With Aqueduct closed until Dec. 26, we will concentrate on one of the more popular simulcast signals in the country, that from Tampa Bay Downs. On days when Tampa is unavailable, we’ll look at either Calder or Fair Grounds as an alternative until New York is back on line.

Today’s feature race at Tampa Bay Downs, the ninth, is intriguing. Four of the nine entered have a good chance to score--and that estimate might be conservative. We’ll take a brief look at McLovin (8-1), Chief Talkeetna (4-1), Mr. Flatter (7-2) and Greeley’s Voice (2-1).

Classifying this group is a challenge. How good, for instance, is McLovin, having won a pair restricted claimers at Finger Lakes--his last a non-winners of three in life. He earned excellent figures in those wins and trainer James Wright is dealing a hot hand, 25 percent efficient in the last few months.

Hard knowing what to do with Chief Talkeetna on a different level. He won three fast races after being claimed by Wesley Ward--the last two dropping significantly in class--where he was again claimed. Will $5,000 be a bargain price, or the cost of damaged goods? This 4-year-old gelding is extremely fast and versatile.

Mr. Flatter return from a layup for a top return outfit. Trainer Freddie Hyatt is highly profitable returning from layoffs of greater than 90 days, he has upside potential as a 3-year-old and his early season figures indicate he can compete on figures here given the added maturity. He loves the surface and retains his regular partner.

Greeley’s Voice is likely to get the best trip, stalking outside at this hybrid distance which should augur well. Like Chief Talkeetna, he’s worked brilliantly for this.

Taking whatever value is offered on Mr. Flatter to win at 3-1 or greater, boxing him in the exacta with Greeley's Voice, and keying him first and second in trifectas with all main rivals listed here.

Running Totals: (327) 98-67-44. Total Dollar Return: $686.90 [win selections only]