29 June 2018
by HorseRacing FLA handicapper Bob Bauer

Tampa’s two-day summer meeting starts Saturday, June 30 with an eight race card. Regular Tampa players will notice some strangers, both equine and human. Here’s a look at a few contenders and a couple longshots.

Race 1 kicks off an all Maiden pick 3 with a mile on the weeds for fillies three and up. I would use MORNING GRACE (3), ASHLEY’S ROSE (4) and BIOSAND (6). MORNING GRACE has the edge, dropping to the lowest level yet.

Race 2 stays on the green with maiden fillies at 5 furlongs. Really like a 10-1 first timer, BLACK RUBY (1). She’s well-bred has been working nicely from the gate and has Frederico Mata up and might get the jump here. Other contenders are PASSION FOR HOPE (3), OH CHARLIE (4) and PRECIOUS PEACH (7).

Race 3 is 6 1/2 furlongs on the main track for maiden fillies and may be the hardest to handicap due to the lackluster field. SUPER BONITA (1) and CONCERTOS APPEAL (6) look best.

Race 4, a grassy mile for $10,000 fillies non-winners of two lifetime, has a formidable favorite. Veteran trainer Reid Nagel may have a big afternoon today. KEEP THE RING (3),
drops into this condition for the first time and 
might be worth using as a single in exotic bets.

Race 5 showcases another Nagle chalk in a $16,000 5 furlong turf dash. CARTERSVILLE (1) is 3/5 on the morning line and merits respect. Be watchful of rivals taking money on the board, as there is a lack of form for many of these.

Race 6 is for $5,000 claimers at 6 furlongs. NEPHEW HOWARD D (3), MONKEY MONEY (5) and MY CHARMING CLYDE (8) will be my choices in here.

Race 7 is back on the lawn at a mile for $10,000 non-winners of two lifetime. LOST KINGDOM (6) looks best on paper, but will also use DUVALIN DREAM (1) ALABAMA JACKS (5)  and PUT THE HAT BACK (8). 

Race 8, another green mile for $10,000 Optional Claimers, appears to be a two-horse race. Looks like WALKERS LANDING (5) or I’M JUST SUPER (8) should get to the winner’s circle.




Dear Racing Fans:


The Tampa Bay Downs racing season is dark until the 2 day Summer Meet; June 30th and July 1st. Please check back then for our outlook and handicapping at Tampa Bay.
In the meantime, other exciting racing is being held at Gulfstream Park. That news will be delivered to the home page of this website.


Our handicapper for Tampa Bay Downs horse racing, Bob Bauer – will be delivering his predictions each Saturday, and other race days also – from the track in Oldsmar, Florida.
You can follow his handicapping on our horse racing blog, located at: http://insidefloridahorseracing.blogspot.com

More in-depth articles and news from Tampa Bay may be found here on our web-site, or posted on both channels.
Thanks for your patronage !

Click SUBSCRIBE to start your free subscription; all our timely news delivered to you e-mail service each day.

Saturday March  10, 2018

Here are handicapper Bob Bauer’s selections for Saturday’s five stakes races at Tampa Bay Downs

Bob Bauer, HorseRacingFLA Handicapper

Race 7 $75,000 Columbia Stakes, Three-year-olds, 8 Furlongs Turf

Gidu (7) a speed merchant from the Pletcher/Velazquez combo appears to be the one to catch on a firm turf that has been kind to early foot lately. He just missed vs. Grade 3 foes in the Dania Beach at Gulfstream on Feb. 3.

Verboten (3) is undefeated (2 for 2) both on the lawn. Has been training well in Tampa. Jose Ortiz rides this Canadian shipper in his Tampa debut.

Captivating Moon (2) is 2 for 2 on the green, shows a good late pace fig here and should not be overlooked.

Race 8  $100,000 Challenger Stakes, Four-Year-Olds and up, Mile 1/16 Dirt

War Story(7) If he is right, the rest are running for place

 Jay’s Way (5) Could get loose on the lead. Winning jock Emisael Jaramillo comes along from Gulfstream for the ride.

Rafting (3) Sharp now, has been pointed for this by Graham Moti

Race 9  $225,000 Grade 2 Hillsborough Stakes, 9 Furlongs Turf

Off Limits (2) and Fourstar Crook  (3) are a double-barreled threat for grass mogul Chad Brown. Either one can win here.

La Coronel (9) likes Tampa sod, has dangerous early speed.

