UPDATED: When looking at today’s eighth race maiden allowances, it’s not a long stretch to think the race is being contested in Lexington or Saratoga, not Oldsmar, yet here it is.
Even though Tour of Duty has not been seen, and only once, since last February, it’s understandable that the linemaker sees the Chad Brown trainee as the 5-2 early line favorite.
Especially considering Samy Camacho is 5-for-his-last-9 rides for Brown and he has been working quickly over the demanding Payson Park surface. But he’s not the usual Brown layover because there are rivals that have run faster.
Of those, Harpoon Harry (7-2) is the most logical. Making his third start off a layup, he was used up opening a huge early lead but understandably weakening late after running off early. He has shown to be better with a target.
Tour of Duty had trouble in his debut, bumping with another rival, and finished one-paced late. But he returns as a first-time gelding and owns a late pedigree which should improve at 4. He rates to move forward, but will need to in this competitive 1-1/16 miles.
We looked at his lone race, at Tampa Bay on FEB 13, and decided to take him to win at 2-1 or greater, and boxed exactas with Harpoon Harry and classy returnee, Mount Kenya (6-1).