Wednesday Wagers: Awesome Prince gets crowned in Tampa

Wednesday Wagers: Awesome Prince gets crowned in Tampa
Photo: Carson Dennis / Eclipse Sportswire

Wednesday’s eight-race card at Tampa Bay Downs could be chalky, but there’s still a solid opportunity to make money. Here are my picks.

Best Bet: Awesome Prince (race 1)

Best Value Bet: Bassanio (race 3)

Race 1

No. 5 Awesome Prince (4-5, morning-line favorite) has a head-and-shoulders edge in the last-out speed figure department, making him an obvious pick in the opener. He goes from one sharp trainer to another off the recent claim (Gerald Bennett to Juan Arriagada). No. 7 Mind Flayer (5-1) gets a meaningful rider change to Pablo Morales (20 percent) in his first race as a gelding and adds blinkers – live for a piece. No. 1 Unxpected Tiger (10-1) stayed on decently for fourth in his most recent effort – competition is scarce behind him.

How I’d bet it (based on a $100 budget): $12 exacta 5/7, $8 exacta 5/1

Race 2

No. 6 Belmar Summer (4-5, morning-line favorite) romped when last seen at this level, and goes first off the claim for John Rigattieri (29 percent) looking for the repeat victory while luring Morales. No. 1 Happy Union (12-1) didn’t care for the turf when last seen, but her maiden-breaking effort two-back stamps her as a solid price play underneath. No. 4 Child Proof (3-1) makes her first start off the claim by Jesus Cruz (27 percent) and drilled a bullet ahead of her initial try against winners.

How I’d bet it: $10 exacta 6/1, $8 exacta 6/4, $2 win 1

Race 3

No. 5 Bassanio (2-1) outran No. 3 Typhoon Lagoon (8-5, morning-line favorite) when last seen and has by far the sharper conditioner at the meet in Arnaud Delacour (21 percent). Mark Casse is 0-for-17 at Tampa this year. However, Typhoon Lagoon has proven his mettle around three turns with a third-place effort at Gulfstream last time out, something the top choice can’t say. No. 2 Bosque Redondo (3-1) invades for the ever-dangerous Chad Brown (30 percent) – the son of War Front could take to the added ground.

How I’d bet it: $10 exacta 5/3, $4 trifecta 3,5/3,5/2, $2 exacta 5/2

Race 5

No. 4 High Vibes (2-1, morning-line favorite) was second against much tougher at Gulfstream in her most recent grass event – should boss these. No. 6 Walks Like a Lady (4-1) also invades from the Hallandale Beach oval off a game runner-up effort at a similar level. She lures Antonio Gallardo (18 percent) today. No. 3 Roundabout (6-1) hit the board in back-to-back efforts before flopping against classier, consider on the drop.

How I’d bet it: $10 exacta 4/3,6

Race 8

No. 10 Fast Payday (3-1, morning-line favorite) should get over his case of seconditis in the nightcap, as there’s a host of horses ready, willing, and able to engage in a pace battle in front of him. No. 3 Fast N Steady (10-1) was third in his most recent race at this level, and is one of the few contenders that doesn’t want to be up front. He may get first run at the tiring speeds. No. 5 Pivotal Run (7-2) should be rolling late – he misfired last time out but deserves another shot.

How I’d bet it: $14 exacta 10/3, $6 exacta 10/5

Robert Criscola is a free-lance handicapper based in New York.

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