Written by Daniel Benjamin
By Daniel Benjamin
Race 4 - Allowance optional claiming (Purse -$20,000)
This seven filly field will go seven furlongs on the dirt. #3 Hopeful Growth will look to make a splash in her Tampa Bay Downs debut. The brown Kentucky bred three-year-old, with jockey Antonio Gallardo on board, looks to open her career 3-for-3 in terms of finishing in the money as she finished second at Gulfstream on March 21, the performance followed a victory in her first-ever race. Expect Gallardo, who has won 31% of races with the females on the dirt while also finishing in the top three in 54% of those meets this year, to have Hopeful Growth among the leaders out of the gate. #1Good Credence is a prime candidate to improve after a poor showing -- where the chestnut filly finished fifth -- in her last race as she was unable to overcome hitting the gate and then getting bumped by a rival in the early going. Prior to the last outing, Good Credence -- making her first appearance at TB Downs-- finished in the money in three straight races and the New York-bred horse has finished in the top two (twice) in his four previous initial races at a track.#5 Chick’s Shadow has been off since March 29 where she finished fifth despite producing a career-best ESpeed of 82. Chick’s Shadow had shown a lot of potential in her previous three outings and is just one of two racers in the field, along with Judy’s Way, that has experience at seven furlongs. #6Gogo Shoes is worth a look as the Kentucky filly is back in Tampa where she won a Maiden Special Weight clash on March 7.
Picks: I like an exacta box bet of the #3, #1,#5.
Race 5- Allowance (Purse - $20,000)
This strong 10 filly and mare field is slated to go one mile on the turf. #5Stormy D has been exceptionally consistent since moving to Tampa Bay five starts ago, posting ESpeed figures in the 80s in all five events while finishing in the money each time as well, although she has not raced since placing third in a Starter Handicap meet on March 29. Moreover, Stormy D has won 60% (3 of 5) of his races at one mile and all three of her career victories have been on the carpet. Plus, trainer John Rigatterri has been fairly successful at guiding the ladies on turf over the last four years. #2Haniel has been fairly consistent in her performances over the last seven outings as well -- all at Tampa Bay Downs -- and is coming off her best performance since last September as she closed nicely to finish just behind Stormy D. Prior to the last race, Haniel had run off two straight wins and a second-place finish in her last three events. The six-year-old mare is pretty good on the artificial turf obtaining three victories and having finished in the money in 61.5% of her starts. Itsherluckyday will look to change the narrative on what has been an inconsistent start to her career, having alternated good and poor finishes in each of her first eight races after finishing second in the last outing. And if the four-year-old Florida filly is able to remain with the leaders going into the halfway point of the race, she very well may be able to “get up” and claim a piece of the pie sort to speak as Itsherluckyday has shown to be a very good closer. I also like the #11Saphire Jubilee, an also eligible, if she runs.
Picks: I will place a bet on the #5 to win. I also like an exacta #5, #2.