In today’s seventh race on the grass, it shapes up as a battle between a hot horse, Rudiger (2-1), from the hot barn of Maria Bowerstock, and the classier Willing to Speed (3-1) who is pole sitting with Hector Diaz.
“Rudy” has gotten good as a gelded five year old including a recent game placing in which he finished ahead of Willing to Speed, benefitting from an easier trip. Not only that but this barn has been winning at a 23% clip over the last three months.
But if trips are the measure, as always on grass, Willing to Speed lost too much ground throughout in their recent meeting as was beaten only 2-3/4 lengths by that rival. Check out the Tampa Bay Today video on the homepage and decide for yourself, MAR 12, RACE 4.
There’s an angle at play worth noting, too. March 12 was ‘Speed’s’ first start here and it’s interesting that her introduction was a waiver claiming event where she was protected. For start two, he’s dropping into a straight $16,000 claimer at the same distance. Kathleen O-Connell’s charge has never run this cheaply.
We’re taking Willing to Speed to win at 5-2 or greater and an exacta box with Rudiger, adding Fly Nightly (6-1) and The Curt Fox (6-1) to the super-exotics mix.