There may be classier horses, and faster horses filling the gate for the Tampa Bay Turf Dash, but none that hits harder than Kerri Raven’s gelded six-year-old.
There is no question that Diamonds Oops (9-5) has the best company lines with accomplishment to match. Now a 7YO, the horse–also cross-entered in the Gulfstream Park Sprint, historically has used turf sprints off layups as preps.
Bad Beat Brian (4-1) ships in sharp for Michael Maker and attracts Daniel Centeno after working briskly for this. His recent half-mile breeze was fastest of 103 peers to work that week at Palm Meadows training center.
But it’s Chess Master (15-1) that catches the eye. Tactical, drawn inside and not that far away from the favorites on the Thoro-Graph scale, we’ll gamble on a perfect trip given the scenario and promising odds.
Chess Master is proven on the Tampa lawn, winning four of seven lifetime, and has won no less than half of his 18 lifetime starts at this trip. Jesus Castanon has multiple wins on this turf-sprint specialist.
A courageous winner off a freshening here on DEC 21, Race 6 (see Tampa Bay Today video on HRI homepage) Taking Chess Master to win at 8-1 or greater and key-boxing exactas w3ith his rivals list here.