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The Conscience of Thoroughbred Racing

TAMPA BAY TODAY – DEC 29

While it may not be one of those “statement” plays, there is a favorite in Wednesday’s Tampa finale worth playing against. While it is true that Jura (3-1) made a successful Oldsmar debut, the effort did not justify his 1-5 ante post odds. See for yourself: Tampa Bay Downs, DEC 11, Race 10, where he worked hard after a ground-saving trip.

Further, thus far the barn has been winless next time with last-out maiden winners. Yes, he will be formidable from the pole with Samy Camacho, but entered back on short rest under those conditions just not our thing. We think that Kona Kai (4-1) is more our kind.

The Blair Jordan barn has gotten off to a good start here in Oldsmar as witnessed by a (7) 2-2-0 slate through the weekend’s racing. We like the fact that he should benefit from a speed tune-up on the sloppy main track and is versatile enough to have earned three good runnerup placings and a wire score to break maiden in September at the Pea Patch.

The outside post, the promise of a contested pace, and being reunited with winning rider, turf ace Jesus Castanon, all augur well for a rebound. We’re taking Kona Kai to win at 5-2 or greater and an exacta box with the Reeve McGaughey trained favorite.

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