Tampa Bay Downs Handicapper Ticker News: For the 2018-2019 meeting, we are upping the criteria for playable races to 40% above the trainers' ordinary strike rate for all Multiple Angle stats (up from 30%). Continuously shrinking returns have made our historical 28% strike rate no longer acceptable and we look to increase that number next year. My handicapping book "The Horseplayer's Guide to Advanced Trainer Profiling" (a sequel of sorts to John Whitaker's, Handicapping Trainers) is now available in digital format and is free with your paid subscription. Proudly announcing a comfortable profit at 8 of the last11 meetings! For 2018-2019, subscriptions will be $100. Paypal $100 to thetbdhandicapper@gmail.com to subscribe or email me at tamselections@gmail.com for alternative payment methods. FREE PLAYS EVERY WEDNESDAY!...
October 3, 2009 – 2:35 pm | Comments Off

On Saturday, a nice win in R3 yielded a $921 return on a $155 wager. So it goes….
On Friday, Dec. 7th, a comedy of errors cost me $150, when I cancelled my 5th race play …

Read the full story »
Daily Results

Click here for the Daily Results.

Meeting Results

Click here for the Meeting Results.

Today’s Selections

Here you can find Today’s Selections with analysis.

Dynamic Handicapping References

Here you can find Bias Reports, Trip Notes & other current Tampa Bay Downs Racing Information.

Historical Handicapping References

Here you can find the: Top 128 Multiple Angle Trainer Profiles, the Bomb Makers Angle Report, the Claiming Trainers ROI Report, the Jockey’s ROI Report, Our exclusive Claimed From Report, Quirin Style Pars, the Brohamer Style Track Profile, and other valuable reference materials.

Welcome to the Tampa Bay Downs Handicapper!

The Tampa Bay Downs Handicapper

Good luck and good racing!

Johnny B.

Dynamic Handicapping References, Jockey of the Year 2015-2016, Today's Selections »

Today’s Selections 2018-2019
May 20, 2011 – 5:44 am | Comments Off


Wednesday, December 5th

2nd – Barboza Jr. makes a visit to Tampa occasionally to make a withdrawal. He’s 20% Win since 2015 with a Tampa busting AEPS of $4524. He goes to 35 year old Venezuelan pilot who’s made a name for himself at the Hipodromo Riconada. We wish Jorge Urdaneta luck today.

DD’s 3,6,7/4

3rd – Nations is 6-8 Win here with UC + Favorite types and 58% Win with Plain Favorites. Northern Wind (4) made today’s par on Opening Day. Camacho sticks.

Win 4

5th – Chilling Secret (2) has ML of 4-1 but Simms in 0-9 with FTTs and 0-22 with all DtoTs. Demasi is 0-22 with all UCs. Rarick is 2% Win with L1-3s and 4% with Shippers. Randy also has no DtoT wins, he’s 0-12. Tammaro III is only 4-14 ITM in 1st 3 OC in L3T.

Trifecta Box 3,5,6,7

6th – Stidham is now 3-9 Win and 6-9 ITM with 2L1-3 + S types. Simply Great (3) was roused along a less than golden rail, getting up close in the stretch before finishing evenly in first off short layoff but looks for first win on a FAST track here. Three rookie conditioners without a history to draw upon have us looking elsewhere to make a wager.


7th – Muggsamatic (8), in 2nd off the long layoff, nosed out Ness’ Ghost Hunter (winner of 19 and $800K and 8 (3-4-0) here in Oldsmar) for a minor award in an open $50K event at Belmont just 6 weeks ago. KOC is 31% Win and 79% ITM with Uncoupled Entries and Kathy doesn’t go to Uske so you can guess which one is live. O’Connell has no other MATP here, but her singles are solid. The Nagles exploit quirky uncaptured PTB angle but Reid is 1-17 with Rightbacks. Harty is 3-45 with FTTs. Motion is 59% ITM with his MATP in 59 tries but has no win angle. 302Cassie (10) moves thru his conditions like a  savvy salesman navigating Midway during a snowstorm. 

Conditional $75 Win 8 for 7-2 or <

$25 Exacta 8/10

Saver Exacta 10/8 to cover

Parlay ½ of any winnings to the 9th race proposed play

9th – Stewart is 37% Win (7-19) with L1-3 + S + Stretchout types in L8T and is 19% Win and 44% ITM with UC types. If Nick’s Rose (10) hasn’t gone wrong, 10-1 would be a gift. Ryan is 7-10 ITM with 2S + FBK types.

Weighted Exacta Box 2,9,10


Mr. Pick 4’s Daily Plays for Dec. 5th

On Saturday, Dini had three in, two of which, on paper, looked like 

definite contenders. So, Rockaroundthedock and Jersey John both

get nailed at the wire. Sooooo, Notcho Daddy runs them off their

feet in the 8th as a firster, to further solidify Dini’s philosophy

of “Miracles Happen” ……sound familiar, JB ?

Early Pic 4 (2-5) …. 2, 5, 7 WT 4** WT 5, 7, 8 WT 3, 4, 7, 9 … $.50 … $18

Late Pic 4 (6-9) …. 3, 6 WT 3, 4, 7 WT 2, 9 WT 1, 10 … $.50 … $12.00

Best Bet **


Wednesday, November 28th

1st – Don’s Beach (1) got more action than warranted versus several N1Ys in last for pony girl turned trainer Lisa Allen. The freshman conditioner has had her best luck when not sprinting (10 of 18 ITM at PID) and Don’s Beach appears to like to compete.

Exacta Box 1,2

Saver Trifectas 1,2/4/1,2

2nd – Stidham was 4 for 7 Win with the L1-3 + S + Dropdown at debut meeting in Tampa and Mame (1) looks tough to beat in first try for a tag. Pablito hit the board in 3 of 4 on Opening Day.

Win 1

3rd – Monte R Thomas has the best record with 2YOs (7% Win) and he’s usually trying with FTSs (11-42 Win) but he’s notorious for failing to get it done with 2TSs (1-35). Decker (AEPS $4740) has a first crop daughter of 2 & 3YO Florida Champion and Graded Stakes winning Sprinter at 4, Fort Loudon. Fort Loudon’s papa, Awesome of Course, sired 15.5% winners here at Tampa. Jacks or Better Farm has not had a winner here in years, but the entity has earned $1M this year. Bowersock is 42% ITM with 2YOs with 4-64 Win and Maria has satisfactory singles but underperforms with Shippers.

Exacta Box 2,3,6

4th – Potts is usually there on the RB and he’s 53% ITM with Shipper + Stretchout types. Bennett’s are monkeying around here. Gerry has the 60% Win record with his angle recently, Mary Ann is 13-19 ITM on the dirt in L5T, but her runner beat Gerry’s in 4 of 6 tries in L3T (they ran 1,2 twice).


5th – There’s a lot going on here. Stidham’s piece fits. Sweezey had 5 bombs last season, all with < 10 LT starts. Retro Street (3) popped at 12-1 at Belmont and takes a suspect drop in class here. Stewart is 24% Win with 2YOs but has no FTS + FTT angle and yet Gallardo accepts. Scott has faltered on the grass here in the past couple of years but Slingin Sammy B (6) has 5 MATPs in play here, all > 50% ITM and one for Win 28%, but Joan rarely goes to Pedroza. Correas IV is 6-10 ITM here with Layoff’s on the Turf in L5T.

Trifectas 1,3/2,5,6,8/1,3,6

6th – KOC is 31% Win and 79% ITM with UCEs but don’t assume which one is well intended. The 1 has no MATP but KOC is 44% Win if the favorite. The 3 has a 5-14 Win angle at 14-1 odds, the L1-3 + S + UC + No Distance Change + No Surface Change. Sunset Empire (6) is by Tampa top ten sire Kantharos, 17.2% winners in L3T.

Exacta Key Box 3/1,2,6

7th – Longshots with early speed held up satisfactorily on the lawn on Opening Day hinting that well backed front runners are likely to go well on day two after four days for those divots to re-root. Classy My Cowboy (10) is on top of his game now and Johns is 5-10 Win and 70% ITM with favorites off the claim. The gelding makes close to par final fractions consistently.

$100 Conditional Win 10 for $2.30-1

$7 Trifectas 10/8/1,2,7,9 ($28)

8th – DDs 4,7/2,3,10


Mr. Pick 4’s Daily Plays for Nov. 28th


Auspicious start on Saturday. Especially disappointing was the effort (or

lack thereof) of Justin Johns’ chalk #2 in R 8. With limited starters, he comes

in off a very strong Arlington meeting (30% W 51% ITM). And it appears

that I Correas IV has come with both barrels loaded…..WATCH


Early Pic 4 (2-5) …. 1, 4, 6 WT 3, 5, 6 WT 3, 7 WT 8** … $.50 … $9.00


Late Pic 4 (6-9) …. 3, 6 WT 7, 8, 10 WT 7 WT 1, 5, 9 … $.50 … $9.00


Best Bet **



Saturday, November 24th

Welcome back to our loyal subscribers and welcome to those riding this train for the first time, as we begin our 12th Tampa meeting at the Tampa Bay Downs Handicapper.

While many selections will be posted each racing day, the ones that I intend to wager on personally (and the only ones that will be counted in my record) will be presented in bold type.

Last minute changes to selections, wager sizes and cancellations will be transmitted via twitter only, so follow us @tamselections.

My colleague, Mr. Pick Four, will once again be providing his Pick Four plays each day, however, all should note that we do not consult on our selections and it will often appear that he is coming from Venus while I am coming from Mars. So it goes…

Always check the program numbers before wagering as I often use the early PPs.

1st – Mr. Bennett is 4 for 6 win and 100% ITM when the favorite with his angle (L1-3 + S + Dropdown) in the first few racing days at the last three meetings, but the price will be prohibitive and 8 of 92 claimed from him here since 2011 have gone to the glue factory. This one looks too good to be true. Feliciano is 2-28 with PTBs and 36% ITM, but Descarado (Shameless to you gringos) was 2nd here at today’s distance for $10K in 2017. Johns is solid all around but has no MATP. Dini is 43% ITM with Layoff + TtoD types. Carrasco Jr. has competing angles. He’s soft with Layoffs and Shippers but outperforms off the claim. Six horse field makes for a disappointing opener.

Exacta Box 1,4,5

2nd – Rattlesnakerose (5) went above par while dueling here in maiden victory and comes off the shelf for Mr. Bennett who is 33% Win and 67% ITM with L9ups. The filly also stumbled badly in previous start and could taste dirt again. For sale sign says “I’m not bound for glory” but could get the job done. Front runners could help Decker’s piece, Country Linedancer (4). Decker has a solid AEPS of $4740 and Laurel shippers have an IV of 1.17 here but this filly would need a career best effort today.

Trifectas 2,5/2,4,5,6/2,4,5,6

3rd – Correas IV is 45% Win (4 of 9) with babies here in L2T, but Cotto Jr. is only 5-111 Win on the lawn here during the same period (and only 20% ITM). Kee shippers have the best IV here, a whopping 1.74. Dollar Blue (6) still fits. Rory Miller is 50% ITM with babies in L7T. Both the 6 & AE12 will have to be up close at the 2nd Call to be a factor, a yet unseen placement for either. Dini doesn’t usually show much with FTTs but this one was up for a piece, so perhaps Port Desoto (2) will surprise. Mike’s had good success with 8 Wide Willie up recently and he is 69% ITM with L1-3 + S + DtoT types.

Exacta Box 2,6

4th – Dale Bennett is 33% Win with Non-layoff Shippers (L6T) and 44% Win at odds < $2.60-1 (L9T) but his Achilles Heel is the PTB, winning only 14% in first three. Nevertheless you can’t be 54% ITM in 1000 tries unless you enter them where they fit. Pablo Morales, DB’s go to, is conspicuously off Macho Alpha (5) tempering our enthusiasm but Dale tells me Cotto gave Macho a good ride recently and wants to give him another chance. Gerry Bennett’s luck with this type is spelled out in R1 but if he’s not the top choice, he still has three 20% Win singles…

Exacta Box 6,7

Saver Trifectas 6,7/5/6,7

5th – This SALW16 or less in 2018 draws mismatched field of ten in which the race appears to be for the place. Without a big surprise, you’ll be Tearless (5).

