By Monique Welch
With an 80 percent chance of rain for Saturday, Tampa Bay Downs has adjusted its schedule to just one turf race for the nine-race card.
The Oldsmar track will have first post at 12:55 p.m.–later than usual.
Since the Late Pick-5 was not hit on Friday, there will be a carryover pool of $27,680.91 into Saturday. The Late Pick-5 will begin with the fifth race.
The feature for the day will be the eighth race, with a total purse of $23,500. The race is 1 mile and 40 yards on the dirt for 4-year olds and up, and there is an optional claiming price of $32,000. The scheduled post is 4:25 pm.
Morning-line odds favor Hereditary, 6-year old Kentucky-bred horse from Phipps stable at 2-1. This horse’s sire Medaglia d’oro has a $150,000 stud fee, which could have influenced the name of this son.
Hereditary has not won any of his last six races, but will be dropping in class. Jesus Castanon will ride him and he is trained by Claude R “Shug” McGaughey.
Capital Letters is another dropping in class, and is winless in his last three starts. The morning line odds are 7-2 on the 5-year old gelding, will be under the cares of jockey Leandro Goncalves and trainer Ian Wilkes.
Capital Letters has speed and has a good shot if he sets the pace early and maintains his speed until the end. Capital Letters and Hereditary are first and second, respectively, in Brisnet Prime Power.
Another potential contender is Marrakech a 4-year-old under the care and guidance of the phenomenal jockey-trainer duo in Daniel Centeno and Gerald Bennett. This is a strong, gamely horse that has a lot of speed. Expect this horse to really pick up the momentum towards the end.
Other horses to keep an eye on include Philm Nor trained by John Simms, and Gray Beau trained by John G Vinson. These two horses meet again after their last $25,000 claiming race at Tampa on Dec. 16.
Philm Nor was the winner making it his second in a row at Tampa Bay and enters with the morning line odds at 6-1. Willie Martinez will ride the 5-year old gelding. This horse is another that likely will be gaining in the stretch.
Gray Beau finished third on Dec. 16. The 7 year old gelding will be ridden by Jose Ferrer.
We look forward to seeing you today and as always stay updated through our blog.