Let’s begin with Happy Birthday to the equines; hats and horns for all, especially three-year-olds who today begin their quest for fame and fortune! Now to the business at hand–Wednesday’s eighth event, a maiden-allowances for sophomore fillies sprinting 7 furlongs.
And what a diverse cast it is. Shippers from New York and South Florida and a pair of newcomers will match up against the locals; the kind of diversity that has made Tampa Bay Downs popular with the betting crowd.
We won’t sugar coat it; the race is tricky, but the good news is that any horse could provide betting value if the crowd makes betting promises that their bankrolls can’t keep. One can make a case for the debut runners–and not based on workouts.
Gerri B. (6-1) has high-profile connections. Owned by Marilyn Bramlage, a small KY breeder but this Gemologist filly was bred by WinStar. ‘Gerri’ shows KEE works but has been working in Oldsmar since November. Antonio Gallardo rides for Kelsey Danner, who enjoyed a profitable 2019.
Sweet Baby Girl (12-1) was bred and owned by the Casner family who do not race their horses on Lasix. She’s not burning up the work tab and Eoin Harty is 5% first time out but, astoundingly, all 12 of the mare’s foals have won. Her uncoupled mate is the favorite, Good News (5-2). More below…
Four of the nine are making a class rise from the claiming ranks to special-weights, generally a low percentage play, although Florido (4-1) is nearly as fast as the favorite based on her last effort at Gulfstream. She goes second-time in blinkers and placed at this trip in Tampa two starts back.
Favored Good News rates to improve. She finished second at 7 furlongs in her second start over synthetic Arlington SEP 1, had her speed sharpened on turf, then shipped here to finish a distant second at six furlongs after trailing badly early. Her pedigree says she wants the distance.
For the record, we believe that Good News is the most probable winner but there is a more interesting play.
Red Venus (5-1) made her debut, going one mile on turf [you can find embedded video on the Tampa Bay Downs website]. Note that she breaks greenly and bears in, forcing Samy Camacho to grab her up yet never lost contact with the leaders.
After settling, she made a very solid mid-race move on the fence that carried her up into third. Note that she was still trying in mid-stretch until she finally tired. Camacho protected her nearing the wire.
Now look at her pre-debut workouts. They were regularly spaced and on the quick side. Subsequent to her turf race, she blew out a smart half-mile for her dirt debut, gets first-Lasix here and the white-hot Camacho is riding her back.
We’re betting Red Venus to win, willing to take as low as 3-1, and boxing the exacta with Good News, adding first-timer Gerri B. to the super-exotics mix.