When it comes to the ability to handle marathon distances, sometimes current condition and style is more important than pedigree, which is the case with Native Lion (7-2) in Sunday’s fourth in Oldsmar.
None of the mare’s rivals are sharper than she, having won half of her four most recent starts and one third by a neck, all coinciding with the addition of blinkers. But what makes her a candidate on the stretch is her last race.
Making an early decisive thrust from close range going 9 furlongs, Daniel Centeno sent her to a commanding lead, taking over into the lane and held gamely, getting her final furlong in 11 4/5, and indication she got stronger at that day’s longer trip.
No reason she couldn’t do that again and this time Centeno may elect to control the tempo if her rivals decline. Her spacing is good coming into this and trainer Anthony Granitz has had great success with horses looking to repeat.
Check out the Tampa Bay Today Video to see whether the scenario we portend appears logical; see RACE 6 on FEB 29. Taking Native Lion straight, no restrictions, and key-boxing exactas with course-loving, long-pedigreed Haniel (10-1) and Stormy D (4-1), a solid wide-rally second to ‘Lion’ last out.