Written by Daniel Benjamin
Race -2 $100,000 Allowance Optional Claiming (Purse- $21,000)
This six-furlong race consists of six horses, three of which are making its 2020. #4Goddess Lyssa has won all three of her career starts going away as the prohibitive favorite in each race. The three-year-old filly has not trailed at any point during those previous three contests. Look for jockey Daniel Centeno to get Goodess Lyssa out of the gate quickly and out of the front and if he is able to do that, she could be gold. #3 Liberate is one of the horses that have yet to run in 2020. Liberate showed great form, prior to this long break, having won four races (80%) -- three of which were stakes contests-- and registering an 80 ESpeed in each of those four outings. Despite getting off to a rough start in his last outing, #6 He’s Smoking Now picked up a win in a $20,000 claiming event (Feb. 16) as he took command of the race mid-way through and created separation entering the stretch under firm encouragement. Ronald Allen gets the ride on the three-year-old colt, who has won two of four previous outings at TB Downs.
Picks: I the #4 to win if the price is 2-to-1 or better. I also like the #4, #3 exacta.
Race -6 $32,000Allowance Optional Claiming (Purse -$21,000)
This contest will see eight solid horses go one mile and forty yards on the main track. #5 Town Classic had a three-race streak of finishing in the money snapped in his last meet as the seven-year-old didn’t have the late bid that was needed after making up ground in the upper stretch. Centeno gets the ride on the Ontario bred horse who has come in first or second in four of his career events at Tampa Bay and owns a career WPS% of 68. Town Center is the most experienced of the racers and performs well on the natural surface. #3 Rol Again Question is coming off an extremely disappointing showing in his last outing as the seven-year-old Maryland bred gelding gave way after racing three deep through the backstretch to finish sixth and was 17¾ lengths off the pace. Rol Again Question has the most wins in the meet overall (11) and has finished in the top three in 68% of all his starts on dirt. It would likely be in jockey’s TB Meija’s best interest to get Rol Again Question out front early as he is one of the few horses in the field that has shown the propensity of any early speed. #6 General Paddy and #7 I'm a G Six are two of the most experienced runners at this distance, having participated in six and four events, respectively. General Paddy, who has finished in the money in four straight outings, has three victories at this distance while I’m a G Six, who has posted three firsts and one third over the last four events, has won twice.
Picks: I like the #5 to win and also either a small bet on the #6 or #7 to show. Additionally, I am going with a #5, #6, #7. #3 trifecta box.
Race -9 Maiden Special Weight (Purse- $20,000)
Nine horses looking for their first career win career victory will have their endurance tested in this one as the race is set to go one and one-eighth miles on turf. This could be the race where #4Felix the Fox finally breaks its maiden label as the four-year-old colt has been impressively consistent, having registered at least an ESpeed of 80 or better in 10 straight races. Felix the Fox ran well in his last outing, posting an ESpeed of 93, despite finishing eighth as he lost a few spots down the stretch after gaining a couple of positions on the far turn in the $50,000 maiden special weight event at Gulfstream on March 27. Huber Villa-Gomez gets the ride for the Kentucky bred horse’s initial run at TB Downs, Felix the Fox has finished in the money in four of his previous six first time trials at tracks. #7Idle Time is a prime candidate to improve after a long break following a strong performance in his debut (March 25) where he moved up three positions to come in second as a result of a great closing effort. Despite that initial strong showing, trainer Christopher Clement has decided to make a change in the saddle to Antonio Gallardo, who has won 23% of his starts and finished in the top three in 51% of the time this year. Gallardo and Clement have won 67% of their races that the pair have worked together. #9 Reliability could be a good price and worth a look to be in the mix in exotic bets after registering an outstanding ESpeed of 91 despite struggled out of the gate in his late outing. #1 Beachwalker is also a horse that could improve after being disqualified in his last race for interference.
Picks: I will go with a #4, #7 exacta box. I like a small show bet on #9.