Turfway Park Spot Plays for 03-15-23 – By Jackson Muniz

Race 4: #12 Three Sports Coats 8-1

This is a filly I loved last time and I’m backing her again today after two consecutive subpar trips. I’ve always believed it’s a huge disadvantage for speed horses to have competition on both sides of them early on in the race and that’s exactly what’s happened to this filly in her last few starts. Two back at this level, she was quick out of the gate but got stuck in the middle of a 4 horse duel early on. The pace was quick that day and the horses on either side of her early on called it quits well before the quarter pole. Three Sports Coats did well to hang in tough deep into the stretch to finish 4th. Classic case of winning the battle but losing the war. 

I backed her off that trip last time out, but she had a bad trip this day as well. She was quick away from the gate again, but an outside runner was just a tad faster and her rider seemed indecisive as she was put in a weird spot between horses once again. A quarter mile into the race she finally decided to ease back but all of a sudden she was stuck between five horses and tracking behind a wall of three pacesetters. She waited for a spot around the turn, had to navigate around a tiring pacesetter nearing the top of the stretch, and actually made a bit of a move before flattening out to finish 4th again. She had no chance given the trip that day. 

She gets a huge post upgrade today to the far outside which gives her rider options. Her gate speed could allow her to clear the field early or track from just off the pace in the clear. Either of those scenarios would be a huge upgrade in trips compared to her last couple starts, and cutting back half-a-furlong can’t hurt either. Strong win play at 8-1. 


Race 8: #1 Juanita’s Express 12-1

I think there’s a good chance this guy takes money today off back-to-back troubled trips and a slight drop in class, but I’d still be willing to bet him around 6-1. Two back he had to wait for room around the entire turn, finally got room at the top of the stretch and closed well to finish 3rd beaten only a length. He did get to save all the ground on both turns, but he never truly found daylight in the stretch, and galloped out in front of the field once he did. 

His last start he had an impossible trip. He broke much better that day and stayed close to the pace throughout. In the far turn it appeared he had horse but had nowhere to go as the eventual runner up did well to keep Juanita’s Express stuck behind and between horses as they neared the quarter pole. As they hit the top of the stretch he tried to split horses but that hole closed on him and he checked hard, losing all chance. Hard to tell if he was going to win that day, but he certainly had no chance to make an impact. 

He has a lot going for him today. He gets a rider change to Lezcano who hasn’t had the best meet, but they clearly needed to shake things up after his last two trips weren’t great. He drew well on the inside and that tactical speed he showed last time should serve him well in a race that doesn’t have a true frontrunner. And that figure he earned two back makes him very competitive against this group so we’ll give him every opportunity to get to the winner’s circle in today’s finale.


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