Win 5

6th – Mr. Bennett has yet another with that winning angle seen in R1 and R4. Dennis Ward is 28% Win with Non-layoff Shippers. Freshman Trainer Xavier Rivera has a solid AEPS of $2730. However, only Carvajal Jr.’s piece, My Bernie (2) has that running style that wins here at 6.5 F. 98% of all winners at this distance were on the lead or < 1 beaten length at the 2nd Call last season.

Exacta Box 1,2

Saver Trifectas 1,2/6,7/1,2

7th – Ousby (1) sure looks right for sophomore conditioner Jose Delgado (AEPS $4598) but choosing a pilot with no career wins on the lawn leaves us ambivalent. O’Connor has been having an off year in 2018, but Marksman (7) has been a bright spot, producing 28% of his 2018 purse checks. The trainer has a 21% win angle here, the L1-3 + Stretchout and he outperforms with Shippers as well. When I’m stuck, I sometimes go long for the fun of it.

Trifectas All/5,7/1

8th – Johns is 24% Win and 52% ITM Off the Claim here, he’s got a Kee shipper (IV1.74) and a jockey with an IV of 1.29 from the chute. It’s a noob vs. the OG here, El Grande Rojo (1). There are no other angles to speak of except for Pimental, who is 0-46 with Stretchouts.

$50 Win 2

$50 DD 2/5

9th – Reclamation of Rosebud’s Hope (5) inspires confidence today in Michael Stidham (21% Win in his first Tampa meeting and a lifetime AEPS of $5536). The 3YO also loosely fulfills our 3 + 3 winning profile for N1Xs (3 N1X starts or equivalent and 3 Wins) which wins half of all such races with none entered for a tag. Interesting observation on Yanez. Karen is 50% ITM with the 8’s angle at $24-1 (8 of 16) and Del Sol Farm has had 5 ITM here at $35-1 in L3T. PPs fail to identify Karen as the PTB prior to July 27th, a quirk in the Equibase record keeping when the same surname is present.

$50 Win 5

$50 Weighted Exacta Key 5/9,10

$7 Trifectas 5/6,8/6,8,9,10 ($42)

10th – Elusive Bae (11) might be a respectable bet for 5-2. Colebrook’s singles stand out here. Look for the smart money before you plunge.

Win 11

Mr. Pick 4’s Daily Plays for Opening Day

This is it, folks …. the day we’ve been salivating over since July 1st.

Welcome back to the loyalists, and welcome aboard to the new scribes.

And for those of you that are new, a quick review; this is my daily

offering of a modestly priced Pick 4 play, based on the $.50 minimum.

Where it goes from there, is your fun…sit back & enjoy the 2018-2019


Early Pic 4 (3-6)

6, 7, 9, (12) WT 2, 6, 7 WT 5, 6, 8 WT 1…$.50 … $13.50 ($18.00)                                                  

Late Pic 4 (7-10)

3,5, 7 WT 2** WT 1, 5, 10 WT 9, 11 … $ .50 … $9.00

** Best Bet 


Summer Festival 2018

Sunday, July 1st 2018

1st – The most consistent bomb maker on our list (she’s made it for the last 6 years), Joyce Kielty, had two like this one in 16-17. Big EP at 7.5F in last and routine early speed make United Song (4) a contender. Wetherington’s best win angle (5-28 Win) is represented here. PTB status is not an issue.

Exacta Box 1,4,6

Saver Trifectas 1,4,6/3,9/1,4,6

2nd – TURF ONLY – Deaton is 4-4 Win with this angle at $20-1 and doesn’t ask FTSs to run. He’s 24-40 with all Turf starts. Manning has a 6-12 Win angle here and gets Alvarez but it’s a tough sell. Nagle is 13-24 ITM with StRs with 5 Wins.

$125 Win and Place 4

DDs – 4/2,3,7

Saver Pick 4 – 3/2,3,7/5,7/3,5,6 (24 bets)

6th –TURF ONLY- Card Spun (2) is Mackaben’s top horse in recent years while bombing fairly regularly. The old mare has been close to par four times in 2018 and that’s good enough for me. Ward is 11-15 ITM with Shipper + UC types and has a 28% Win angle here. Loza Jr. has a 32% Win angle here and several of his ITM singles are between 70-80%.  Stewart’s piece is only acceptable if favored.

$100 Weighted Exacta Key Box 2/1,6 if the 5 is not the favorite

Saver Trifectas 1,2,6/5,8/1,2,6 to cover

7th – Just treat this 3YO like a FTS and you’ll be halfway to the window. Raise Em Up (3) has been working very sharply at Oakridge recently and will look like a different horse after being gelded and with Lasix while under the care of super trainer Efren Loza Jr.

$50 DD 3/1

8th – Above par effort in turf debut on closing weekend makes Bertie (1) a top contender here. Stewart tries the RtS + Dropdown for the first and last time at the meeting today. Chad is 9-12 ITM with these.

Saver Exactas 3,6,7,9/1 to cover if alive in the DD


Saturday, June 30th, 2018

A little poetic license helps to summarize my profound disapproval with today’s card:

“Where do you think you’re going? Nobody’s leaving. Nobody’s walking out on this fun, old-fashioned family “Summer Festival”. No, no. We’re all in this together. This is a full-blown, four-alarm fun fest emergency here. We’re gonna press on, and we’re gonna have the hap, hap, happiest weekend of racing since Bing Crosby tap-danced with Danny fucking Kaye. And when Margo squeezes her fat white ass into the Tampa Bay Downs elevator this afternoon, she’s gonna find the jolliest bunch of assholes this side of the Pasco County.”

1st – Allen, Alvarez, Chuckie Lopez and Mata have 45 mounts between them with $5000 on the line for a weekend’s work. As Deepthroat once said, “Follow the money!” The 2, 4 & 5 have all been par, but each has a defect. Ciaio’s AEPS of $842 says I only win with the cheapest of the cheap, 12 of 14 of Bush’s bombs have had a race over the track, and struggling Monterrey is hard to back with a 3-98 record in 2018 while Guciardo is 6% win with Non-shipping L1-3s.

Trifectas 4,6/2,5/4,6

2nd – Another race where we’re stuck looking for the best of the worst. Smith had two winners at last year’s SF but he’s 1-32 with FTTs. Nagle’s piece looks wrong, dropping off the claim and long layoff (he’s 3-30 off the long layoff). Gallego hasn’t won a race since 2016, but Gogas’ piece was right there to the stretch in only turf try. Loza Jr. is always trying with FTS, but won only 14% with FTTs.

Trifectas 3,7/2,4,8/3,7

3rd – Like Diogenes, the Greek philosopher who walked the streets during the day carrying a lamp and claiming to be looking for an honest man, I looked for Alison Escobar all winter at TBD. The thing is, she is a he. The Puerto Rican hurricane refugee was 17% W and 56 ITM at CMR before moving to the mainland and a quick peak at his record indicates that his two top horses ever both won in their first try. Today he has Notorious Cowgirl (8), a granddaughter of top ten Tampa Sire Giant’s Causeway. The 4YO has been working off the hook at Oxford with the last four being +2, +8, +10 & +6 above the bullet par. Tampa veteran F. Mata is up.

$100 Win and Place 8

4th – Charlestown star (an oxymoron) Bocachica is up for Nagle, who won 10 of 21 with this angle recently (and 5 of 6 ITM at the last meeting). KOC has no win angle here.

Win 3

5th – Palacios-Molina rocked the place with 15 lightly raced bombs in L2T, many of the 1st 3 M and 1st 3 T variety. Nagle’s chalky piece may rip the crotch out of it.

$100 Weighted Exacta Box 1,6 for 3-1 return

6th – Old Clyde (8) has delivered so regularly that he gets the play out of habit and respect. Ward has a 71% ITM here. Mike Allen is up.

Exacta Key Box 8/1,3,5

Saver Trifectas 1,3,5,8/2,6/1,3,5,8

7th – The hereditary gift of common sense has not been wasted on me.

Exacta Box 4,6,8

8th – Bridle’s Holiday (3) presents off even money trouncing on the loam. An eligibility start? Hemingway wins 50% when the favorite with today’s angle, but I like this 7YO when he goes at long odds…Durr has made our top bomb makers list for three years running and I’m Just Souper (8) fits the mold.




Wed., April 25th

We say goodbye to Wednesday racing today, but without any fanfare. Join us again in November for FREE PLAY WEDNESDAY!

1st – Rigattieri is 19-33 ITM with Non-shipping L1-3 + Dropdown types and 3-4 win with them at the meeting and was above par twice in four tries.

Win 2 – Best Bet

DD 2/4,6,7

2nd – Scott has no FBKs on record, so how does that play for Peas and Carrots (3)? Off track in last would hint at a sensible FBK scenario but she doesn’t routinely go to Mike Allen. Idk. Candy Power (7) is always close to par and Dominguez outperforms with No Change types.

Pick 3 – 4,6,7/2,4,5/1,2,4

6th – Divine Ambition (1) and Evolution (7) fit the condition best. Bowersock is 67% ITM with L1-3 + No Distance Change types and Ziadie is 50% Win and 69% ITM on the dirt here.

Pick 4 – 1,7/1,2/1,3,4,7,8/3,7 (40 bets)

7th – Delacour win 38% with this kind and Philo (4) is always par.

Saver Pick 3 – 4/All/3,7 to cover

9th – Johns and Nagle excel with all their angles and their runners have only seen $10K once (for the win) in 17-18. They are much the best among these. Rodriguez dropped Bold Response (4) to $8K for the Win and that puts me off UC move today.

Exacta Box 3,7


Wednesday, April 18th

So how hot is Samy Camacho? Last year he won 12% here. From Opening Day thru March 31st he won 18%. In April he won 40% at average odds of $3-1 (and 45% when the favorite at the meeting).

1st – KOC is 12-21 Win with Non-layoff Shipper + Dropdown types and outperforms with FBKs (IV 1.3).

Win 3

Pick 3 – 3/All/8

2nd – Delacour may be #4 among leading conditioners with firsters on the dirt, but Donarra has not won with one of their own since April 2016.

3rd – Tap Speed (8) just looks right for 50% ITM Elliot Sullivan and #3 Leading Owner with 50 or more starts Bruno Schickendanz.

Exacta Key Box 8/1,5,7

Saver Trifectas 2,8/2,8/1,5,8

4th – Trifecta Box 3,5,7,10

5th – Thurston (8) has something going for him. Chavez is 7-36 Win (19%) with Shortenup + No Class Change types. He’s been above par in two of last four. 11 of 19 of Jose’s bombs have been Layoffs or 2Ls.

$50 Exacta 6/8

$2 Saver Trifectas 5,7,9,10/6,8/6,8 ($16)

$2 Saver Pick 3 – 8/All/3 ($12)

6th – Competitive six horse field ensures excitement but is unplayable.

$2.50 Pick 4 – All/3/6/1,2,3,4 ($60)

7th – Jermyn Street (3) plunges in class after hat trick at related distances versus better. 111 odds-on winners at the meeting give you an idea why it’s been tough to make a buck this year. Clearly my BEST BET of the meeting, but like M.C. Hammer, “u can’t touch this” at least not for win.

Exacta 3/7

Trifecta 3/7/4

Superfecta 3/7/4/5

$10 Pick 3 – 3/5,6,10/3,4 ($60)

8th – Clearly Love (6) goes for Lopez Jr. (10% Win and 27% ITM on the Dirt here). The mare has made par numbers on several occasions unlike pretender Precious Intent (7), who won by 6 while 8 over par.

