We’re always pleased when the Tampa race week opens with promises of sunshine and a Horse to Watch with an excellent chance on one of our favorite all-time surfaces anywhere–the Tampa Bay Downs turf course.
Vow Saver (7-2) is neither the fastest horse leaving the gate or on the Thoro-Graph speed figure scale, though her line is forward-looking with a favorable pattern. And she returns for trainer Tim Hamm in a high-percentage layoff window for the barn.
After a slow getaway last out, Hector Diaz should have hesitated instead of trying to get into the race too quickly, forcing him very wide into the first turn and through most of the backstretch run, during the running of the third race on MAR 31.
When he got to the top of the far turn, he angled inside to save something for the drive and it worked, sort of. He made up ground, ultimately making a good run for the show spot but never was in danger of winning the whole thing. The three-year-old miss and Diaz deserve another chance. And if not today, when?
Taking Vow Saver to win, no price restrictions, and key-boxing her first and second in exotics with Fast Fashion (9-2), pole sitting for Team Dini-Centeno, the tactical and nicely posted speedster, V K Star (5-2), and first-time claimer/first Lasix/second-start, distance-meant stretch-out, Thawed (6-1).