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The Conscience of Thoroughbred Racing

TAMPA BAY TODAY – FRIDAY

Today’s third in Oldsmar is a beauty, a maiden allowances boasting both nature and nurture throughout the field. Three horses quickly leaped to mind, two from the same barn with identical angles, adding to the intrigue, another beaten a game, desperate nose in debut.

(I’m going to allow the Christophe Clement first-time starter beat me–and he probably will)! But handicapping is like writing; depend on what you know.

And I do know that Arnaud Delacour excels with second-time starters and he has two here: Karnak (8-1) was a speed and fade in debut–but he was right there approaching midstretch. Today the blinkers are off, suggesting altered tactics, and Hector Diaz is on, suggesting go-day.

However, we really liked the way his mate Fermat (6-1) finished when third in debut after getting pinched badly entering the lower first turn from his wide draw. Rolando Alvarado didn’t panic, settled his mount, and came with a strong late run. Fermat has two sibs, with one winner, and that came on turf.

Bugle of War (4-1) was so very good after getting Lasix and blinkers in his second start and first on turf. Unlucky to lose and up-and-down bobbing finish in the hottest part of the race, but that came after setting a laughably low pace at 1-1/8 miles. He’s turning back here.

Maybe he could stalk and win, or maybe he’s a speed type who will meet pressure; we’ll leave that up to new rider, Antonio Gallardo, to decide. Meanwhile, Eddie Kenneally is a profit 29% second-time long. In this battle of angles, check out Fermat’s debut on the homepage, TAMPA BAY DOWNS, JAN 20, RACE 8.

We’re taking Fermat to win at 3-1 or greater, making a three-horse exacta box, and keying him in super-exotics.

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