Thursday's card at Tampa Bay Downs includes a robust slate of 9 races that offer some excellent betting opportunities. New track announcer Jason Beem makes his debut this week after taking over for longtime fixture Richard Grunder, who retired back in May. The Beemies are coming to town! As usual, our turf-man has you covered, including a "spotlight" of the "feature" of the day. Check it out!
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Trainer Georgina Baxter is trying to send this filly out of Street Boss to the winner’s circle once again. She won a MC event last out, and that makes her a good candidate for a win in this spot. She has a bit of cash to her name, so let’s see if she can move up the Claiming ladder. It should be a good bet on a card that really lacks much luster. Track announcer Jason Beem will provide color commentary that is fluid and thought-provoking.
Wagering Recommendation: $100 Win, #5
Off-the-Pace Play of the Day: (Race 5: La Wapa #4, 6/1):
It was not that long ago that Carlos Munoz’s filly was finishing in-the-money @TAM. She can do it again after a few performances that left much to be desired. Jockey Wilmer Garcia is a rider with some experience under his belt, and I am hoping this one out of Rattlesnake Bridge can jump up and strike a win. It would be only the 2nd of her career, so she is going to have to work hard to earn it. It will not be easy, but nothing ever is in horse racing.
Spotlight Race of the Day: (Race 9: Turf, 5F, MSW26k, 3+):
When you encounter a race like this one, with so many first-time starters, it is very difficult to discern who can do what. In this situation I want a trainer-jockey combo that is sound, and for the runner to have some bloodlines that speak to these kinds of attempts. Looking down the list, it is really a crap shoot, and from a handicapping perspective that is a major issue. To my eye, I would “key” a horse like the well-oiled Swill Merchant #3. This is a colt out of Midshipman, who should be able to take to the grass and sprint. He gets an experienced sodbuster in Keiber Coa for trainer Robert Smith. I like his chances, and will pair him with Brian Lusk’s Slambone #7 and hopefully Chad Stewart’s Cape Hedge #10, if he gets in. That should complete the line, and give us a shot to score. This is going to be a tough nut to crack, and I am not sure how it is going to turn out. Instincts sometimes can serve very well …