The Way I Drew It Up – Tampa 12/23/2020

Special thanks to DRF and TimeForm US for fixing the bug in DRF Formulator PP’s so quickly. Without their quick customer service, this column wouldn’t be possible! 

Race 5: Mdn $16k 8f (T) 

Wide open event where the Motion horse dropping in class, first time Lasix, and strong work three back should take money.

Best Value: #9 Sweet Giant (5-1 & 0.5 unit bet) Don’t typically like taking 0 for 15’ers in the maiden claiming ranks but the previous trip was awful. The jockey for some reason decided the pocket rail trip was not where he wanted to be. In middle of the first turn, tips off the rail and makes a move to join the front running pack (looked like a move turning for home). Travelling 3w gets caught in a pace duel and was against the flow (eventual winner had a dream stalking trip coming from well back and saving ground). The summer Gulfstream races over the turf produced strong Beyers and should be enough to best this bunch. Value line is 9/2.

Race 6: Clm $5k n2Y 6f

Interesting bunch with a few shippers and some rematches. Pace looks to be honest and not likely for a pace melt down.

  • Most Logical: #6 Elusive Ro (7/2 & bet 1.0 unit at 3-1) Strong recent work right after the claim has me scratching my head. If I just bought a horse and now dropping the price tag by 30%, what’s the intent? Make money. So there’s two scenarios I envision: trying to sell the horse quickly by “dressing up” the work tab or that this horse is fast after rejoining the hands of the previous owner/trainer combo that had this one back in May. My guess is the latter as this horse is a known entity for this trainer. Last out was way too short and overmatched, two back made a big move, three back is the trip we envision today.
    • Trip note 10/13/20: broke slowly, made big move into far turn going wide to draw alongside foes (7p is being generous, more like 5p), flattened, jockey gave up on horse a bit but horse kept picking off foes late down the lane. 
  • Best Value: #3 Quick Entry (10-1 & will be using as a backup in horizontals) The three sharp workouts have my attention for the owner/trainer combo. We can excuse the Presque Isle Downs races going to long last out and the time before got into a wide speed duel. Should be able to control the pace without much speed to the inside and save ground along the rail.

Race 7: Clm $16k n2L 8f (T)

Maybe my top choice reminds me too much of Funny Duck beating New York Central in 2018 Pay Day Mile (we loved NY central that day at 30-1)

  • Best Value: #7 Ugly Duckling (12-1 & bet 1.5 unit at 6-1 or higher) Must watch replay last out – amazing that this this horse at the 1/8 pole got the victory being a dozen lengths off the pace. Today gets to go the route of ground for a trainer who is 19% going sprint to route for last out winners (n=36). Junior gets aboard and has plenty of pace up front to close into.
    • Trip Note: 9/16/20: against pace flow, on rail, blew by, huge gallop out. 3/2 shot was stalking the pace and was not making up the ground this one did, flattering this performance.
    • Trip Note: 8/16/20 ate kickback entire way on rail on a day that looked bad (eventual 1st and 2nd traveled wide and on the lead avoiding all kickback), jockey gave up exiting far turn, couple cracks of the whip and still stayed on terms with the majority of the “triers” at the end. More left here.
  • Next Best: #1 Armando’s Team (8-1 will be using as backup on horizontals) High percentage trainer with leading jockey takes this one that’s been pointed for the turf since the layoff. Recent works look good over the turf and should have a great setup. Lone turf event made a strong move going wide into first turn, but flattened out. Look to see if this one gets bet as the trainer is 24% first time out.

Race 8: Clm $6k 7f

Tricky distance and speed should setup well for stalking type

  • Most Logical: #5 State (5-1 & bet 1.0 units at 3-1 or higher) Brilliant win closing into neutral fractions against the 3/5 favorite at the same distance for today’s race. Trainer is 24% winners last out so expect this one to have a great chance to peak. The figures are light, so we’ll need a peak performance out of this one. The pace looks to setup well for this stalker type and Junior stays aboard.

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