$75 Weighted Exacta Key Box 6/5,10

9th – Nobody has a profile on Stidham like ours, so we may eke out a bit more value here. Michael is 40% Win and 60% ITM with L1-3 + S types and 8 for 9 ITM with RBs. His only UCE ran 1,2.

Trifectas 3,4/1,2,7/3,4


Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Good has many meanings and a good track is not good for betting.

2nd – Bowersock is 1-17 with No Changes and 1-16 when her partner is not riding. Gimme Rodriguez’s piece. He’s 70% ITM with 1st 3 OC, 4-7 Win with TtoDs and 4-12 Win with UC + DC types. Yanez has bombed with a FTS at the meeting if you’re feeling lucky. R ya punk? R ya?

Queenofthekingdom (5) Win and Place

3rd – Scott is 41% Win and 65% ITM with Plain TtoD + Dropdown types and 50% ITM with Stretchouts.

Peas and Carrots (6) Win and Place

4th – Bradley wins more than twice as many races in OSTs than he does routinely and he’s 65% ITM with TtoDs.

Hot Rail (6) Win and Place

Pick 3 – 6/2/1

5th – Stidham is 6-6 ITM with Plain UCs and 10-12 ITM with all UCs, he’s had some luck with Morales up and Pablo wins his fair share on OFF TRACKs.

Weighted Exacta Key 2/All

DD Wheel – 2/1

Race 7 – Pick 3 – ALL/ALL/4,6,7

7th – Wilson is 0-26 with Shortenups, but 5-6 ITM if the Favorite in the same circumstances. Rigattieri is 1-12 with Non-shipping L1-3s. I say go long!


Wednesday, April 4th

1st –  Spunsational (5) was meant to go long (apparently) and Wright is 9-15 ITM with Plain StRs with 3 Wins and 10 of 12 of his bombs were Distance Change types.

Win & Place 5

Saver Trifectas 1,2,3,4/All/5 (24 bets)

2nd – Conditioner of ML choice is 3-107 with Shortenups.

Exacta Box 4,6,7

Saver Trifectas 4,6,7/1,3/4,6,7

3rd – The 2,4 & 5 have winning angles but only Arriagada’s piece has the kind of EP numbers that will leave something in the tank for the stretch run. Juan was 23% Win with Plain Shortenups on Opening Day and has been 4-10 Win and 7-10 ITM since.

Win 2

Exacta 2/5

Trifecta 2/4,5/4,5

$1 Saver Pick 4 – 2,5/4/All/4

4th – Johns is 40% Win with StRs and 56% Win with Morales up.

Conditional Win 4 for 8/5

$75 Weighted  Pick 3 –  4/All/7

 6th – In 2015, Deaton was featured in Chapter 5 of my book as an exemplar of the quintessential “Bomb Maker”. Over the years, he’s come to be 7-32 Win and 16-32 ITM at average odds of $12.50-1. Spring Mist (7) was par as a 3YO at today’s distance and had the unfortunate luck to draw post 1 during a protracted period when the post closest to the rail was 10-162 with an IV of 0.51. Made bullet par work at Oakridge last week. Camacho sticks.  

 Babie Monster (5) faces softer on the drop in class after three in last subsequently finished up close, but Joe is only 3-28 with Rightbacks. 

Stidham is 0-8 with Non-shipping L1-3s, with 3 ITM.

Clement is 91% ITM with TtoD types and 6-11 Win. Shows us the angle for the first time at the meeting today.

 It certainly would be a welcome manifestation of poetic justice if Deaton put us over the top.

 I hope the prices make it worthwhile, but I’ll be monitoring to make any necessary changes.

$50 Exacta Box 4,7 ($100)

$15 Trifectas 7/1,3,5,6/4 ($60)

$10 Trifectas 4/1,3,5,6/7 ($40)


Saver Trifectas 7/1,3,6/5 to cover

Saver Trifectas 4/1,3,5,6/7 to cover

Saver Trifectas 5/4,7/4,7 to cover

9th – Nancy Harris woke up in March, with 5-8 ITM at $24-1. Talk about your “short term cycles”!

Exacta Box 1,5,10

Trifecta Box 1,3,5,10

10th – Exacta Box 3,5,7

Trifecta Box 3,5,7,10


Wednesday, March 28th

1st – Ben Feliciano is 29% Win and 71% ITM with RB + UC and angle and 21% W & 47% with Shortenups. Vinson is 55%, 62% and 50% ITM with his three singles here. Hinsley is 66% ITM with Dropdown + DC types. Miguel doesn’t get it done with FBKs or Shortenups. Broken foot hasn’t slowed down Bracho. He’s 7-13 ITM at $5-1 since 10 day’s on the DL due to the injury.

Exacta Key Box 4/1,6

DDs 1,4,6/5

2nd – Linemaker did his/her homework on this one. Rodriguez is 3-5 Win and 4-5 ITM with TtoD types in L7T. A soft stat seems to have more value to me when the few starts it represents occurred over many years. Precious Intent (5) has made par numbers in a couple of grass tries and will go 100 lengths shorter after making par EP at 9F in last.

Win 5

DD 5/9

3rd – Arriagada is 8-29 Win and 16-29 ITM with 1OCs and is 5-5 ITM with 1OC + Shortenup types.

Vision of Blue (4) rumbled with a couple of Belmont shippers in last and those two have both been right there after moving up in class since. Kathy is 55% ITM with L4-8 + S + Dropdown types in 44 tries. Bottom’s out for a piece today.

Win 9

Exacta 9/4

5th – I’ve been grappling with the notion of luck for a lifetime now, at times believing that we make it and at other times believing that it is random. As I get older, I find myself of the opinion that among competent professionals doing a serious job, luck should not be rewarded as if it were a skill. So, I’ve learned to go easier on myself and just keep on keepin’ on…

And that brings us to John Rigattieri, a 17% Win trainer here in L4T who is 55% ITM at the current meeting but has not had a winner since Jan. 19th. Astute Warrior’s (3) been knocking around some pricey venues and drops a wrung off the short layoff. Riga is 16-29 ITM with L1-3 + Dropdown types and 47% ITM with Stretchouts.

In last, Conquest Stormy (8) got the worst of it, keeping the leader from running off with it, then dueling with the winner into the stretch and then held off another for the place, all with a +7,+1. Easier trip and the job gets done today but a 1-9 win angle doesn’t brighten picture.

Trifecta Box 2,3,5,6

7th – DD 7/10

8th – Wilkes presents with a 38% Win angle, the Non-layoff TtoD + Dropdown. He’s also 7-9 ITM with 2L + Dropdowns, 52% ITM with Shippers and 53% ITM with RtS. A ML favorite never looked so bad….maybe it creeps up a click or two.

$75 Conditional Win and Place 10 for 3-1 or >, a $125 W & P for 4-1 or >

DDs 10/1,5


Wed., March 21st

1st – Trifectas All/1/2,6

Saver DDs 1/2,3,4

2nd – $1 Pick 4 – 2,3,4/2,7,9,11/1,2,3,5,6/2 ($60)

5th – Noble Thought (2) races under the cover of a rare N4L condition and faces only a couple of legit N3X types, the 3 and the 4, however, the former’s conditioner does little with StR or FTTs and the latter’s is 4-55 Win moving UC. Monster +8 final fraction at 9F two back and above par finishes in last two ice it for me.

Win 2

$2 Pick 3 – 2/All/3,4,5,6,9,10 (36 bets)($72)

6th – $1 Pick 4 All/3,4,5,6,9,10/7/2,5,9 (90 bets) ($90)

7th – Smith’s Freakin Me Out (3) surprised twice already and RG is conveniently is 4-5 ITM with the StR + DtoT + 2TT. I’ll take action at 30-1 on that.

$0.50 Trifectas All/3/All ($36)

$1.00 Trifectas 4,5,6,10/4,5,6,8,9,10/3 ($20)

8th – Another peculiar condition moves the excitement meter into overload. Bowersock claimed Divine Ambition (7) for a nickel 24 months ago and the old gelding has become her top money earner ever with $157K in earnings, a 2600% ROI. All Maria has left is the N3X or a tag and today this gift falls in her lap “SALW8 or less ever”. The secretary is playing favorites again (trainers not horses) and when opportunity knocks…..

Win 7


Wednesday, March 14th

1st – Pick 3 – 1,2,6/1,2/5

3rd – Speedway Stable is 24% Win with an AEPS of $44K. Stidham is 3-6 Win with the L1-3 + S + Dropdown and has been satisfactory when the favorite (36% Win).

Value Pick 3 – 4,5,6,7/1,7,10/5,6,7 (36 bets)

5th – Mr. B is 49% Win with FBK + Favorite types and 38% with Dropdown + Favorite types.

Exacta Key Box 7/5,6 if 7 is the favorite, otherwise Exacta Box 5,6,7

6th – $0.50 Pick 4 – All/All/6/5 ($50)

8th – Home field advantage to Cowgirl Tough (6), who was above par in last and goes for Mr. Bennett, 22% Win with Plain Shortenups. Bennett/Gallardo combo is waaaaaay overdue for a winner. Their last victory was New Year’s Eve.

$50 Weighted Saver DDs 4,7,8/5 if the Pick 4 appears likely to be >$300

9th – 8F on the grass have historically seen 81% Winners from OTP, < 2 beaten lengths at the 2nd Call. In March, we have observed only 2 front running winners (from the 23 starts at the distance). Sienkewicz’s piece has been above par in every start at the meeting, with well above par EPs in each event. He is > 50% ITM with Plain Dropdowns. Expect Great Harbor Cay (6) to have the lead and be run down by our stalker. You can Takethattothebank (5).

Saver Exactas 6,7,10/5 to cover the $50 or $100 if alive, otherwise $50 win 5


Wednesday, March 7th

We got 0.61 inches of rain overnight, but a high of 68 degrees is forecast and it’s not going to evaporate by noon creating an interesting dilemma. 21 of the last 26 races have been won from PP’s 1-5 for an IV of 1.25 if you’ll accept that at face value but it appears the high road will be the dry road this afternoon. Conflating these scenarios has runners from PPs 3,4 & 5 racing in lane 3 early then moving wider to be coming down the hill from the outside entering and finishing in lane 3 or 4. We’ll just have to watch a few and see…

1st – Now: Exacta Key Box Wheel 6/All

2nd – Scott’s As Fast as You Can (4) was visually impressive in a well-timed ride with a +5 final Quirin while only feeling the stick once before the final 1/16th and having much left in the tank at the finish but the early pace was well below par and the filly won’t see a slow EP today. On the Hop (6) went 106-97 in last (today’s par is 89-90) and she was the only 3YO in that race, further increasing wow factor. Likes an OFF TRACK too!

Wish it wasn’t the 2nd race, but On the Hop (6) may be my best bet of the meeting.

I may make a large wager if the price is right….more later.

$0.50 Pick 3 – 6/All/All (up to $40)

Saver Trifecta 3/6/4 to cover     SCRATCHED


Exacta Key Box Wheel 4/All

5th – Rhone is trending lower with Rightbacks in recent years, winning only 1 of 21 in L4T (while 20% win at the previous four meetings), however, he wins 45% when the favorite and has not been the favorite at this meeting. 

Sonora (5) is the only honest $12.5 Claimer in the field (along with the lightly raced and arguably untested Silly Factor (1)). Rigattieri has no record with UCEs but Ten Penny Princess (2) with sub-par numbers, looks like a distractor and not the runner we should be focused on. John is 21% W and 64% ITM with StRs and he bombs with Distance Change types. Sonora has a %E in the middle of the range for 8.18F.

$50 ATB 5 (if the 6 is not < 8/5) SCRATCHED

Now: Exacta Key Box 1/2,3,6

Super Speculation Play (go for a few dollars if you can):

7th – Saver DDs 1,2,5,6,7/2 (TURF ONLY)

8th You can believe in my methodology or not, all I ask is that you at least accept it at face value.

Chavez is 50% ITM (4-8) with his five characteristic MATP here at average odds of $24-1.

Jose is 40% ITM with El Bombadero, Camacho up, at $6-1.

