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TAMPA BAY TODAY – WED

The temptation in today’s fifth race on turf for restricted mid-level claimers is to back Kramden–bang, zoom, Alice–the longer of the uncoupled Mark Casse’s at 3-1, that and the terrific work that he and Jose Ferrer have been doing together of late; the Tampa Bay Derby upset squarely on the top of that list.

But we must take King Ottokar (2-1) for more compelling reasons, probable payoff notwithstanding. Casse has been taking an edge with his recent dropdowns. Further, Antonio Gallardo has won with half of his last six mounts for this barn and the 5YO bay has lively pace figures with go with his class edge.

Casse’s Gulfstream Park shippers have been en fuego at this meet, going 5-for-9 when shipping north and, further, his last in Hallandale was excellent preparation for this; an eye-catching mid-race mover while wide on the final turn at a more sprint-like 7-1/2 furlongs.

One horse exited that quickly run two-turner and won, making the live N3L on MAR 4 a potential key race. With several speed types signed on here, we expect the connections to make good use of their runner’s mid-race speed.

Taking King Ottakar to win, no price restrictions, and boxing exactas with his stablemate and potential value shot, Obiwan (6-1).

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