TAMPA BAY DOWNS SUMMER FESTIVAL 0F RACING & MUSIC
by BOB BAUER
Saturday’s action begins with a Quarter-Horse race that goes off at 11:30 AM. This race is an entity itself and not connected to the 8 race Thoroughbred program that follows at 12:35 PM. Win, Place, Show, Exacta, Trifecta and Superfecta wagering will be available. There will be no multi-race wagering.
The eight-race program contains four Maiden contests and seems to be more playable than Friday’s card. A 6 furlong dash for $5,000 claimers gets things rolling and could be worth a bet. #7 Francesco Blue has a class advantage and could win here after a 490 day layoff, if ready. #5 Awesome Relic likes Tampa and makes his first start for able trainer Yvon Belsoeur. #2 War Artist has dangerous early foot and has won at Tampa twice in the past. Might try an exacta box here.
Races 2, 3, and 4 are wide-open Maiden affairs. The second race is a five panel grass dash for a $16,000 claiming price, the third is an eight furlong turf test for Maiden Special runners. Race 4 follows with $12,500 claimers hoping to graduate at six furlongs. Won’t get involved with these, but will be playing the late pick 4.
The 5th race, a mile on the grass for $10,000 Non-winners of two races lifetime starts the late pick 4 wager. #3 No Opponent is the choice, she overcame trouble to beat $32,000 company on the lawn back on March 1st. Has been freshened since then by clever turf trainer Reid Nagle. Will also use #2 Call Me Justified based on figs she earned on the local lawn and the drop to face this kind for the first time. Bet pick 4, 2,3 with 2,7,8, with 4 with 2, 5, 8.
#8 Alto Precio gets top billing in race 6, a $8,000 Non-winner of 2 lifetime contest at 6 furlongs. He ships back to Tampa after a pair of dull turf tries against better at Gulfstream. Should be tough back on dirt, facing condition claimers for the first time. #7 Wanna Salsa, lightly raced and consistent, fits in here. As does #2 Running On Guinnes, who has good numbers but has had many chances.
Race 7, an Optional Claimer for $10,000 at a mile on the sod appears to belong to #4 Smart and True. In his last outing, he endured a troubled trip and was still able to get the place in a seven and one-half furlong race on the Gulfstream grass. Prior to that, he had won four races in a row (including 2 on grass) in Tampa. Looks to be the best bet all weekend. He should be the chalk. Will single this one in all my gimmicks. Bet Trifecta 4 with 2,7, 8 with 2,7,8.
We close it out with $16,000 Maiden claimers going a mile on the weeds. This truly has the look of an unplayable race, but it’s the last race in Tampa until November. So here we go. #2 Comodoro Clavius ran dead-last in his debut with Maiden Special foes. Gets blinkers on and drops into claiming company for the first time. #5 Distinctly Brewed lost his only race by ten lengths versus Florida-bred Maiden Special runners. Ships in to face what may be an easier field. Also will include #8 Storybook Secret, who has flashed a hint of ability, but is prone to gate problems. Sammy Comacho rode him twice in Miami and stays aboard here. I hope to be alive in the pick 4 and just watch this one. GOOD LUCK.