Pinchin (the PTB) is 22% ITM with Longshots in sprints on the dirt at GP.

Look for some action in the 20-30-1 range. 80-1 indicates their money has not passed thru the window.

If you dismiss Awesome High (2), then you’ll always be shaking you’re head in disbelief while tearing up your tickets. Win or lose, this is the kind I live for…

Exactas 7,8,9,10/2

Trifectas All/7,10/2 (20 bets)

9th – TURF ONLY 

Dini is 5-83 with Shortenups. My Magic 8 Ball says “Outlook not so good”. The 2nd choice on he ML is from Westlye, now 0-25 on the Turf.

Bowersock is 9-42 win with Plain Shortenups and while only 7-25 ITM with FTTs and 2TTs, Maria and her co-conspirator and bunk mate RJ Allen Jr are 4-8 ITM with 3TTs.



Wed., Feb 28th

February may be the shortest month, but it felt like the longest month ever. The promise of Spring in March reminds us:

“If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant: if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome.”

Meditations Divine and Moral
Anne Bradstreet, The Works of Anne Bradstreet

1st – The B52s said it best about this race:

“Everybody’s movin’, everybody’s groovin’ baby!”

DD Wheel All/6

2nd – Ziadie is 7-14 Win in Sprints on the Dirt here in Oldsmar. N1Y win was par. Averill is 26% Win and 61% ITM LT. Money goes to money.

Saver Exactas 3,7/6 to cover

3rd – Josie Gump still hasn’t cashed a winner’s share check (now 0-13 Win). This Kentucky homebred changed hands in last and Sienkewicz bombed with three PTBs last season. His piece made above par final fraction in maiden win last summer. Let the board be your guide here. Very short or very long looks like the signal today, but I’ll only play for 8-1 or >.

Exacta Box 2,3,7

4th – In last, Whiskey Trail (1) chased +16 EP while wide, got rolling on the far turn and was drawing away at the finish with Quirins of +9.5, +1, an EP that will carry the gelding to bigger and better things in the future if he can do it over a FAST surface. Harvatt’s Lightning Flash (9) may offer some value after 54 length trouncing in the SLOP in last. Go back to Dec. 30th and the gelding went 103-90 and today’s par is 95-94. Harvatt wins twice as many with No Change types than his ordinary strike rate.

Exacta Box 1,9

$75 Weighted DDs  1,9/7

$3 Saver Pick 3  1,9/4,6,8/2,3 (12 bets)

5th  – Stidham’s now 42% Win with Non-shipping L1-3s and 50% Win with PTBs but Pedroza is off here. Ferraro is only 2-24 with RtSs but is 33% ITM and Very Fashionable’s (7) numbers are the best in the field.

Win 7

6th – The 2 & 3 faced off with Minaret Stakes contenders in last and those two went satisfactorily two weeks ago. Pink Mama (4) narrowly held on versus a weak SALW12.5 field in last and comes back fast in 14 days.

DDs 2,3/2,3

7th – Mott is 9-31 Win (and 65% ITM)with runners on < 90 days rest that are stretching out. Clement runner outfinished Shiloh in last and Chris is 26% Win with Stretchouts.

Pick 3 – 2,3/3,4,6/3,5,6,7,8,10 (36 bets)

8thCharcuterie (4) vied for command to the 1/8th pole, put that one to bed, then held off a late runner in impressive +5,+5 MSW win in 3rd dirt start for Bauer (AEPS $6993 here, now 14 (5-4-0) on the dirt in L5T).

Exacta Key Box 4/3,6


Wednesday, Feb. 21st

1st  With four FBKs in here and all their conditioners having some luck with that type, we need to look elsewhere for answers. Ferraro is only 6% Win with RtSs and Mr. Bennett wins 50% on the FBK when the favorite. He and Minieri are satisfactory with RtSs. Westlye lives and dies by the FBK. Sobarzo is 0-13 with RBs and Creel is 24% ITM with Non-layoffs on the dirt.

Exacta Box 3,5,6

Saver Trifectas 3,5,6/2,4,7/3,4,6 (18 bets)

2nd – Pick 3  – All/3 or 5/1,2,4,7,8 (play the 2nd leg choice in the DD pool) (30 bets)

3rd  – Originator (3) went 57.76 fps early and 60.55 fps late in smashing debut for Wilkes, who wins 28% with RBs. %E suggests a mile will be surmountable for this Artie Schiller filly. Delacour is 79% ITM with UCEs and 89% Win if the favorite in this scenario (38% Win otherwise). Centeno is 13-33 Win for Delacour at the meeting.

Saver Exacta to cover 3/5 or 5/3 as the case may be

Pick 3  –  3 or 5/All/4,5,7,10

6th – Stidham has gone to Pedroza in all but one win at the meeting (P. Morales) but he ran 1-2 in only UCE (HVG provided the under in that one). I’ll go out on a limb here.

Trifectas All/3/1,2,5 (15 bets)

7th – Divito makes first appearance. He’s 50% win and 69% ITM with this three characteristic MATP. Bourke is 50% ITM with FTSs at PID, TDN & Tam in L5T. Laurine Fuller-Vargas recently made a FB post to all of her immediate family and friends in which she said the Big Dawg was “ready for action”. She doesn’t usually tout but that post sure looked like one and that dapple grey does look fine presently.

Exacta Key Box 10/3,4,9

Pick 3  – 10/1,4,5,8/8,10 (8 bets)

Pick 3 – 3,4,9/1/5,7,8,10 (12 bets)


Wednesday, Feb. 14th

On Valentine’s Day, we go deep (no pun intended).

Today it’s either very competitive or there’s nothing to go on. So it goes!

1st Trifecta Box 4,5,6,7

2nd Trifecta Box 2,3,4,5

3rd    Trifectas 4,7/3,5,6/4,7

Pick 3 – 4,7/2,4-9,11/3 (16 bets)

4th Pick 3 – 2,4-9,11/3/4,5,6 (24 bets)

6th Exacta Box 4,5,6

Pick 3 – 4,5,6/3,4,5,8,10/7,12 (30 bets)

8th DDs 7,12/11,8

9th Exacta Box 11-8 Or

Trifectas 3,5,7,10/8/3,5,7,10


Wednesday, Feb. 7th 

1st  The two favorites have trainers with 0.55 and 0.20 IVs for the StR move and that has me looking elsewhere, but where? I’m thinking Lucky Chica (6). Tsirigotis has gone from our #1 bomb maker to suddenly mainstream conditioner and with the best ITM % on the grounds (among trainers with at least 10 starts). He has had good luck with Plain Starters in the past. Would need close to very best effort to date however.

Exacta Box Wheel 6/All

2nd Macerola’s piece made three starts in 5YO campaign. Made four ITM on the dirt at MNR. Big deal. Hot apprentice Joe Bracho (three wins Sunday and 16-48 ITM at long average odds) is up on Cavallo D’Oro (6) for Sullivan, who was 24% Win with all starters in 16-17.

Exacta Box Wheel 6/All

3rd Block has competing angles: 5-11 Win with L1-3 + S + Dropdown, but 0-8 (none ITM) with DtoT types.

Exactas 6/1,2

Trifectas 5,6/5,6/1,2

4th St. Elias has few duds. They are nearly 50% ITM with all starters and have an AEPS of $10,500 (and a couple of Graded Stakes Winners). Was above par for total energy in first two turn try. Pletcher is 9-13 ITM with StRs here with six wins. %E is in the zone.

$5 Pick 3 -  4/1,2,3,5,7,8/4,6 (12 bets) ($60)

$3 Pick 3 -  3/1,2,3,5,7,8/4,6 (12 bets) ($36)

5th – $100 Weighted DD 1,2,3,5,7,8/4,6 (12 bets)

6th Bennett crushes it with MC FTSs winning 25% and 57% ITM and with an IV of 1.14 and an ROI of +$0.25, but this homebred has an owner/breeder that is a hobbyist and she hasn’t had a win since 2001 or gotten any check since 2010. Mr. B is 78% with all UCEs but that PP1 has been toxic.

If you’ll consider this a bet against UCE from Bennett, all kinds of opportunities arise. 

Weighted Saver Trifectas 5,7,9/4,6/4,5,6,7,9 (18 bets) to cover all wagers

$100 Weighted Pick 3 – 4,6/1-5/3,4,5 (30 bets)


Wednesday, Jan. 31st, 2018

Two inches of rain can turn things inside out and upside down. A golden railway may be offering express rides today. We will see…

A whole morning’s work up in smoke…the ones I was all over have scratched.

Bracho slipped under my radar briefly, but now he’s pinging away. Joe is 33% ITM at $8.70-1 odds since arriving and that can’t last long.

1st Strengths and weaknesses for all involved create dilemma or opportunity depending on your POV. If Rigattieri is the favorite, he’s 90% ITM in this situation in 20 tries. If not, Angel Haze (4) has four (4) > 50% ITM angles, two of them MATPs. Allen from the chute outperformed with a 1.29 IV in L6T. Carrasco Jr. is 6-59 with Shippers, but is trending higher at this meeting and he’s 0-11 with L4-8s with only two ITM. 8-5 looks wrong to me. Gisellee (5) is my personal ATM but the old girls winning angles do not involve the Layoff.

Exacta Box 4,6

2nd OFF THE TURF Cazares has a UCE but no angles to speak of, however she has pulled some big rabbits out of some small hats here and Laura is 45% ITM with all Starters in L2T and the prospect of two of hers in the same race puts me off giving serious consideration to this race.

3rd Quast is 2nd stringer for powerhouse conditioner Ralph Nicks (19.3M LT and an AEPS of $6711) and Whisper Hill Farm has a solid AEPS of $5651. Todd was 50% ITM when he was last based here 5 years ago, but he’s 1-61 Win LT (ouch)! First off the short layoff was par.

Exactas 2,6/1

Saver Trifectas All/2,6/1,2,6

4th Sealed With a Kiss (10) was an MC25 Winner at 5.5 F, then won a 3YO C25, and then was 2nd in a C16 N3L. Morales sticks after two dismal efforts and that has me smiling like The Cheshire Cat. Bradley is 20-39 ITM with Plain Dropdowns and is 48% ITM with Stretchouts. At rock bottom, a kiss is all I need to seal this deal, but this entire field will be trying to get to 2nd base or further.

Weighted Exacta Key Box 10/1,2,3,9

Saver Trifectas 1,2,3,9/1,2,3,9/10

5th Do you believe in miracles? Well Rosalyn (9) may just make you a believer today. Pimental’s average winning odds is $13.90-1 in L3T. He’s 9-12 ITM with Dropdown + RtS types and 10-16 ITM with Dropdown + TtoD types. John’s also 55% ITM with TtoD + RtS types. Switch to Bocachica confounds. I need only to be given one good reason for the switch and I would become a convert. Smock’s piece may also have punters scratching their heads today. Lori is 68% ITM with Plain Dropdown + TtoD types. Her regular boy FDLC has moved his tack to Oaklawn, thus the switch to HVG. If you want to get your moneys worth, you gotta beat Mr. Bennett (who has no angle here).

Exacta Box 1,9

Trifectas All/1,9/1,9 (14 bets)

6th OFF THE TURF Camacho has cooled off a bit in recent weeks, but Cazares is 3-4 ITM in OSTs and excels with 2Ls and 2Ss.

Win 9

Saver Trifectas 1,2,7/9/1,2,7

7th Combination of a 3.5% rider and Pimental’s 0-38 record with Stretchouts sets up a solid bet against here.

Exactas 1-5,7-10/8,9 (16 bets)

8th OFF THE TURF Forwardly racing runners appear destined to get there first (and second) in this OST.

Exacta Box 3,6,9

DD 3,6,9/6,9


Wednesday, Jan 24st, 2018

PP1 is now 2-46 since the last OFF TRACK race day and 13 of last 17 were on the lead at the 2nd Call. Until we see otherwise, we will assume the trend will continue.

