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The Conscience of Thoroughbred Racing

TAMPA BAY TODAY – FEB 2

Tampa opens its week with split divisions of an optional/NX1 sprinting five furlongs on the Tampa turf.

We’ve always been convinced that there can be a world of difference between sprints of five- and 5-1/2 furlongs on grass. We’re testing that theory once again in Wednesday’s ninth race.

The visual we’re leaning on, however, is a dirt sprint going three-quarters of a mile. In it, Tapit’s Girl (3-1) attempted a 4-wide sweep on the turn that put her in serious contention but she was unable to sustain, remaining once-paced at the end.

We see that, incidentally, as a perfect spot for a turnback at a shorter distance, especially over a preferred surface. Take a look at Tampa Bay Downs, JAN 5, Race 8, and visualize what might happen shortening up here.

We see good things, especially since two of the fillies three lifetime wins came at this trip and on grass. Better still, trainer Douglas Nunn, who won three races last week, is a perfect 3-for-3 with a re-addition of blinkers. Jesus Castanon accepts a return call.

A competitive sprint among several here, the price should be fair. We’re taking Tapit’s Girl to win at 2-1 or greater and key-boxing exactas with class droppers Fort Drum (9-2), fresh for Roy Lerman, and Billy Jane (5-2), a good third following a slow beginning in her local turf debut at this trip last out.

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