Race 10  $200,000 Grade 3 Florida Oaks Mile 1/16 Turf

 Salsa Bella (12) Chad Brown Miss ran well in U.S. debut. Irad Ortiz Jr. ships in with the mount.

Almond Roca (4) Stretches out for Graham Motion, doing well in Tampa.

Altea (2) Another contender for Chad Brown, Jose Ortiz on. Ran ok in Europe.

Race 11 The $400,000 Tampa Bay Derby Mile 1/16, 3-YO Dirt

 Flameaway (5) Sam Davis winner can be a tough customer here.

Vino Rosso (3) gets blinkers on, closed best in Davis, could make amends.

World of Trouble (8) comes off   huge 7 furlong win over Tampa track in Pasco win, might handle route



January 27, 2018

By Bob Bauer

This year’s renewal of the $16 Million Pegasus will be the capping achievement of GUN RUNNER’S (10) brilliant career, if he wins.  On paper at least, he meets or exceeds several handicapping angles. This Steve Asmussen charge has the old “double fig” advantage, where his last pair of races speed figures will beat anything in the rest of the field. He also surpasses the pace pars at every call, and he has won five Grade 1 races, including his last 4 starts.

There are a host of rivals lying in wait and with this kind of money on the line there will be no easy trips. The big favorite coming out of post 10 adds some drama to the mix, and how the pace shapes up early might determine the outcome several furlongs later.

Bob Baffert, usually a contender when a large purse is up for grabs, sends out a pair that could be double trouble. WEST COAST (2) and COLLECTED (5) both lost to the favorite in the Breeder’s Cup Classic and one of these two may be able to pull the upset.

WEST COAST (2) may get a ground-saving trip inside under Javier Castellano (Baffert wants him “in the race early”) while Florent Geroux on GUN RUNNER will have to decide whether or not to send from the gate, so as not to be hung wide on the first turn which comes quickly at Gulfstream. Meanwhile, speed merchant SHARP AZTECA (4) with Irad Ortiz Jr. aboard, will most likely seize the early lead and head for the rail. Mike Smith and Collected (5) will be stalking all this and they may get the all-important first run on the far turn.

TOAST OF NEW YORK (9), FEAR THE COWBOY (7), GUNNEVERA (6) and GIANT EXPECTATIONS (12) will be coming on late and could benefit from a total pace meltdown.

Predictions: Got to stay with the big horse GUN RUNNER (10) for the win.

A Baffert runner won’t be far from the money, COLLECTED (5) should be close.

SHARP AZTECA (4) might last for the show, fast but has never been 9 furlongs.

WEST COAST (2) the other Baffert threat should be in the superfecta.

TOAST OF NEW YORK (9) a real wild card, ships in from England with jockey Frankie

Dettori, after an Allowance win on an Artificial Surface. This one has only raced once on dirt, a huge effort in the Breeder’s Cup Classic in November 2014. Worth using in gimmicks at 20/1.

Editor Jim Freer’s Pegasus Picks 2018

1  — Gun Runner (10)
2 — War Story (8)
3 — West Coast (2)
4 — Fear the Cowboy (7)
5 — Gunnevera (6)


Gulfstream Park Pegasus World Cup

The entries for the Pegasus World Cup Invitational race will be drawn on Wednesday, January 24th at Gulfstream Park. Horse Racing FLA will be on the scene that day to report on the news.

Horse Racing FLA will be covering extensively the Pegasus World Cup Invitational Race on Saturday, January 27th.

The race will be run at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Florida.  Billed at the World’s Richest Horse Race, the $16,000,000 purse is sure to stir much excitement leading up to race-day.

Horse Racing FLA staff


                                                                 Handicapper Bob Bauer Joins Our Staff

January 20th, 2017

HorseRacingFLA is pleased to announce that veteran Florida racing writer and publicist Bob Bauer has joined us as staff handicapper and correspondent.
Starting this weekend, January 21-22, Bob will handicap each Saturday’s card at Tampa Bay Downs. He will give his picks for each race for Win, Place and Show with comments — along with his best bet of the day.
Bob’s picks can be found under the Handicapping tab on our home page.
Bob previously was the St. Petersburg Times racing writer and handicapper. He also served a stint as Tampa Bay Downs publicity director and on-air handicapper.
He also covered Tampa Bay Downs for Bloodstock Research Information Services (Brisnet) and for several years did a weekly article “Tampa Bay Downs Notebook,” which ran in the Brisnet on-line newspaper The Handicapper’s Edge.