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TAMPA BAY TODAY-JAN 17

In today’s maiden allowances, the sixth from Oldsmar, Rag Tag (5-2) finally gets back on the turf–first time sprinting on grass for Eoin Harty–and that looks like the key to today’s maiden breaking performance.

Yes, the four-year-old has the looks of a professional runnerup with five lifetime placings on his card but he will never find better conditions to score that first victory.

Both his races at Arlington Park were very good going long as he was highly competitive in both. But turning back to 5 furlongs will suit him perfectly as he figures to use his tactical speed to maintain contact with the group and his outside draw will give turf ace Jesus Castanon options.

In his last, the Union Rags colt was forced to maintain his position on the inside and await until headstretch to shift outside and was getting to the winner late. It was a strongly run 6-1/2 furlongs and he was able to keep pace in solid fractions throughout. He will benefit.

Check out his Tampa debut and try to envision how today’s dynamics will matter in the final analysis, TAMPA BAY TODAY Video, DEC 9, RACE 2. Sis weeks fresh, the spacing looks perfect.

Taking Rag Tag to win, no price restrictions, and an exacta box with Diamond State (4-1), who makes up for a lack of solid pedigree but hails from a barn, Tim Hamm’s that’s profitable going dirt to turf and the gelded four-year-old goes today as a first-time gelding.

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