Another interesting conclusion to a Tampa Bay Downs race card, an optional allowances for three-year-olds going 1-1/16 miles on the turf.
Today’s group is coming from all class levels and many of them have run fast enough to win if the Thoro-Graph scale is any measure.
Difficult to know how each will handle their rise so we’re sticking with that old chestnut: Class on the grass. And one needn’t look far to find that entrant: Our Country (2-1).
When last seen, another son of Constitution is doing promising things, if not great things, like the one on display in the Florida Derby.
Our Country broke from the rail at 16-1 in the 2019 Juvenile Turf. And let’s just say he never had a fair chance to win at any stage of the race.
Not assessing blame, but Johnny Velazquez was intent on making a late run saving ground in the process and that he did, to a fault. Our Country never left the fence and he never had a chance to that, either.
Horses on the outside hemmed him in throughout. He showed some run but every time he got the close to a rival in front of him, Velazquez was forced to tap on the breaks.
Checking again entering headstretch, Johnny tried to make a run on the fence but Our Country didn’t surge until he was steered outside but was still surrounded. He made up ground but never threatened to win.
The best part of his race came when it was over. Stick with the replay and watch him gallop out ahead of the bulky field by mid-clubouse turn.
Admittedly, he has been prone to troubled trips yet was beaten less than 3 lengths in a graded stakes at Saratoga and finished third with a wide trip in the G3 Pilgrim at Belmont.
See for yourself. Check out the Tampa Bay Today Video Santa Anita RACE 6, NOV 1, 2019. Nicely posted here with Daniel Centeno, trainer George Weaver had Vekoma ready to roll on season’s debut Saturday, so get ’em while they’re hot.
Taking Our Country to win, no price restrictions, and will try to optimize by key-boxing him first and second in Dime Supers with Tabled (12-1), Me and Mr. C (5-1), Alley Oop Johnny (5-1) and Tapage (8-1).