Wednesday’s fifth race to begin the Tampa Bay Today race week is a five furlong turf sprint in which it appears that Skippy’s Strike (5-2) holds the key.
Trainer Kerri Raven has been doing very good work with limited starters over the past two years and the gelded old pro has found a likely spot here after being very aggressively placed in the recent Turf Dash Stakes.
The running line is a little deceptive but you decide. He ran well in spots after dropping back to last, angled out into the stretch, angled back in, but had nowhere to go late. Still, his final split was comparative to his winning-race prior. Check Tampa Bay Downs replay, FEB 19, Race 10.
He drops two levels today off the bad line and is well spotted to rebound this level grade.
Note, too, that Raven is profitable the last two years when taken in aggregate for all starters, including turf runners and sprinters. The rider switch to Jesus Castanon seems appropriate given his most recent circuitous journey.
Taking Skippy’s Strike to win at 5-2 or greater and key-boxing exactas with venerable win machine Fox Rox (3-1) and Bennett price shot Savvy Layla (12-1) for prodigious Gerald Bennett, 32% effective in second start off the claim.