan. 4th
PP1 on the dirt is 0-49 since the 2nd race on Dec. 16th (six wins would have been fair) and…
1st – …that adds a wrinkle to our first selection of the day. We’ve run Alejandro Reyes out of town after we started to lay it in on his Barry Rose PTBs (he’s bombing with them at Delaware now). We downsized Mr. Deaton from bomb maker to ordinary competent trainer with our action on his whenever they run on the grass. But Mr. Joseph D. Davis still remains near the top of our list of favorite put-over artists. Last season, he was 5-16 ITM at average odds of $32-1 (including three class change types). You may recall last March 13th, I took a day off to take my niece shopping on 5th Ave and Mr. Davis bombed with Union Bowman at $67-1. That’s Murphy’s Law at work. Well today he has Slater River (1) who bombed on demand two back. Slater made a pitstop at Turfway enroute to Tampa and went five panels in +4 above the bullet par. This one is only for the devoutest of the faithful and I’m in, but not for the full monty (due to the PP bias situation). Rhone is 4 for 80 with long layoffs and he had only one winner in L4T that wasn’t ridden by Butler, so 3-1 doesn’t fly with me.
$15 ATB 1
$3 Trifectas 3/1,4,6/1,4,6 ($18)
2nd – This is a tough race, the handicapping of which depends on your perspective. If you would agree that Racetrack Romance (4) did not actually go on 12/3, then Ness has a 52% win multiple angle here. If not, then you’ve got nothing special. Jordan Blair is 5-13 win and 12-13 ITM with L1-3 + No Surface Change types and he has all monster singles here. Verger (6) spooks me. His daddy has an SPI of 2.15 on the dirt and Laurine’s husband sits this one out for Camacho to ride. Imagine is clamoring for a check after going 0-17 in 2016.
Exacta Box 6,7 and Trifectas 6,7/2,4/6,7
3rd – Jackson’s piece was closest to par among those with a race over and he is 16-31 with Non-layoff 2S types. Stewart is 12-19 ITM with L4-8 + TtoD types in L8T and 6-8 ITM with Shipper + TtoD types.
4th – I’m taking the circuitous route here. I Cat (8) was claimed by Billy Hays and went to the Woodard barn, but eight months later he’s owned by Zeehandelar, another O’Connor owner. If O’Connor is the actual conditioner here, he’s got a 9-13 ITM multiple angle in play. We know the Cat likes the distance and his EP was above par in first try. However, O’Connor has another in the 9th so….why the Scott PTB??? The games people play…
Exacta Box 2,4,8
6th – Restricted types won 85% (IV1.57) of these OCs last season and have outperformed the claimers six years in a row. McGaughey has taken six figures from the Tampa treasurer in only 9 starts in L4T. Belmont shippers have an IV of 1.73 here in L6T. Profiteer (6) made a +6 final fraction in maiden win. He’s by top sire War Front. 7-5 is fair (and I never say such things).
7th – Bennett’s Indian Chaser (5) was above par in 7F win versus SALW8 types. Certainly fits here, but Moonstone Beach (3) has my attention. Ferraro is 52% ITM at $8-1 with L1-3’s and Moonstone won 4 of last six (of 5 if you toss the off track trouncing). Innfields work was +8 above the bullet par. Gets up for a piece.
Exacta Box 3,5
8th – This race is an angle players dream. Hemingway and Centeno hit the board in 13 of last 14 tries when teamed up and Darnell’s Spirit (4) comes out of a solid race. Shamrock Empire won next time out, and Phil’sfirstfactum was an up close 5th in his next. Ismusbemyluckyday, also out of the 12/2 race was 3rd behind Shamrock in his next start. Darnell went 106-100 in last. Today’s par is 98-98. If somehow Gonzalez is the favorite, she is 7-7 ITM in this situation with five wins.
$175 Weighted Exacta Box 3,4 if Rapo is the favorite, otherwise
$150 Win 4 and $25 DD 4/1 and Saver Exacta 3/4 to cover only
9th – Deaton is 28% win in all turf starts in L5T and is 4-12 win with dropdowns.