I could bet them all or bet none of them and that usually doesn’t end well, so I opt for the latter…

1st Exacta Box 4,6,7 and Saver Trifecta 4,6,7/1/4,6,7 and Pick 3  4,6,7/All/2,7

4th Colebrook is 5-5 ITM with S + Dropdown types at the meeting, 5 of 8 ITM with L + 1PTB types and is solid with all the singles. The price will be right.


5th McKanas is shaping up to be one of those at will bomb makers. 17% is a high strike rate for a bomb specialist and multiple repeat bombs is one of his strengths.

Exacta Key Box 4/3,6,7

8th Trifecta Box 2,4,7,8 and Pick 3  2,4,7,8/3,8/3,5,6

9th Cholla (8) was three clicks above par in 1st try, then got the smack down from R True Talent who was an up close 2nd to Gasparilla Stakes winner Almond Roca on Saturday. Ten Demerits, second in Cholla’s last, also came back and won. Pearl’s Opinion, also out of the Dec. 30th race was the 5th betting choice next time out and was ITM. Hinsley is 28-44 ITM (64%) with Plain Dropdown + Shortenup types at $8.70-1 odds and we see that angle for the first time at the meeting today.

Exacta Box 3,8

Saver Tris 3,8/7,9/3,7,8,9

10th Delacour is 9-9 ITM with Non-layoff 2S + Dropdown types in L4T.

Exacta Key Box 6/3,5


Wednesday, Jan 17th, 2018

Feeling ambivalent today. These plays could pop for big numbers, but some of them are a real stretch, even for my imagination. My Dad always says go for a few bucks so you don’t end up kicking yourself in the ass…

Mr. Pick Four clicked for $787 in the early P4 on Sunday…..it was quite a weekend for the team.

1st Going back some, Antia (3) won 5 sprints in Florida (4 of them here). The closest she’s come to a win lately was about a year ago when she was beaten a half-length going 7F here with apprentice Cindy Patrick up. Goes 6 1/2F today with 7lb. bug girl up. Rest of the field is even less virtuous. Ness did his magic on the grass with Blake’s Magic (6) but Connelly not so much. Teresa does bomb with Surface Changes and Distance Changes. Ya never know!

$25 Weighted Exacta Key Box Wheel 3/All (10 bets)

$2 Exacta Box 3,4,6 (6 bets)($12)

2nd Westlye had four FBKs in the money recently, three of them bombs and three with George Santis. Jokers Queen (2) was par in two previous. Looks like a go.

$25 Weighted Exacta Key Box Wheel 2/All with extra $5 – 2,7 box tickets

3rd Colebrook has a 39% Win angle here. The X (5) was nosed out by Nauti Buoy in Black Type for State Breds. The latter missed the show by a neck in another Black Type for all comers in next. The show horse, Seattle Treasure was 2nd in a $35 Claimer next time out. We note however that The Xs final fractions were sub-par in both tries.

Exacta Box 4,5,7

Saver Tris 4,5,7/1,3/4,5,7 (12 bets)

4th Bush bombs with lightly raced types that have been once over.

$3 Exacta Box 2,4,8 ($18)

$1 Saver Trifectas 2,4,8/1,5/2,4,8 ($12)

$7 Pick 3  – 2,4,8/1/1,6 ($42)

5th Mr. Bennett has Nomarginforerror (1) excuse the pun, but the 3YO was above par in both tries and Gerry wins with FBKs (25%) and is 3-3 ITM with same at the meeting.

$1 Saver Trifectas All/1/2,6,8 (21 bets) ($21) if alive in the Pick 3

7th Connelly is 6-7 ITM with FBKs and 7-15 ITM moving UC. She provides the best value of any trainer on the grounds. Morales is due to pop for Teresa. They have not hit the board in 7 tries at the meeting. Tutti Sanno (2) (Everybody Knows) was an APD on the Turf last season. We had a positive trip note for Celebrity Warrior (3) two back, but it slipped thru the net and bombed against a tough field. We won’t get fooled again. Lynch is all business, winning 33% on the grass here in L5T.

Trifectas All/6/2,3,9

8th Backing out the drawing away winner, Show Cat’s (6) debut was noteworthy. In this race within a race, her running line would have looked like this:

10 by 10, 10 by 10 1/2, 2nd a neck

Her final fraction was +6 above par and she made a perfect 50.98 %E. Harty is 5 for 6 win in this situation when the favorite.

Exacta Key Box 6/1,3,9 if Show Cat is the favorite,

Pick 3 –  6/All/1,7,9,10 if Show Cat is the favorite, otherwise

Trifectas 1,6,9/1,3,6,8,9/1,3,8,9 (30 bets)

10th Carrasco Jr. is 24-29 ITM when the favorite in these circumstances, as well as 8-11 ITM with PTBs when the top choice.

Exacta Key Box 1/7,9,10 if 1 is the favorite.


Wednesday., Jan 10th, 2018

1st Oh Kandrita (3) moves up in class and that does not make much sense unless you are looking for a savior for the nickel. The filly made big EP before fading in 1st OC for the Hassig/Arriagada operation and they usually pop in 1st try. “Claimed From” KOC types do win, but Kathy also dumped 12% of her duds through the box. Could win but that seems unlikely, even for the most productive owner on the grounds (by starts).

Exacta Box 4,6 and Saver Trifectas 3/4,6/4,6

2nd $200 Weighted Daily Double All/6 for min 5-2 return

 3rd Renees Cat (6) made par total energy numbers in last two in some very tough company and appears ready for a big effort. Ward is 63% ITM with Plain Dropdown + RtS types. Feliciano is 1-55 with L1-3 + Stretchout types. Kaelin popped with 2S bomb, I think he is done. 

Saver Exacta 3/6 to cover

4th Exacta Box 3,10 and Trifectas 3,10/1,2,4,5,8,9/3,10

5th The Thomas piece went 105-98 in a par 86-85 but nothing out of that race has done anything subsequently, thus taking the air out of my balloon.

Exacta Key Box 6/1,3,4,5

6th Lightly raced Barefoot Cove (8) comes back fast in 2nd off the long layoff for Arboritanza, who is 4-5 ITM with FBKs with 3 winners. Last would be competitive versus these. The other conditioners have poor angles in play here. Simms 2-54 FBKs, Waz 4% win with 2Ls and 2Ss, Pimental 0-31 with Stretchouts, Ferraro 2-44 with Dropdowns, Thomas MR 3-62 with StRs.

Weighted Exacta Key Box Wheel 8/All

7th First Dudette (3) beat field of thirteen in 2nd start with above par Beyer. The runner up in that race won next time out. The 4th place finisher was 2nd next out. Mr. Bennett was 77% ITM with his UCEs in L3T and is 4-5 ITM with them this season. The restricted types have an IV of 1.34 in these Optional Claimers for 3YOs in L7T.

Weighted Exacta Key Box Wheel 3/All

8th Carrasco Jr. is 80% ITM when the favorite in this situation. Must anchor the play if the public betting choice.

Exacta Key Box 3/8,9,12

Saver Trifectas 3/1,2,5/8,9,12 to cover

9th  Daily Double Wheel All/3

10th  KOC is 11-19 Win with Non-layoff Shipper + Dropdown types.

Win 3


Wed., Jan 3rd 2018

Welcome to 2018 and Tampa Bay Downs, the little track that welcomes all. Whether you have a conviction for a crime of moral turpitude, have been denied a trainers  license in multiple states and/or tracks, have won with horses running under a false name or have acquired the nickname Needles, you should know that we always have a bunch of empties on the back side with your name on them. Can you Name That Trainer?

Feels like temp in the 30s this morning with precipitation, but only measuring in the 100ths of an inch appears to make for a Fast/Firm situation. All races handicapped for same only.

1st Sub-par bunch makes the culling difficult, but Arboritanza gave Wayne Potts string a race over the track before the latter made an appearance, missing with all 13 before Potts took over went 10-22 ITM and 3 wins. Padilla was savvy to the operation taking place and made a good claim after Buckwellspent (5) was dropped to a nickel after poor 1st try. Tim is nearly 50% ITM with all 1st 3 OCs while outperforming for win.

Exacta Key Box 5/1,3,4,7

Pick 3 – 3,5,7/3,4,5/1,3,4

2nd Ward is 12 for 13 ITM with Plain Dropdowns in L2T and 1st try was par. Arriagada/Hassig team is 7-26 Win and 13-26 ITM OC and they win 18% with Stretchouts.

Exacta Box 4,5

Trifectas 4,5/1,3/4,5

3rd Eighty eight year old Ray Stifano, a longtime protégé of Lynn Scace and an infamous character in the Sport of Kings is 9 (0-0-0) at the meeting after being 38-122 ITM at average odds of $12.50-1 in P2T. He was also 17-26 ITM with Butler aboard during the same period. Today, he has three FBKs running, an angle that he is 8-22 ITM with. Is he just helping out the Racing Secretary or is he going to try to put on a show for us today? I suspect the latter. Palace Barista (1) is almost always a threat in sprints and Ray is 9-19 ITM with Surface Changes. Leaving the Pelican Stakes winner off your ticket often makes you the odd man out in this game of musical chairs.

ATB 1 or Exacta Key Box 1/3,4 players choice

4th Trifecta Box 1,4,7,8

5th Hinsley is 0-23 with the StR + 2TT angle, but he has also had 7 ITM bombs in 19 tries going 6.5F on the Dirt to 8F on the Turf.

Exactas 4,6,9/7

Trifectas All/4,6,9/7

6th Mr. Bennett is now 14-18 ITM with 2L + Stretchout types at the meeting.

Exacta Key Box 3/1,5

7th Again we go with Stifano on the FBK (see R2). Ray is also 50% ITM with StRs. Butler jumps for his primary employer here.

Place & Show 2 or Exactas 3,4/2 players choice

Pick 4   3,4/All/7/2,4,9 and 3,4/All/2,3,9/4 (120 bets)

9th  One more time for Stifano on the FBK, but this time hes got a pilot who has notwon a race in 18 months and that is kinda Freakin Me Out (9). The latter, goes for RG Smith who is 22% Win and 48% ITM on the FBK and has had some luck with StRs (10% W, 24% ITM).

Exacta Key 7/2,3,9

10th Joes piece was above par in both tries and Arboritanza is 54% ITM with Plain Shortenups.

Exacta Key Box 4/2,9

Saver Trifectas 2,4,9/1,12/2,4,9


Wednesday, Dec. 27, 2017

It’s my birthday, and I’m all dressed up with nowhere to go..no action for me today…nada…zip…zippo.

1st Joe Arboritanza is now 8 of 9 ITM at $10-1 odds with all Non-PTB runners.

Exacta Box 3,5

DD 3,5/2

2nd Klopp is 38% Win with the Dropdown + Stretchout in P3T and we may get a little value after he absented himself in 2016-2017.

Win 2

3rd KOC has Miss Cay O’Sea (6). Now if I named a filly after myself, I’d be pretty embarrassed if I couldn’t get the her into a photo. Last was par. Gets one shot on the 2nd wrung of the ladder.

Win 6

4thMission Awareness (2) (who showed nothing in first two on dirt), advanced steadily thru the far turn and was going well before Allen tried to create a seam and was knocked about pretty well mid-stretch before rallying mildly late. Another chance while switching to Gallardo today.

Exacta Box 2/4,6 and Trifectas 2,4,6/3,8,10(11,12)/2,4,6

5th Rigattieri has his best luck in 1st try OC, and he is 21% Win with StR types and 21% Win on the Dropdown, but these shouldn’t be classified as strengths for the 45 year veteran. That said, the rest of this weak field of N3Ls invites only speculation.

Win 6

6th If I didn’t know better, I would say this SALW was written for Dini. Bramble Queen (3) made big final fractions (+16 and + 5) in only two tries on the grass and Mike is 69% ITM with his three characteristic MATP. Bocachica has been Dini’s go to for three season now and Mike outperforms to the tune of 50% when Orlando is in the irons.

