Racing at Tampa Bay Downs resumes on Wednesday with a strong nine-race program. Our in-house handicapper has graciously made picks for the whole card and provided additional analysis of his strongest opinions throughout the day.
If you're looking for picks elsewhere around the country on Wednesday, be sure to check out our Free Horse Racing Picks via the gold button below.
Most Likely Winner: Pugilist (Race 7) - This mare has racked up an exorbitant amount of second and third-place finishes over the past year, but I think this is finally the day that she’s going to break through this condition. She responded very well to turning back in distance to five furlongs in her last start, when she had a rough go of things at this level and still nearly won. She’s facing an extraordinarily weak field for an allowance race, and a repeat of her latest effort is going to make her virtually unstoppable.
Best Value: Hide the Demon (Race 8) - Aside from my top pick and the slower Astronaut Oscar, there are no trustworthy options in the day’s feature. Hide the Demon has his name written all over this race as he exits a much tougher event at this level in which he did not get an ideal trip as he tried to rally from off a tepid pace. This guy has historically been at his best at Tampa Bay Downs and he should move forward off that race, though all he needs to do is run back to it to be a major player.
Other Races of Interest: Race 2 - The morning line suggests that Dohko (#1) is going to be a relatively heavy favorite in Race 2, which makes little sense given the fact he has a penchant for runner-up finishes and was just beaten on the square by Got Fashion (#6), who is my top pick. Despite outrunning Dohko last out, Got Fashion is going to be three or four times the price of that one, and with his ample early speed I expect him to run another good race here. He’s going to be a bigger price simply because of who trains him, and those are always situations I’m looking to capitalize on.
Race 5 - Delaware Destroyer (#2) is indeed the horse to beat in this race, but I’m not crazy about him at a short price. He did run well behind a next-out stakes winner in his last start, but that performance more or less came out of nowhere as his prior turf races at the meet were much slower. I prefer Heat of the Night (#5), who was outrun in the Columbia but has some back class and could rebound with the addition of Lasix. Heat of the Night ran pretty well last year in the G1 Summer at Woodbine, and it’s possible his non-effort in the Columbia was due to bleeding as his connections waste no time treating him with Lasix. If he does get back to his good races he’s going to be very dangerous here.
*If you're interested in seeing payouts for these races, you can find them on our Results page linked to below*