We often talk about how much we go out of our way to seek out Tampa turf opportunities and almost always find one. Today is no exception but for the fact this is a sprint, an infrequent happening for such an ambitious grass program but here it is.
We won’t argue with the fact the line-maker saw fit to make Broadway Run (3-2) the early line favorite off NY company lines and the presence of Gallardo in the boot. Indeed he will be a tough out but no layover in the NX2 optional claimer.
There are two viable upsetters; Ode to Joy (4-1) and Clearwater (9-2).
No team at Tampa is hotter than the Delecour/Centeno tandem. Through this weekend, the rider has a five-for 15 slate with a gaudy 83% ITM finishers through last weekend.
Ode to Joy projects to have a good stalking trip based on position and if turf is holding speed, is the second most probable winner–if not the first.
But most interesting is Clearwater, whose early odds should hold barring late scratches. Second off a layup here, his return effort, coupled with his Tampa sprint races last year, indicates that he will move forward.
Clearwater broke sharply, battled between horses in a duel, attempted to re-engage after dropping back, did, until reaching midstretch where he tired badly. The rider took care of him and did not abuse him late. Click on the Tampa Bay link on the homepage to their replay center and check it: DEC 29, RACE 4.
His best races on the Thoro-Graph scale came on Tampa turf last year at 5 furlongs, not 5-1/2 or 6 furlongs, and that matters. Trainer Tim Hamm is profitable going dirt to turf and Angel Suarez is strong enough to take advantage of this mare’s late kick on the turnback. We’re thinking value, and exactas with the two above..