Win 3

7th Alto Precio (7) dueled to an above par finish here as a 2YO and was coming off a race that looked a lot like today’s (See 17Feb17Tam7). Ferrer is back with hat trick last Friday. Big wakeup would not surprise.

Bennett has gone 17 races without a win (the old record was 14). Each one we pass on is really pushing the envelope, but Morales has been his regular boy and lack of action on Heaven’s Buzz (6) in last few suggests a problem.

Exacta Box 7,9 and Trifectas 9/All/7

Pick 4  –   7,9/1,2,3,5,10/1/All (100 bets) ($50)

8th The Firestones are nearly 50% ITM lifetime with a whopping AEPS of $8817. Clement wins 30% with his MATP here and Gallardo is aboard. Chris has an ROI of -$0.78 when the favorite in L10T so don’t get too excited about Big Agenda’s (2) chances.

Exacta Key Box 2/1,3,5,10

9th Bris SPD has Vienna Rose (5) 11 under par in last, apparently utilizing one variant for the day. As you may recall, your humble handicapper was at the track that day and things deteriorated demonstrably after the 4th. I had a split variant for the day -2,-1 for races 1-4 & -17, -12 for races 6-10. Therefore, by my fuzzy math, Vienna Rose went +8 above today’s par. Gets my action one more time at rock bottom over a FAST surface.

Exacta Key Box 5/1,2,9

Saver DD 5/All to cover if alive in the P4 after two legs.

10th  Hemingway has not bombed yet with 10 starts in the books. He’s bombed with 17% of all Turf starters at the last few meetings (but most of those involved DCs or Layoffs). A sub-par field and representation by at least four bomb makers, seduces me into clicking the ALL button.


Wednesday, Dec. 20th, 2017

Back to our bread and butter play today. Congrats to Mr. Pick Four on his first vertical of the meeting for $502 on his $24 Late Pick Four on Saturday.

Just a few notes:

As expected Stidham already has an ROI of +$1.00 from twelve starters.

Joe Arboritanza is now 7 of 8 ITM with any non-PTB runner.

With respect to Shippers:

39% (28 of 72) were won by the Philadelphia ground zero group

35% (25 of 72) were won by shippers from down south

17% (12 of 72) by the Kee, CD & Haw coalition

Leaving only 9% (8 of 72) by all others

1st Sullivan is listed as conditioner for longtime top Tampa owner Bruno Schickendanz, drops to this level for 1st time in 18 months, has the right running style, gets Camacho. The 3 made soft 87-93 in 98-98 last and Mr. Bennett wins 27% OC but not versus these. Ditto for the 5. Johns is masterful with his singles here and Revolt (4) has the winning Mr. Prospector and Northern Dancer bloodline combo.

Exacta Box 2,4

DD 2,4/2,6

2nd  Hinsley is less than 4% win on the Rightback so I can not support the 7 despite odds-on status in par win.

3rd Moonlit Meteor (4) has popped back to back on multiple occasions throughout career and Tsirigotis has been known to do the same. Mr. Bennett is 76% ITM for 10 years running with his MATP. Potts won 23% OC at Lrl and Del in L5T and he has been on fire since arriving. Runners claimed from Feliciano are 75% ITM but Jackson is only 4% Win in 1st 3 OC. Carrasco Jr. is now 3-53 with Shippers. Mr. B with the big stat (25-34 ITM) must key the action for me in very competitive field.

Exacta Key Box 5/1,2,3,4,6

6th The 1 went 66-81 in drawing off win, todays  par is 93-91. I note however that Stidham has favored Pedroza thus far, the team is 6-10 Win, 8-10 ITM. Loza Jr. is 11-14 ITM with S + UC types and Efren has had good success with babies and he finished up close with such a maiden on Saturday. Silent Citizen (2) made par final fraction is solid debut victory.

Win 2

Saver Exacta 5/2

7th Rarely do we get an opportunity to confidently bet against my dear friend and a helluva trainer, Dale Bennett, but today he has got a 1-28 angle going, the Non-rightback UC.

 $50 Exacta Box 1,9

Saver Trifectas 1,9/3,4,5,6,7/1,9 to cover

Pick Four 1,9/7/All/5,9,10 (60 bets)

8th I am watching this one but you chalky players may want to note that Vicky Oliver is 0-12 her at odds < 3-1, while winning 24% at odds between $3-1 and $7-1. This is Kevins best bet today. I hope it is $3.10-1 at post time.

Savor the Moment (7) Win for $3.10-1

10th Nothing was expected of Harvatt in Pollocks (5) first try and it went as anticipated but today is another story. Charlie is 11-21 ITM at $12-1 with the 2L1-3 + 2S + Shortenup move. When high hopes for the Tapit colt were dashed at NYRA, he won down the Jersey Shore when the smart money said he would. Has only had two FIRM tries since (and pin was not pulled in last).

Nations has historically substantially outperformed with Shippers versus 2S types, so 2-1 ML looks wrong. Last was above par and that could be enough to put a wrinkle in things. I have embarrassed myself supporting Giants Passion (1) on multiple occasions in the past. Basta ya! (enough already!) 

Conditional $25 Win, $50 Place & Show 5 for > $10-1

Saver Exactas 9,10/5

Saver Trifectas 4/5,9,10/5,9,10 to cover


Wednesday, Dec. 13th, 2017

On Wednesday, the weather remains cool but nothing like the past weekend which was utterly detestable.

1st Harty has been 22% win with babies and has all solid singles, a 53% ITM multiple angle, a shipper from a track with an IV of 1.38 and Gallardo.

Win 5

Saver Exacta 2/5

2nd Everybody has got an Achilles Heel in this one, but Monday Pirates (7) owner is 40% ITM lifetime with a solid AEPS of >$2900. Leading Tampa patriarch Northern Dancer is represented on both sides of Monday Pirates genealogy.

Win & Place 7

3rd Block is 24% Win here and Summer Castle (7) gets Gallardo after making several par final fractions in just a handful of tries.

Exacta Key Box 7/3,6,9

4th As it turns out, we have given the Hassig half of this conjugal union the credit for last seasons Arriagada results only to find that it was Arriagada who was doing the training to begin with and that Hassig was just the trainer of record. Oh the web they weave! American Luxury (3) broke next to last from PP10 in first try and was saved for another day as Mr. Bennetts even money, Taipans Advantage and the 2nd choice separated themselves from the field early and did not look back in a par effort. They switch to regular boy, Butler (32% W, 55% ITM L2T) and should be trying in 2nd at this level since last win. However, the gelding is his own worst enemy and will have to stay out of trouble to be there at the finish.

3 ATB for a price

5th Durr has bombed 4 times here with Weekend Appeal (6) recently and claimed her back after a few tries for Mr. Bennett, who did not have the magic bullet. Sharp work at the Williston Mile hints at condition. Was beaten by Marmalade, a winner of 7 and an up close finisher entered for $40K in previous and has competed with the 1 & 5 who have already hit the board at good odds.

Trifectas All/1,3,5/6 (21 bets)

7th Nice Not Nice (2) has the prevailing dominant profile for todays condition for all-around trainer extraordinaire William Bradley, who has already bombed in first start of the new meeting. Harvatt is 9-22 ITM with his multiple angle and Harty is 17-33 ITM with his.

Exacta Key Box 2/3,8

9th Hebgone (2) has a three characteristic MATP for 56% ITM and a double for 5-18 Win. In this regard, He B Gone!

Exacta Key Box 2/All


Wednesday, Dec. 6th, 2017

After four race days, only 15% on the dirt have been won by runners who were > 1 1/2 lengths back at the 2nd Call.

1st Heavily bet in debut types are now 10 for 105 here since 2010 and that makes Delacour firster an insane wager at 7-5. He only wins 25% with these. Sharp work means little as Delacour won only 15% with these here since 2010 too. Erin Wilkinson is a sophomore conditioner with 10 wins in only 64 starts in 16-17 and at generous prices. She tells me that Friends Talk (5) needed a short break after busy debut campaign. I suspect she will be freshened and be there at the finish with Camacho up.

5 Win & Place (one can hope for the chalky favorite to fail again)

2nd Harvatt does little with Layoffs and Shippers but El Grande Rojo (3) appears to be one that we must make an exception with. The 9YO is 14 (3-3-2) off the layoff lifetime (including good luck with Harvatt) and finished within a few lengths of Black Type regular Tiger Blood last winter, while beating Johnny U (who lost an open $25K claimer in next start by two noses), over the summer at Monmouth. Has big class advantage in this half assed race condition. Routinely makes bigger Beyers than these. Was 3-3 ITM with FDLC last season. Honest Fight (4) has demonstrated winning ways and Rigattieri has two 50% ITM angles here. The winner of Honest Fight’s last won Rightback and the show horse, Lake Creek, was 3rd in a SALW8 here at Tampa last week. Rigattieri bombs with Layoffs and Distance Changes.

Exacta Box 3,4 and Saver Trifectas 3,4/2,5/3,4

3rd Seductive (3) is just that. Won in 2nd try off layoff at this level after brief dip in the deeper end of the pool. Granitz is solid with Rightbacks and his go to, FDLC (4-10 W & 6-10 ITM last season) is up. Yanez’s piece looks wrong. Drop does not add up and Karen only wins 4% with Shippers (4-26 here). Ferrer may still not be 100% after serious injury at the end of the summer but he did hit the board in first back.

Exacta Key Box 3/1,5

4th Daily Doubles 7,8/2,3,6,7

5th Pick 3 – 2,3,6,7/3,8/6,7,9

6th Mr. Calabrese is 30% Win lifetime with a hefty $5500 AEPS. Here in Oldsmar, he has won only 8%. If his wife was 11 months pregnant, they would not be as overdue. Gallardo is up. Nations has had his long layoffs ready in the past and he has solid singles all around. Centeno won 7 of 10 for Keith last season. Rigattierri is 9-12 ITM with 1OCs here in L3T.

Exacta Box 3,8 and Saver Trifectas 3,8/4,6,7/3,8

8th Arboritanza has not missed the board with any of his own runners and he gets two chances in this race. They both have exhibited the ability to race forwardly and Joe is 22% Win (6-25) with Soby Junior’s (1) angle and he was 3-5 Win on the FBK, Wing Fighter’s angle. Raymond is 0-39 with L4-8s.

Exactas 1,4/6,8,9

9th Ordinary Love (3) has two turf wins and the other five of her ITM finishes were all “up close”. That’s 7 of 13 win or up close on the lawn. Forty-six year old “Chillie Willie” Martinez got his first ever win here in 1989 and 25,000 races later he is still at it, winning 10% on the grass here in L3T. I am in for long odds despite goose eggs in at least two categories for Creel.

Exacta Key Box 3/6,8,9

Trifectas All/6,8,9/3



1st – Vinson’s piece flashed speed in open company in the SLOP after long layoff and should be right there on the class drop.

Exacta Key Box 6/1,5

2nd – Pick 3 – 2,3,9/3,5,6,10/1

4th – Mr. Bennett improves his strike rate in 2nd off the long layoff, wins in 1st 3OC and is 11-15 ITM recently with 2L + Stretchout types. Taipan’s Advantage (1), an above par dueler (APD) gets the rail and may zip if today’s winning running style resembles anything like Opening Day. Price appears prohibitive.

Win 1

Saver Trifectas 10,11/1/5,7,10,11

5th – Girl Powder (4), a Joe Pierce 2PTB (8-14 ITM on the lawn in L5T), has been facing better company than most of these and made a par final fraction in last in October. Gets top 10 Turf rider FDLC in the irons. Hit the board for Ryan last season and has shown steady improvement as a 3YO. Wilson was 100% ITM (9-9) with his angle and the play becomes an exacta if Stasha Minasha (1) is the top betting choice at post time.