Win 1 and Saver Exacta 6/1
IT’S FREE PLAY WEDNESDAY – Dec. 28th
1st – After getting loose in the post parade before his last race, West Shore Drive (2) was determined not to run that afternoon and didn’t. But he was hustled up nicely on the outside in the turn and showed more of a response than is represented in his running line. He was beaten soundly in previous by Peppi The Hunter, winner of four and now going with open $20K types at the Big A and there is no shame in that. He plunges in class today after hitting the board in only two turn start on the dirt. Stewart is 16-29 ITM with L4-8 + StR types.
Exacta Box 2,8
3rd – We had Roundupthelute (4) in last at $13-1 when Mr. Bennett engineered an uncoupled entry exacta for $54.20 (ironically we were off the other half at 5-2). Thelute was par in that one and Mr. Bennett is 72% ITM with 2L9up + Class Change Types. Ness is 47% Win with RB + UC + FBK types and Money Tree (7) was also par in last. South to the Sea (2), an APD last season, is in month ten of SALW5 eligibility and looks right for a piece, but Miguel is only 5% win with StRs. Woodard’s piece looks fine but he is 0-11 now with L4-8s.
Exacta Box 4,7
Saver Trifectas 4,7/2,3/4,7
5th – Butler jumps from Rhone’s Maddymax (4) for the mount aboard Best Kiss Yet (8) and that has my antennas buzzing. Rhone has won only one race with other riders up in L4T. Yanez has bombed four times already at the meeting. Lovethislife (9) was gaining on winner of six in 2016, Cubicle Queen in last. The filly has been there since Connelly returned to earth and lowered his expectations.
Saver Trifectas 1,3,5,9/8/1,3,5,9,10 (16 bets)
6th – Mr. Prospector is the patriarch of the most successful classic sire line in the United States. His fifth-generation male-line descendant American Pharoah, who broke a 37-year Triple Crown drought with his Belmont Stakes victory last June is the 32nd American classic winner descending in male line from Mr. Prospector dating back to when his son Conquistador Cielo won the Belmont in 1982. 41% of all Leading Sire wins in L5T are of the Mr. Prospector line. Sara the Great (2) is a daughter of Greatness, top 20 Florida turf sire for several years now. Teresa Connelly is 8-16 ITM with L1-3 + S types at average odds of $13-1. Sara likes the weeds.
$75 ATB 2
7th – Ness’ piece tries this level for the first time. He is 73% ITM with this multiple angle and won 28% (59% ITM) off a sharp 5F work in L6T.
Exacta Key Box 2/3,4
8th – I spoke to Mike Piazza over at Zilla yesterday and the syndicate founder thinks Ocala Jim (9) fits nicely here (albeit without a win at 8F). I’m with Piazza. The race sets up well for another OTP win here.
Exacta Key 9/2,3,5
9th – Exacta Key Box 9/2,4
10th – Delacour’s best distance change move is the Shortenup. He wins 31% and is 53% ITM with those types. Stadium (1) is claimed from the Firestones this afternoon after making par Quirins despite getting off a bit slow in heavily bet debut. Blair’s piece made a big 2nd Call fraction and shortens up today and he more than doubles his strike rate with Shortenups as well.
Exacta Box 1,4
Saver Trifectas 1/5,9,10/4
IT’S FREE PLAY WEDNESDAY – Dec. 21st, 2016
Wednesday, Dec. 21st
2nd – Split the Uprights (3) stumbled badly at the break, then moved to the outside for racing room on the backstretch, bid and was eased late after securing the place while drawing off from the remainder in last. A modest improvement of a couple of clicks may be enough to put these away, but Parra is wanting for winning angles.
Exacta Key Box 2/3,5
3rd – – The Cookie Man (7) went +12, + 5 while badgered by the second choice to the 1/8 pole, then widened his lead through the stretch in impressive win. DB has only missed the board once at the meeting.
4th – Barbaran is 32% ITM with StR + UC types and when he bombs it’s usually with 1st 3 Maiden types.
7th – Wetherington and Camacho are 7 for 17 ITM at average odds of $25-1 in L2T. It doesn’t get any better than that.
