In the late pick 4, I'm going with a slightly cheaper ticket, as I'm looking to only spend $24 on this one.
Pick 4 Play ($1)- Total Bet: $24
Race 6: 8-9
Race 7: 3-8-9
Race 8: 3-7
Race 9: 2-9
Race 6 Analysis:
I only see three horses in this race with the ability to win- #3 Lead With The Left, #8 Shepherd's Furey, and #9 Bellazzeria, however, I'm only going to use the #8 and #9. Bellazzeria is the well deserved morning line favorite. Trained by Ian Wilkes, who is 6 for 16 at the current meet, she goes back to the dirt and cuts back to the sprint distance today, in addition to dropping to the lowest level she has ever raced at. Shepherd's Furey is another interesting horse I will be using despite returning from a six month stint on the bench. She has finished in the money in all of her five finishes, and her first career race (3/15/12 here at TB) is her most intriguing as she closed to get 3rd by less than a length to a Jane Cibelli runner who ran respectably in some overnight stakes races at Monmouth this past Summer. If she is ready to run off the layoff, she could run past this field in the stretch. I will take a stand against Lead With The Left, but she the potential to jump up and make me pay if she has improved since her last race back in May. Chope's Contender (#1) is another interesting runner who is making her 2nd career start today and jumping up in class, but I think the other three runners have too much class as she may only be good enough to round out the exotics.
Race 7 Analysis:
This 1 mile turf race is the best betting race on the card as there are several contenders. I am going to go with To The Point (#3), The West Rim (#8), and Catch That Kitten (#(9). To The Point is the well deserved morning line favorite as she makes her 2nd start off the layoff. Despite only being 3 for 31 lifetime, her recent form is the best in a long time and she should be ready to roll to the victory for the Delacour barn. I'm going to use The West Rim, despite the fact that she finished behind a couple of these runners in her last. I like the positive jockey change to Espinoza, and if she can get even close to the form she had this Summer/Fall in New York she should be able to beat this field. The question is will she return to that form? I am going to guess she will. The final horse on my ticket is a longer shot (8-1), Catch That Kitten. Despite a few other horses that may show speed, I think Catch That Kitten will get the lead, and she has some races in her recent past performances that our good enough to beat these, including a couple races over this Tampa turf course, where she is 2 for 8 with five money finishes. This should be a fun race with several runners having a chance to take home the lion's share of the purse money.
Race 8 Analysis:
This is a very weak field. After looking over all the runners, I landed on only two horses that I felt could win this race, Darlin' Diane (#3) and Idon'tknogoaskanni (#7). All Darlin' Diane has to do is return back to her Keeneland form and she will beat this field. The main concern is that she was just claimed by the Rhone barn for $8k, and he is immediately dropping her in for a $6,250 claim today. Any time I see that it raises a red flag, but considering how weak this field is, I have to use her. Idon'tknogoaskanni is shipping in from Penn National for the Brenda McCarthy barn and getting the services of Daniel Centeno. Her recent form doesn't impress me much, but with a win over the track and Centeno on board, I have to use her against this field. The only other horse with a shot is Occulation, who makes her second start for the red hot Barbara McBride barn, and is stretching back out to two turns on the dirt for the first time in a very long time. Despite having a victory at this distance in the past, her current form does nothing for me, so I left her off my ticket.
Race 9 Analysis:
The card closes with a 5 furlong turf sprint and my play of the day on the entire card with Diamond d'Oro (#9). Diamond d'Oro ships in from Gulfstream for the Jason Servis barn and gets Angel Serpa for the mount. She may have been outclassed in her last and was taking off from the outside post (#12). Either of her two other career turf sprints at CD and SAR would likely be enough to win this race. I love her at 5-1. I will also be including Easy Ashley (#2), a Wesley Ward trainee who returns off a two month layoff. Ward is 2 for 4 with the limited runners he has brought over to Tampa for this meet, and this one also has several other races showing that could beat this field. The only potential issue is that she will likely be coming from off the pace, and the inside post in a 5 furlong race could potentially cause for some traffic issues that hopefully Carol Cedeno will be able to navigate through. #3 Simple Exchange is likely to be an over bet favorite coming in for the always dangerous Jamie Ness/Midwest Thoroughbreds. She did win at this level in her last, but what the comments don't show you is that there was a spill in that race that knocked about half the field out of contention and gave Simple Exchange a perfect run up the rail, and she was able to just pass Christina d'Oro at the wire. I don't see everything falling together like that for her again today, so I will happily take a pass. Both Falconess (#4) and Carolyn M. (#5) were negatively effected by the spill in that same Simple Exchange race back on January 11th, but both of them likely would have been up the track anyway even without the spill.