Win 4 or Exacta Box 1,4 if the 1 is the favorite

6th –  Aldana Gonzalez and her co-conspirator Scott Spieth are about as slippery as eels. You can’t have an average win price of $18.00 unless you are losing when you’re supposed to win and winning when you’re supposed to lose. That said, Bird Quest (5) looks just bad enough recently and good enough earlier in the year to have me thinking that Bird Quest (5) may just shit all over us, if we take our eyes off him for 71 seconds. Aldana is 7-15 ITM with the L1-3 + S + PTB angle.

$75 ATB 5 for > 6-1

Saver Exacta 10/5 to cover

7th – Harty is 22% Win with 2YOs here and wins 44% when the favorite in this situation. He has solid singles all around and gets Gallardo to take the mount.

Win 7 if the favorite

Saver Exacta 9/7

If not the favorite Exacta Key Box 7/2,9

Pick 3 – 7/2,4,6/2,5,7 if 7 is the favorite

9th – Slivka is a 25 year veteran with a high AEPS of $3253. Tearless (7) has a clean record and fits here best. Camacho is up. I wish more than 15% won gate to wire at 1 Mile. The 3 & 5 also fit well and have top pilots. Linda Rice’s piece appears to have gone off the rails, but Rigattieri is 5-7 ITM with 1PTBs. Game Girl (6) is a saver only for me. KOC was 79% ITM with all uncoupled entries and that makes this race unplayable for me.

Exacta Key Box 7/2,5

Saver Trifectas 2,5,7/6,8,9/2,5,7


Opening Day 2017

Welcome and good luck to all our subscribers, as well as our more frugal, FREE PLAY WEDNESDAY crowd.

Just a couple of clarifications. The races I’m playing personally will be bolded in the narrative and are the only wagers that will be counted toward our meeting results. I exercise great discretion in my play and may go to or three race days without making a wager. My action plays will have been given the same consideration as the ones I bet on, but they will have come up short somewhere, as I am a “weakest link” handicapper, meaning that all the stars must me aligned before I plunge. One chink in the armor is often all it takes for me to pass. I use a modified Martingale strategy, wagering 5% of the bankroll on any play and therefore more when we are up and vice versa, but almost always 5%. Many of my plays will be cancelled in real time via twitter (@tamselections) when the board does not reflect our vision for the race in question, so follow me.

Let’s move some mountains this season!

1st – Bowersock gets it done with PTBs and she is 70% ITM at generous odds with the Layoff + No Distance Change angle. Tdn shippers have an honest IV of 1.00. Arboritanza’s piece looks right but he is only 3-34 with 1PTBs in L3T and the average odds of those three was $12.70-1.

Gun Powder (5) ATB

2nd – Good Samurai (7) shipped to Indiana from ATM Class 1 rated Arapahoe and won in first try (a race for NW3 in twelve months, after winning 2 in five months with the layoff). DB must have like what he saw (literally) because he generally avoids these hinterland types. The 6YO faced much tougher in 1st OC while off awkwardly. Must get the nod, but I’m not sold. Note that at odds of 5-2 or less he won 45% in L5T. Bennett/Morales was 28% W and 50% ITM last season. Ward is nearly 50% ITM with 4 angles here but we think Alvarez needs a couple of mounts on our surface before we are ready to plunge.

Win 7

3rd – Tampa newcomer Michael Stidham will be 50% ITM at the meeting and gets it done in all situations. With and AEPS of $5472 lifetime, what he’s doing here is anybody’s guess. Must be that Florida sunshine! Lopez Jr. bombs with maidens and when changing distances. His pilot, Camacho bombed 34 times at >$20-1 odds here in L2T. Mr. Bennett’s IV with MSWs is 0.81 (but he excels with MCs).

Trifecta Box 1,2,3,5

4th – Carrasco Jr. won 20% here with RtSs recently and he gets Morales to ride. Takin It Easy (1) fits the profile for 6F nicely (< 1 beaten length at the 2nd Call). Golden Rail scenario would have added value but the threat of precipitation has passed. O’Connor’s regular boy, Jose Ferrer remains on the DL, but Gallardo fills in here. CD shippers have an IV of 1.4 here. Would upgrade if Fancy Pinstripes (2) was closer early more often. Forty-year old HVG continues to be a reliable journeyman, while struggling here in Oldsmar last season and winning only 5 on the grass here in L5T. Gets a new agent and will turn things around. Arboraitanza is up for a piece with this type.

Weighted Exacta Box 1,2,10 for 8-5 min.

5th – Trifecta Box 6,7,8,9

6th – Believe Indeed (9) trounced them in only lifetime start for $16K and Ryan is 33% win with the L1-3 + RB + UC move. Reunites with Centeno, who broke maiden on the weeds with the filly. Zaidie is well intended on the grass here (3 of 6 ITM in L5T) and gets Gallardo. Rigattieri is 64% ITM here with StR types and eight panels on the turf here is a sprint.

Exacta Box 8,9

Saver Trifectas 8,9/3,4,5/8,9

7th – Two Steps Before (10) looks wrong on the drop to rock bottom but the uncertainty makes the race unplayable. Indio Nativo (3) looks right.


8th- Bird Humor (1) moves through his conditions like he was riding an escalator, slow but sure. He hasn’t reached his level yet either. Nagle won 50% with this type (if you’re willing to consider this race a no class change, $25K purse in previous versus $19.5K today). Reid is also 67% ITM with Non-layoff Stretchouts. There are no other runners with Multiple Angles in play here. Pierce PTB is the fly in the ointment for me. Joe was 8-14 ITM here on the grass in L5T. Nations comes off solid turf numbers here last year and he is usually there on the Shortenup.

Win 1

Saver Trifecta 3,4,8/1/3,4,8

9th – Bangle (6) kept getting the money in spite of her poor performances with Wesley Ward, who leaves his problem child with Dini to sort it out. The daughter of Giant’s Causeway (16.5% Winners here) looks wrong on paper but right by the MATP stats. Dini has two here: 69% and 67% ITM. Sharp four panel work on Nov. 12th caught my eye. A chance for HVG to put himself in the spotlight. Caveat Emptor’s MATPs are least effective with unproven commodities like Bangle. Punt at your own risk.

ATB 6 for 10-1 or <

10th – Mismatch of grand proportion here. If Everything Lovely (4) is ready, repeat of last year’s performance (see Nov. 26th- Race 10) appears likely. Works say yes.

Win 4


Summer Festival 2017 – July 1st

1st – Yvon Belseour displayed his (don’t dismiss me just because I have a girl’s name) bravado yesterday with a big bomb ($46-1) in Race 6, but it lost its luster under the 1 to 5 shot of RG Smith, and Miss JC Gomez won like a champ aboard Nagle’s piece in Race 4, so I’m looking for the duo to attempt to capture the spotlight again today. Boileau’s PTB came thru for a piece at 13-1 in Race 2, so we know his domination of the Summer Festivals persists.

$200 Weighted DD’s – 2,5/6,7
Saver Exactas 6/2,5 to cover

2nd – Chavez is 8-11 ITM with L4-8 + S + Dropdown types and he wins 25% with any PTBs. Camacho (5 ITM yesterday) is up. Bradley’s signature move, the Layoff + Dropdown + FTT is showcased here, despite the attempt at cover under David Wallace.

Win 6 and Saver Exacta 7/6

3rd – I was all over Smith’s FTS here, but that was before Schmid (with connections to Freakin Me Out’s (5) owner, took a spill yesterday. Only switch to a leader will re-ignite the flame for me.

Exacta Box 1,7,8 or Trifecta Box 1,5,7,8 with switch to leader on the 5

4th – KOC’s piece was par in last at Tampa, but how many chances does a runner get before it starts to make us look foolish. Magic Mack (8) gets another chance after tip-toeing through the SLOP as the beaten favorite in last. It’s only his 2nd try near the bottom. Camacho is up again.

Win 8 and Saver Exacta 7/8

5th – Nagle can get away with the drop in class here and still be just about even if No Opponent (3) is claimed for $10K today, but it just doesn’t jibe with his general comportment and he is only 1-15 with Rightbacks.

Exacta Box 2,7 and Saver Trifectas 2,7/3,4,5/2,7

Pick 4 – 2,7/2/4,8/All (32 bets)

6th – Running on Guinnes (2) both surprised and underperformed at the regular meeting and gets another chance today for Russell and Endsley Oaks, who romped with Betting on Red with Mike Allen up yesterday. Rendon more than doubles his ordinary strike rate with FBKs, but is woefully wanting for luck with Shippers.

Saver Trifectas 4,7,8/2/4,7,8 if alive in the P4 after Leg 1 to cover

7th – Manning is 11-19 Win with his angle and will be hammered at the windows again today.

Exacta Box 4,8

8th – See Pick 4


Summer Festival 2017 – June 30th Selections

Top five rider at the last TP meeting and accomplished journeyman Abel Lezcano is having (arguably) the best year of his 10-year career in 2017 and leaves the northeast for the weekend in hopes of taking home that $5000 Jockey Challenge prize. He’s got the best AEPS in the bunch and I suspect that he and Camacho and perhaps Santos will not disappoint (on their live ones).

1st – Nagle has solid ITM angles here but what caught my eye was Secret Recipe’s (1) above par effort while soundly beaten in last at Tampa, followed by heavy action in next (over a Good Turf surface at GP). Camacho owes us after we missed $100K payoff in the Rainbow Pick Six recently, missing only one race and you guessed it, it was a Camacho bomb. Stewart is 15 of 18 ITM at the Summer Festivals, and is 9-12 ITM with Su Su’s Kitten’s (5) angle, but the filly has been sub-par regularly. Hard to put on top. Well-bred David Fisher firster looks wrong at rock bottom in debut.

Exacta Key Box 1/2,5

2nd – This race has all the elements of a good mystery novel. There’s the Boileau (50% ITM at the Summer Festivals) by way of Aaron Taylor (a guy that put over three big bombs here in 13-14) angle, the David Fawkes by way of ancient Tampa veteran Harold Schultz with a dud of a Firestone claim (a rare occurrence), Rendon is 5-8 with FBKs but none of those were shippers (a 3% Win angle for Alex), then you’ve got the Durr via Arriagada via Hassig runner AE United Song (11). Allison is 50% ITM with Shortenups and is certainly a threat if in. And Wetherington bombed with two FTTs at the last meeting, but would have to do it without her “go to” Camacho up today.

Adios Ashley (2) has been close to par several times and has local boy Ademar Santos up. Toss 9F start in March. Front runners have not won one of those for years. Apparently surprised at $26-1 in last while only weakening late.

Exacta Key Box 2/1,4,8 (9,11,12)

3rd – Pick 3 – All/2,3/3,5 (32 bets)

4th – Ward didn’t go to Camacho during the regular meeting but he isn’t blind. My 2015-2016 Jockey of the Year continued to surprise often in 16-17 with 44 bombs averaging $19-1 odds. Ward has all very solid ITM angles here including 29% Win with Shippers. Keys the play, along with Nagle’s piece, a front runner who appears to be responding to some “girl power”.

Exacta Box 2,3
$150 Weighted DD’s 2,3/3,5
$25 Pick 3 – 2,3/3,5/8 ($100)

5th – Russell was 5 of 7 ITM with anything that wasn’t a 1st 3 M at the regular meeting and has a long history of solid ITM numbers with L1-3’s (62% ITM) and Stretchouts (48% ITM). Nicely bred 3YO gets veteran Mike Allen in the irons today. Stewart (see race 1) owns the Summer Festival with 33% wins over the years and he’s usually right there with the 2 & 3 YOs. Chad is 19-34 ITM with L4-8 + Shortenup types.

Exacta Box 3,5
$1 Pick 4 – 3,5/8/2,3,8/1-7,10 ($48)

6th – Smoke N the Bottle (8) goes for RG Smith, who had two wins on July 1st last year, both with recent starts at either GP or TAM. A sub-par effort may be good enough to beat these.

