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The Conscience of Thoroughbred Racing


If you have been following this feature regularly, you’re aware that our default position is to find large field turf races with favorable conditions, but if value or a shorter priced key runner that might be best used as horizontal keys of choice then we’ll go there.

Today there’s an opportunity to complete the Late Pick 4 in finale, a maiden claiming event for older horses going 1-1/16 miles.

On form it appears that two runners have the best chance and while Alperes–from the live Rohan Chichton barn–has a class edge shipping north, the outside draw is compromising even if he is light on his feet coming away from there. And Samy Camacho doesn’t hurt his chances.

But it’s favorite Fine Spirit, with Pablo Morales on the re-ride, who might be set for a career best run from the suddenly hot barn of Dale Bennett and unlike, Asperes, he looks quite cozy breaking from the pole.

Fine Spirit is sometimes slow to get started but he has shown some tactical gas on occasion, so there’s that. But he deserved to win his first start for the Bennett barn on JAN 11, RACE 6.

Check out his course debut, his first at today’s level, and believe that he fits well here. Clink on the Tampa Bay Downs homepage link that takes you to their Replay Center.

Breaking from post 9 out of 10, he raced wide virtually for the entire trip until he ducked inside at headstretch. He made a nice run into contention but was passed by two ralliers who stormed down the middle of the turf.

Fine Spirit raced 4-wide across the track throughout–the worst damage on the first tune and backstretch, then was forced to react when a rival looped around him at the far turn before altering course into the straight. He should be saving all the ground here until Morales pushes the button.

The clincher is that Bennett has won half his eight starts at this meet, batted 25% last season, 30% efficient with beaten favorites. This looks like one that should have little problem making amends. Betting Fine Spirit to win, no price restrictions, and boxing an exacta with Alperes.

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