Uncharacteristically, it’s a small turf field that’s assembled for the turf feature at Tampa today but that doesn’t make the handicapper’s job easier. Three are very closely matched and any of them can wind up in the circle.
Veteran gelding Faction Cat (2-1) is a worthy favorite. Owning the fastest speed figures consistently on the Thoro-Graph scale, he has the speed and kick required for success in five furlong sprints. Leaving from the inside with Gallardo for a barn batting 30% from the beginning of 2019.
And did we mention he’s getting away from two horses in his last two starters that would be 1-5 in here; Extravagant Kid and Shekky Shebaz.
But since this feature is about trips, we will try to beat him with one of the two horses Backtohisroots (7-2) and Cuestion de Tiempo, the latter the race winner. After a check of the video you will understand why we’re going the other way.
‘Tiempo’ and white hot turf rider Jesus Castanon saved all the ground and rallied through a wide hole up the fence. Meanwhile, Backtohisroots who chased the pace throughout, between rivals much of the way, the rebroke into stride as he was reaching the finish.
The ground loss was enough to effect the outcome of that sprint–3/4s of a length. The larger point is that this second race off a lengthy absence, his first start on this course, at this trip, should spell large improvement here.
For a straight play, 3-1 is fair, a tad less OK, along with a key exacta box with his rivals above. Samy Camacho takes the re-ride on the newly turned 4-year-old. Click on the Tampa Bay link on the HRI homepage, taking you to Tampa’s replay center, and check out JAN 1, RACE 7.