Saver Exactas 2,3,4,5/8 if alive in the Pick 3 and Pick 4 to cover

7th – Quite a dilemma here. Everything about Wetherington’s piece looks right for a check at long odds, but her chief bomb pilot conspicuously sticks with Raymond’s Fierce Tide (3) after above par efforts in last two at Tampa. She has pulled it off with others up and was par for total energy on May 5th in SALW 8 company while clearly out gunned. Margaret is 4-5 ITM with L1-3 + StR types and 5-19 ITM with L1-3 + 1PTB types (all bombs). Looks live from my perspective.

Weighted $150 Exacta Key Box 2,3,8
Saver Tri 2,3,8/1,4,5,7/2,3,8 to cover (24 bets)

8th – See late Pick 4


1st – Pick 3 – 3,4,6/2,3,7/2,6,8

3rd – Bull E Winkle (8) has so much late kick that the StR + FTT move is the logical thing to try. The Bull went 85-95, 90-97 and 86-98 in last three with a %E of 50.68% (just slightly above the ideal of 49.80%). DB is 40% win with FBKs, and 14% with StRs, but doesn’t have much luck with FTTs (4-51), however, he is 2 for 3 ITM at the current meeting, both at long odds, a rarity for the younger’s camp.
Pick 3 – 2,6,8/2,5,7,9/1

4th – Call Me Justified (2) was par in last two and upgrades from winless (on the turf) HVG to Centeno here, but Wetherington is only 3-42 win with Non-layoff + Turf types with 9 ITM.

5th – Ness had the high weight in last NYOCP race (with Helm) and was soundly beaten. Today his piece carries even more. Carolina Speed (3) does come out of a competitive race and Ness wins 43% with RB + FBK types and is 77% ITM with Dropdown + StR types.
Twocubanbrothersu (1) is a leading horse for the past two seasons, with 10-14 ITM and 6 Wins. The gelding got away at 3-1 with big UIC move in last and is suited well to today’s distance. He’s #10 on Rigattieri’s top horses list of all time (and that covers a career spanning five decades).
Tempietto (7) is the well intended of Ward’s UCE. Dennis is solid for Win with Plain UC types and Stretchouts while only 3-58 with the Cat Bird’s angle, the Non-shipping 2L1-3. Ward has won with Ferrer in 9 of 16 in March and April.
I’m pumping up the wager in honor of my visit to the track today.
$200 Weighted DD Wheel 1/All cover only with the favorite in the DD
Saver Trifectas 3,7/1/3,7 to cover
$0.50 Pick 4 – 1/6/4,7,8,9/All (40 bets) ($20)
$0.50 Pick 4 – 1/All/4,7,8,9/8 (36 bets) ($18)

7th – Cool Seas (6) is clean. The filly was par in both tries here and Galvan wins 18% with Non-shipping L1-3’s. Centeno is up. Pimental is 8-161 with Plain Starts on the dirt (6%)

9th – DB outperforms with all three singles here but the usual suspects hit the entry box hoping to drop a bomb on Bennett’s plan.



Wed., April 19th

1st – Pick 3 – All/5/1,2,7

4th – Gone to Dixie (2) has bombed (virtually) three times in last 10, Hemingway is > 50% ITM with these singles and is 2 for 3 ITM with 2L + Shortenups this season. He likes to bomb with TtoD + DC types and has bombed with Wales up in 1 of 2 tries this year.

$33 ATB 2

7th – It’s hard not to like Diamond Rush (1). Reid Nagle outperforms in the final weeks of the meeting and is 6-7 ITM with Plain Shortenups at the meeting with three wins. He’s also 26% Win with 1st 3 OC types. The colt was par in last two.

Win 1

8th – Rodriguez is 10-13 ITM with Plain Dropdowns and 26 of 39 ITM with Stretchouts in L6T. Must get top billing for win or place. Edwin Gonzalez is conspicuously missing today and Ness is 1-17 with others up at the meeting. HVG has won only 4 on the grass here in L4T. I think not Goliath (7).

$100 Weighted Exacta Key Box 5/1,3



“Once a star, always a threat.” – HBO’s Entourage (of Vincent Chase after “Medellin” crashed and burned.)

1st – Exacta Box 1,3,4

2nd – Nano’s Crown (3) made the only + Quirin of the day (a +9) while racing wide and over an inside speed favoring bias. It’s a 3 level class jump today but she’s up for a piece.

Exacta Key Box 3/2,4,5

4th – Thunderinwillie (3) has big ITM angles for KOC 41-77 with Plain Dropdowns and 137-271 with Shortenups. The gelding bombed at 19-1 last spring for $16K. Gotta be trying versus this bunch. Her other piece is 9-81 with today’s angle.

$50 W & P 3 for 3-1 or >

6th – Carrasco Jr is 21-23 ITM when the favorite and anything can happen at Tampa. Sass Master (1) went fast early (+9) before weakening in last and is on the Shortenup. Either way, Victor is often up for a piece with this type.


7th – Sienkewicz is 50% ITM with this type in 40 attempts and tries the angle for the first time at the meeting today.

Exacta Box 2,9,10

Pick 3 – 2,9,10/2,4,7,8,9/7

9th – DB is 4-48 with 1st 3 on the turf types and has had only 1 FTS on the lawn in L5T. Toss them both.



Wed., April 5th

1st – Big wakeup for High Grade (6) surprised but the cat is out of the bag now. Ferraro pops now and then but for 3-89 lifetime Breeder/Owner Dan Paulk? Seems like no. Spieth/Gonzalez show is always a grab bag but the 5YO must have been trying at $8.60-1 and didn’t show much (79-82 in a 86-87).

DD 6/1,4

2nd – Scott is 4-47 with Non-shipping L1-3s and that’s hard to take at 2-1.

Weighted DDs 1,4/1,4

3rd – Tiger D is getting the idea on the loam and Rhone is 24% Win with No Change types. Think He’s Gone (4) has big angle for Parra 25% Win, 58% ITM. Contended in very fast EP last before tiring at 8.5F. Has had good success going a bit shorter.

Weighted Exacta Box 1,4

5th – DDs 1,2,6,8/4

6th – Sequiota (2) impressed versus field of N2Ls on Jan 21st but has been sub-par since being pitted against better. The King of the Caribbean Circuit Stakes Winner’s Ramon Morales (>20% win Lifetime) ships NYRA alumnus Debbie’s Tude (4) after solid performances off the claim. Return to this level makes sense. Lightly raced Silver Magnolia (7) has not hit the ceiling yet but hasn’t performed at a higher level either.

Win 4

Pick 4 – 4/4,8/All/2 (20 bets)

7th – Inaswagger (8) was elected to keep the pressure on speedy (+6) EP maker Sandro, then had to battle it out late with the winner but still made a +4 final. Will not be straddled with this responsibility today. The 5YO rarely disappoints when entered at the right level. Minecraft (3) has been making big numbers. Rini passed up an OC10 at 6.5F 12 days after last win for today’s 7F event a month later. I’m not liking it.

Exacta Box 4,8 and Saver Trifectas 4,8/5,6,7/4,8



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

4th – Exacta Key Box 1/6,7 and Pick 3 – 1,6,7/All/2,6

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.



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.

Trifectas All/1/3,4

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



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)



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



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



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



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





Nov. 24th 2018 – Best Pre-Season Workouts
December 10, 2009 – 8:48 pm | Comments Off

Click on the “Nov. 2015 Best Pre-Season Workouts” link above.

2018-2019 Quirin Style Pars for the Dirt and the Turf
November 20, 2009 – 9:41 am | Comments Off

Click on the “2015-2016 Quirin Style Pars for the Dirt and the Turf” link above.

Nov. 2018 Trainers Around the Circuit
November 16, 2009 – 7:45 am | Comments Off

Click on the “2015 Trainers Around the Circuit” link above to see how our Tampa Bay Downs trainers have been doing during the off-season.

Nov. 2018 Jockeys Around the Circuit
November 12, 2009 – 8:27 am | Comments Off

Click on the ” 2015 Jockeys Around the Circuit” link above to see how our Tampa Bay Downs jockeys have been doing during the off-season.

2018-2019 – 125+ Multiple Angle Trainer Profiles
November 4, 2009 – 3:45 pm | Comments Off

Click on the “2015-2016 Top 112 Multiple Angle Trainer Profiles” link above.

2018-2019 Par Times for the Dirt and the Turf
November 4, 2009 – 3:31 pm | Comments Off

Click on the “2015-2016 Par Times for the Dirt and the Turf” above.

2018-2019 Bomb Maker Angle Reports
November 4, 2009 – 3:04 pm | Comments Off

Click on the “2015-2016 Bomb Maker Angle Reports” link above.

2018-2019 Non-Leader Claiming Trainers ROI Report
November 4, 2009 – 2:45 pm | Comments Off

Click on the “2015-2016 Non-Leader Claiming Trainers ROI Report” link above. Claiming stats for the top 112 leading trainers are now found in their respective Trainer Profiles”.

2018-2019 Jockeys ROI Report
November 4, 2009 – 2:38 pm | Comments Off

Click on the “2015-2016 Jockeys ROI Report” link above.

2017-2018 Tampa Bay Jockey of the Year
October 24, 2009 – 11:42 am | No Comment

Click on the link above for my 2016-2017 Tampa Bay Jockey of the Year

2017-2018 Tampa Bay Trainer of the Year
October 24, 2009 – 11:36 am | No Comment

Click on the link above for my 2016-2017 Tampa Bay Trainer of the Year

Quinella Fair Value Table
October 23, 2009 – 7:03 am | Comments Off

Click on the “Quinella Fair Value Table” link above.

Exacta Fair Value Table
October 23, 2009 – 6:58 am | Comments Off

Click on the “Exacta Fair Value Table” link above.

Daily Double Fair Value Table
October 23, 2009 – 6:51 am | Comments Off

Click on the “Daily Double Fair Value Table” link above.

Exotic Wager Calculator
October 23, 2009 – 6:38 am | Comments Off

Click on the “Exotic Wager Calculator” link above.

2018-2019 Brohamer Style Track Profile
October 21, 2009 – 11:03 am | Comments Off

Click on the “2015-2016 Brohamer Style Track Profile” link above.

2018-2019 Final Fraction Par Times for the Turf
October 21, 2009 – 10:50 am | Comments Off

Click on the “2015-2016 Final Fraction Par Times for the Turf” link above.

Nov. 2018 – Bullet Workout Par Times for Selected Training Centers
October 21, 2009 – 10:33 am | Comments Off

Click on the “Nov. 2015 Bullet Workout Par Times” link above.

Nov. 2018 – Comparative Track Equalization, Purse Values, Stretch Run Lengths and ATM Track Class Ratings
October 21, 2009 – 10:15 am | Comments Off

Click on the “Nov. 2015 Comparative Track Equalization,Purse Values and ATM Class Ratings For North American Tracks” link above.

Pre-Race Body Language Primer
October 21, 2009 – 8:09 am | Comments Off

Click on the “Pre-Race Body Language Primer” link above.

Tampa Bay Downs Handicapper Ticker News
October 16, 2009 – 8:16 pm | No Comment

For  the 2018-2019 meeting, we are upping the criteria for playable races to 40% above the trainers’ ordinary strike rate for all Multiple Angle stats (up from 30%). Continuously shrinking returns have made our historical …

Trip Notes
October 12, 2009 – 6:54 pm | Comments Off

Trip Notes with my personal observations can be found here. They will be updated regularly throughout the season. (Click on “Trip Notes” above.)

Bias Report
October 12, 2009 – 6:54 pm | Comments Off

The Bias Report appears here and will be updated regularly throughout the season. (Click on “Bias Report” above.)

Meeting Results (After day 7 of 91)
October 9, 2009 – 8:31 am | Comments Off

Click on link above to read more.

2018-2019 – Other Observations, Reports and Analyses
October 6, 2009 – 7:08 pm | Comments Off

From time to time, I will post a specific observation, report or analysis here. Click on the link above to access this document.

Links to Other Current Tampa Bay Downs Racing Info
October 6, 2009 – 7:07 pm | Comments Off

Click on “Links to Other Current Tampa Bay Racing Info” above for hyperlinks to these pages.