$15 ATB 10
8th – The racing secretary has woven a tangled web in this one, with five different condition eligibilities, so here we handicap by the conditions. Clement’s classy Notte d’Oro (1) moved beyond the N3X condition two years ago and has raced in nothing but NGSs and higher since. The top condition (NW1 OTMCSS in 2016) is a gift today. Chris has 36% win multiple angle going as well as a different 73% ITM angle. Kee shippers are still crushing it. The price gotta be right but 8/5 would more than be fair. If this is what the Secretary has to do to fill a race, then Tampa is in trouble, but this one looks like a personal favor. “Merry Christmas Chris! Love, Allison”
$100 Conditional Win 1 for 8/5 or >
$50 DD 1/6 (regardless of the price)
9th – DB is 9-22 win with Shipper + Dropdown types and is 77% ITM when at odds of 5-2 or less in L5T. The tipping point here was Morales’ trip to Fort Lauderdale for the mount two weeks ago. It’s a 5 hour drive (each way) and flights aren’t cheap. Intentions appear clear.
Subscribers will note that our very first Trip Notes comment of the meeting yielded a $10.80 winner in the 7th on Saturday. I didn’t back it, but there will be many more opportunities as the season progresses.
1st – $25 Weighted Saver DDs 1,4,7/1
2nd – Giselle Ma Belle hasn’t run in a sprint since 2012, but the old girl is 5-7 ITM in sprints over a FAST dirt surface. Ubide is 20% Win with FBK + Dropdown types and Giselle made a respectable 91-86 in last that went in 100-100 on the grass. Today’s par is 93-93. Max is also 52% ITM with Non-shipping 2L1-3’s. Giselle hasn’t faced runners with softer trainer angles in a long while. If there is a payday left in her, it looks like today’s the day. I can’t see her not hitting the board here, but I’m stuck for other contenders. Something wild is a possibility with this bunch.
IT’S NOT MY STYLE TO THROW SPAGHETTI AT THE WALL AND SEE WHAT STICKS, SO AFTER FURTHER CONSIDERATION A WAGER EMERGES…
5th – Spring Me (2) was never worst than 4th over a FAST dirt surface in 2016 (and a couple of those were up close finishes). Tampa veteran owner/trainer Jim Gulick reappears after saddling only two at the last two meetings, but Jim was 19% Win from 2009-2012 here and he bombed often with Layoffs. Owner Ginger Haas is no stranger either. She is nearly 50% ITM lifetime with an solid AEPS of $4426. Mr. Bennett is already 5-5 win with Shortenups, but he’s only 3-13 with Stretchouts. Cheapies only get the once over.
Saver Exacta 7/2
6th – DD’s 2,3,9/1
7th – Foxy Flirt (1) was close to par from PP2 at a time when inside runners were struggling badly. Must get the nod going over a fair surface today.
Saver Exactas 2,4/1 if alive in the Double (otherwise 1 Win)
8th – In these Optional Claimers the restricted types have an IV of 1.57 over the last six meetings and last year they won a whopping 85% of all the races with these conditions. Kevin points out to me that Dini’s Dyntail won on 12/3 and she won with a +7, +3 that day, causing me to give Clement’s piece an upgrade. Sea Holiday (3) has been working well over at the “Club Med” for horses in Indiantown and Chris is 75% ITM with RB + UC types. Motion’s piece’s energy distribution in last was the lowest I’ve ever seen, at 46%, suggesting that Full of Zip (5) will show a willingness to run on. The filly sustained her move through several fractions too. Motion is 7-16 Win with RB + UC types recently. Nations is 1-14 with StR types and Harty is 2-28 with FTTs. It’s a good race, but I can’t see any value arising here.
Exacta Key Box 3/1,5
Saver Trifectas 3/2,4,6/1,5
9th – Both Leonard’s and Ward’s numbers go in the wrong direction with 2Ls and 2Ss, leaving us with Downing’s piece Brevard (3) who made a +3 final fraction in last. Downing is 27% Win with Non-layoff + UC types.
ATB 3 or
Win 3 and Saver Exactas 11,12/3 if either should go
IT’S FREE PLAY WEDNESDAY – Dec. 7th 2016
So now we resume with 19 of 22 winners from PPs 4-10 (with the three from the inside coming in short fields).
