Written by Daniel Benjamin
Race 1 - Claiming (Purse - $10,000)
This $8,000 claiming race will see six horses go one and one-sixteenth miles. This race is a real crapshoot as the horses are quite similar in class and past performance. #3 Relishment is making his eighth start in 2020 and 13th since last June 19. While the 4-year-old gelding hasn’t seen much in results, he has been perhaps the most consistent of the horses in the field as Relishment has registered an ESpeed of at least 64 in each of his past five outings which has resulted in four fourth place as well as one-second place finishes. Jockey Daniel Centeno has recorded at least 20% winning percentage and finished in the top 3 in at least 50% of his starts in each of the past five years. #6 Halel is perhaps the most likely of the competitors with the ability to control the pace, in addition to the speedy Relishment. The six-year-old horse, who has also been raced quite a bit this year, is the only one in the field to garner a victory at this distance. Additionally, Halel has been pretty consistent over the last three starts which includes the previous two outings at the $10,000 claiming level. #5 Silent Mischief and #4 Ms. Amethyst should also be in the mix for ‘a piece of the pie’. Silent Mischief has finished in the money in two of the last three races which include a win at the maiden claiming level and a third-place finish his last time out at this level. Ms. Amethyst is taking a cut after being offered for $25,000 and $16,000, the last time out, in the previous three starts.
Picks: I like a show bet on #3. I also like an exacta box of #3, #6, #5.
Race 2- Claiming ($14,000)
This six-and-one half-furlong $25,000 claimer will consist of six ultra-competitive three and four-year-old male runners.#5 First Degree, who will have multiple graded stakes-winning jockey, Pablo Morales on board, drops down in class after finishing a disappointing seventh in a $32,000 starter optional claimer on May 13 as he came up empty nearing the lane. First Degree has been pretty consistent over the last four races and broke his maiden in his first-ever start at Tampa Bay two races ago. The Kentucky gelding, making his second start in Juan Arriagada’s barn, has also thrived at this distance and on the gravel over his career. #1 Large is stepping up a little in class following a surprising second-place finish at the $20,000 claiming level. Jockey Julio Mera gets his third straight start on Florida gelding who is looking to finish in the money for the fifth time in six outings. Large joins First Degree as the only competitors to record a victory at this distance. Expect #2 Good On Ya and #3 Stuck Up to also be major players. Good On Ya closed strongly to finish third, just behind Large, in a six-furlong race the last time out which came following a seven month layoff. Stuck Up has shown the earliest pace speed, just slightly more than #4 Papa Ralph J, and is taking a drop-in class.
Picks: I like the #5 to win. I also like a show bet on #2. Additionally, I like an exacta box of #5, #1, #2.
Race 4- Allowance Optional Claiming (Purse - $20,000)
This $75,000 six-furlong optional claimer appears to be a two-filly race between #5 Bucky’s Drama and #6 Bridge Dancer. But I’m going with Bridge Dance here as she has finished in the top 3 in seven of nine events, including two victories, on the dirt. However, the multiple stakes winner wasn’t able to get anything going the last time out against similar competition on May 6. Jockey Scott Spieth, who owns a career winning percentage of 16% as well as a WPS percentage of 44%, is charged with getting Bridge Dancer -- who has also medaled in 60% of her races at Tampa Bay -- right. Bucky’s Drama is coming off a phenomenal four-and-one-half length victory at this level at five furlongs (April 26). Daniel Centeno gets the ride on the Florida horse, who has finished either first or second in four straight races and has two wins in three career dirt events. I believe that #5 Chick’s Shallow will be the third-best in this six-horse field -- she has finished ahead of Bridge Dancer in both of their battles --.Chick’s Shallow, who has fared better on turf over her career, has finished in the top 3 in 50% of her races at Tampa and 33% on the main track.
Picks: I like an exacta/trifecta box bet of #5,#6, #2.