Just what we wanted to start the season at Tampa, an NW2 optional for fillies and mares going 1-1/16 miles on turf, a perfect blend of promising three-year-olds vs. some veteran campaigners, many of which loves the Tampa lawn.
Having said that, we’re taking a filly who has yet to do that, the young Be Up (3-1), trained by Jonathan Thomas, a young turf whiz who is actually profitable with all starters this season but grass is his thing and Daniel Centeno is his man.
After breaking maiden on debut in a $40,000 claimer, Thomas did not hesitate and confidently entered her in the Christina Stakes where she caught yielding ground, chased the pace and understandably tired late.
Start number three came in a key race at Saratoga, a little too rich for her but she was only beaten five length. She rebounded in her last, though, kicking clear late to win going away at Colonial Downs going 1-3/16s miles, giving her plenty of conditioning for today’s test.
The race dynamics fits her style nicely, she’s drawn inside with a modicum of tactical speed if Centeno needs it and she’s properly spotted here after being entered and scratched in Belmont’s Jockey Club Oaks. Think Thomas likes what this filly has shown him? We do.
We’re taking Be Up to win, requiring 2-1, and will key box exactas with hard-hitting 9-time winning and Gallardo-handled VIP Nation (7-2) and price shot Zarina (10-1) with grass ace Fernando de la Cruz, a two-time Tampa winner who had a no-chance trip when she last raced at this level here last season.
Check out the Tampa Bay Today Video on the HRI homepage: Tampa Bay Downs, DEC 12, Race 9.