4th – KOC is 11-35 Win with Non-layoff Shipper + Dropdown types and 27-45 ITM with the Non-layoff Shipper + FBK angle and 54% ITM with Non-layoff Shipper + Stretchouts. Vineyard Storm (9) was finally in contention in the stretch last time out. KOC’s go to is up.
5th – There are no honest $100K runners here, so we downgrade the fig projection and assess who appears to best meet the condition. Granitz has been looking for a spot for Epic Journey (see the two Trainer Scratches recently). Let’s assume that Epic Journey is dropping in class today (using the fractional change in purse value method and considering the Stakes Placed types that went in last). Granitz is nearly 50% ITM with dropdowns and while he doesn’t do much with layoffs or shippers, we’ll make an exception, as this one won twice doing just that. Hasn’t missed the board here and looks to keep that stat intact. Tony is also 28-53 ITM with Surface Change + First Three Turf types and Keeneland shippers are 4-13 Win and 8-13 ITM at the current meeting. The other Tony is now 10-21 with his multiple angle and has several bomb angles in play here: Better races, moving UC and with Shortenup or Stretchout types. Mr. Bennett is now 17-30 with his multiple angle.
Exacta Key 1/3,5
Saver Trifectas 3,5/1/2,3,4,5
8th – On the River (8) comes out of a solid race that saw 5 of the 9 runners entered for $12,500. Proven Warrior (the winner) has won 7 of 11 in 2016, Mutation came back to win an Open $10K at Ind, Nelson El Camino was ITM in SALW $10 at Haw and Sandio (8th in that race) went wire to wire for the win in $6250 company in next start. Hinsley is >50% ITM with three of four of the angles in play here (and 42% ITM with the other). OTR’s 5YO campaign has been his most productive of career.
Conditional $230 Win 8 for 2-1
$40 in Weighted Saver Exactas 1,3/8 and $5 Saver Trifectas 2,5,7/8/1,3
9th – Demasi’s piece has an ideal %E and looks right.
IT’S FREE PLAY WEDNESDAY – Nov. 30th, 2016
1st – Sinster Blue (4) goes for Hemingway and the 5YO has solid ITM stats for all five single angles and gets veteran rider FDLC in the irons. Will be 4-5, but undeservedly so.
Exacta Box 4,5
2nd- Star sire of the Darley Stud, Bernardini, has an SPI of 2.16 in Sprints. Theatric (5) is moving through her conditions and looks right here for Harty, who has a 38% Win four characteristic multiple angle going today. She’s been working well and gets veteran Tampa rider Pablo Morales here. Spanish Concert (4) is a horse for the course and figures prominently versus these 3 & 4 YOs, but KOC has no angle in play.
Exacta Box 4,5
3rd – Diane Morici (nee Alvarado) is the trainer of 2010 BC Marathon winner Eldaafer. She graduated from Noel Hickey’s Irish Acres Farm school of conditioning and was 7-11 ITM at the last GP meeting. She’s 50% ITM LT with an AEPS of $5000. I dare you to try to find Alvarado’s record anywhere. It’s one of the glitches built into Equibase’s record keeping system. If you change your name, your previous record is lost. Waz is the surrogate today. I gotta bet Lupo’s Way. Win or lose, this is why we dig deep.
$60 Win 5
4th – Summit County (4) is our value play of the day. The 6YO has a solid record, likes the Tampa surface and can handle today’s distance, showing three ITM finishes in sprints at Aqu and Belmont in 2015 for not less than an open $10K condition. Rigattieri is 3-3 ITM with RtS types at the last two meetings. KOC has not had a Girten PTB finish ITM at the last 5 meetings. Woodard’s piece didn’t bang heads with much in last two (Mybrotherjohnya 1-18 in P2 and Royal Fighter 4-51 LT). Joe remains eligible for the SALW5 condition but enters for a nickel in spite of solid record in 2016. He’s also 0-9 with L4-8s. Reardon’s runner hasn’t won in 14 months.
$60 ATB 4
5th – Arabian Queen (8) always makes above par final fractions. She finished up close to an Open $25K runner and a Black Type Stakes winner in last. Looks solid here and wouldn’t be surprised if she scratches, but perhaps Johns has his eye on those SH16s….
