By Monique Welch
Tampa Bay Downs has a ten-race card on Saturday with the first post at 12:25 p.m.
The first race is seven furlongs on the dirt, and is for fillies and mares four-years-old and upward. The purse is $12,700 and the claiming price is $6,250.
Morning-line odds favor Candy War at 2-1. The Michigan-bred mare is owned by Justin Johns. Ronald Allen Jr. will ride the five-year old.
The featured ninth race is one mile on turf for three-year-olds and has a scheduled post time of 4:25 p.m. It is an optional claiming race for $75,000, and has a total purse of $22,500.
Tampa Bay Downs also will simulcast Saturday’s 12-race Gulfstream Park card, including the inaugural $12 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (Grade 1).
First post at Gulfstream is 11:30 a.m. The Pegasus is the 12th race with scheduled post of 5:40 p.m.
In the Tampa feature keep an eye on Musical America, My Bariley, Kit Check and Hot and Heavy.
Musical America is the morning-line favorite at 2-1. This Kentucky-bred colt is ranked first in the Brisnet Prime Power, and won his last race at Tampa Bay Downs on Dec. 16. under the guidance of jockey Daniel Centeno and trainer Arnaud Delacour.
During the last 60 days they have teamed for 22 races, with a 27pecent win percentage and a 68 percent in the money percentage.
At Tampa Bay this season, Centeno is at 32 percent in wins and Delacour has a 24 percentage in wins. Experience may be on Musical America’s side.
Kit Check is up next with odds at 4-1. This horse has a tendency to fight back from behind and then up the momentum towards the late post. Chris Block trains him and Ronald Allen Jr will ride him.
My Bariley is another strong horse that picks up its speed later in the race. Trainer Anthony Granitz’s horse is ranked second in the prime power and has had his best racing so far at Tampa Bay Downs.
He came in second by a neck on Jan. 4 and won his last race before that on Dec. 16 by two lengths.
In the last race, Edwin Gonzalez and the gelding let the lead slip away, but still beat third place finisher Hot and Heavy by 5 ¾ lengths.
Although Hot and Heavy only has one win this season, this horse is well acquainted with the turf and that could be an advantage. This horse has the potential to redeem himself, but must bring top speed to do so.
Hot and Heavy is trained by Anthony Pecoraro and will be ridden by Erick Rodriguez.
We will be on site for Saturday’s racing. So please stay updated through our blog and our website for coverage throughout the day and this weekend.