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The Conscience of Thoroughbred Racing

TAMPA BAY TODAY-DEC 22

Not only is Wednesday’s seventh is Oldsmar a battle of dropdowns going two turns on the Tampa turf, it’s a border war as well with one coming from New York and the other from New Jersey. We’re opting for the Garden Stater in this spot.

Certainly, Unleveraged (5-2) is a deserving favorite, having raced at the $35,000 claiming level last out at Belmont Park, so that he’s cutting the price more than half in his Tampa Bay debut at one mile and one sixteenth.

But we’re going to fade him and give the call to Lion Charmer (7-2) because while the drop is not as steep, he does go from a N4Life to an N3Life, reuniting with winning partner Antonio Gallardo. But wait there’s more…

While Lion Charmer does have a disappointing profile at (24) 2-6-8, it would look much better if his racing were limited to Northern Florida, specifically Tampa Bay, where his slate reads (6) 2-1-2, meaning both lifetime wins were on today’s course.

The 5-year-old Animal Kingdom dark bay has a versatile running style and Gallardo has tried him both ways, finishing second after making a mid-race move but winning while making the last run. We expect that to be the case here.

Taking Lion Charmer straight at 5-2 or greater and an exacta box with his main rival.

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