6th – Circular Thunder (2) won in first try near the bottom, then was sent and almost pulled it off at 23-1 over the summer. Jackson is 6-8 ITM with TtoD + RtS types. My JOY Sami Camacho is up. Barbaran babysits for Ed Williams here and Ed has had some luck in this situation. Dealingatthegate (3) was par in maiden win in the spring.
Exacta Box 2,3 and Saver Trifectas All/2/3
7th – Mr. Bennett is 36% win with Dropdown + Favorite types. Giselle Ma Belle (1) has been Ubide’s personal ATM over the years but the old girl needs an injection of funds if the party is to continue. Penny Hulme is a sneaky bugger. She’s 7-17 ITM here in L5T and has bombed 3X with Sugah Sweet, but SS’s only turf win was for a nickel in an N2L at Colonial. As Penny Robinson’s fellow space traveler, the Robot, might say, “That does not compute”.
Many customers have purchased today’s single card selections, so in fairness to them we are breaking tradition and not posting free Opening Day picks, however, every Wednesday is Free Play Wednesday. Good luck and good racing!
Friday, July 1st
The new meeting begins (sort of).
1st – Max Ubide bombs with FTTs, is 56% ITM with Layoff + Surface Change types and is > 50% ITM with 2TSs. His Achilles heel here is the Non-shipping L1-3 (5-77). Stewart keeps his streak at the Summer Festival going with two more ITM yesterday bringing his Festival total to 13 of 14 ITM. Inspector Bill (5) had one of Chad’s best MATP angles going for him in last (UC + Surface Change and FTT) but the turf course was recovering from 2.6 inches of rain just 48 hours earlier. Gets another chance for a piece as Stewart wins 25% with Non-shipping L1-3 + Dropdown types and is ITM regularly with 2TTs.
Exacta Box 3,5,6
2nd – Manning is 11-19 win with L9up + Shipper + Dropdown types in L10T, and 85% ITM. Enough said.
Pick 3 – 6/All/8
3rd – The jig is up for Deaton. After several years of touting his bomb virtues the crowd has finally gotten on board and his odds have plummeted. (Free Play Wednesday’s bring hundreds to the website each week, but that doesn’t help keep a good thing good. However, I’m at a loss for generating interest in any other fashion.) Bill is now 13-18 ITM with 1st 3 Turf types. This filly raced over a pronounced speed favoring turf course in debut (10 wire-to-wire winners in the previous week) and gets another chance. Must get some action though before the trigger gets pulled (ala in the $20-1 range, mas or menos).
4th – Fuller-Vargas is a 3rd generation conditioner from the Lockhart tribe. Today she has a daughter of leading North American Turf Sire Distorted Humor (22% winners here at Tampa in L5T). She goes to Camacho (who was flawless on the turf yesterday) instead of her regular boy (and husband) JL Vargas and that is the icing on the cake for me.
Saver Tri (if alive in the Pick 3) All/8/4,6
5th – A nice bet against here as the ML favorite Gucciguccigirl (3) goes for Barbaran (1-105 with Shippers and 0-28 with UC + PTB types). RG Smith is 8-15 with FTSs and had a $42-1 FTS bomb at the 15-16 meeting. Camacho is up for us again.
$33 ATB 7
6th – Two more bet against trainers here. Barabaran again (Shipper 1-105 and FBK 2-59 and PTB 4-128) and Schultz (with the O’Connell PTB – Kathy is 7-62 with Non-shipping L1-3 + Dropdown + Shortenup types for an IV of 0.52).
Exacta Box 1,5,8
Saver Trifectas 1,5,8/2,6/1,5,8
7th – Fennessy bombed three times with 1st 3 T types at average odds of $50-1 last season, two of them at the Summer Festival, a year ago today.
Exacta Key Box 8/1,4
8th – We find ourselves reluctantly stuck with Rockhard Lady (3) in the nitecap. We expounded on conditioner Delgado’s virtues yesterday. RL went a couple of clicks above par in final fraction for maiden win. Hennessy’s piece had two MTO scratches recently, hinting at preferred surface. Waz was 0-21 at the last meeting with Shippers (and won on 4% with them in P5T). Williams wins only 5% with 1PTBs, but Monterrey could sew up jockey bonus here.
On second thought, I’m only giving Rockhard Lady (3) the place.
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