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The Conscience of Thoroughbred Racing


Friday is the next day of racing in Oldsmar, where the forecast calls for fair skies–sandwiched between two wet projections–so here’s hoping as we tackle a wide open turf claimer going as the day’s fifth.

The open nature demands we go price shopping here but must acknowledge two shippers, dropping out of the sky, one from New York, the other from South Florida, deserve much respect.

From Saratoga, in fact, comes early line favorite Command Point (5-2) who never has run nearly as cheaply as she does today, dropping from the $50K mark. As a 5-year-old, she sports a (10) 1-1-1 slate, so the drop makes sense, as does the switch to prolific strong finisher, Pablo Morales.

Three-year-old Maracas Bay (5-1) last raced in a restricted claimer but at the $35K level at Gulfstream. Saffie Joseph Jr. taps turf ace Samy Camacho for the assignment, is profitable with claimers and owns a 33% strike rate when dropping two levels, the case here. We’ll look for value with the locals.

Water Witch (8-1) won her debut, on this turf course, before her form went south. After that, an off-the-turfer followed by a grass try when she “soon trailed” before going to the sidelines for six months, obviously something went awry.

She returned from the layup with a rough trip at an inappropriate sprint distance. Today she stretches to her winning trip and switches to Centeno. Think she’s live? We do. But we can’t shake a recent low-level maiden winner on this course NOV 25. Check out her trip here in that day’s opener.

Kisses for Hannah (10-1) beat weaker but she won well. She loses Centeno to Water Witch today but at 10-1 on the early line, ‘Hannah’ is worth a long look for a barn that’s 2-for-9 at this meet. Thus far, Mario Lopez has been profitable with his turf runners. Skyler Sanabel insures the off odds will be close to the early line.

We will make small wagers both locals–Kisses for Hannah and Water Witch, price dependent–and will use both dropdowns defensively in exotics.

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