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The Conscience of Thoroughbred Racing

TAMPA BAY TODAY-DEC 5

Juveniles on parade Saturday in Oldsmar with two stakes, one for boys, one for girls and both have drawn large, competitive fields. We’ll concentrate on the Sandpiper for fillies. Winning bettors will get paid whoever scores here as any favorite is unlikely to be much lower than 3-1 ante post.

We looked at a lot of video and five of the 13 entered have some things to recommend them. We decided to err on the side of experience and early speed and we believe we’ve found those elements in Briella (5-1), shipping north from GPW for solid 2YO conditioner Michael Yates.

Briella’s extreme outside draw at #13 ordinarily is a tough obstacle to overcome but given her excellent speed away from the barrier, she’s capable of shaking loose if aggressively ridden by Hector Diaz. The cutback from 6-1/2 furlongs can only help at the end.

When you check the Tampa Bay Video of her most recent start vs state-bred stakes rivals at GULFSTREAM PARK WEST, RACE 5, NOV. 14, note how the filly challenged the fast tempo in hand, completely within herself. In the end she settled for place behind the favorite and her final time was solid.

Briella has run well on fast, good and sloppy tracks in a four race career so she should be good to go whatever happens; forecast calls for 30% chance of rain. The key to success for this filly will depend on the break. An outside post is good, but losing ground on the turn wouldn’t be.

We’re taking Briella to win at early line but no less. and key-boxing exactas and trifectas with Gulf Coast (7-2), a very fast winner on debut at Indiana Grand for top connections, Wholebodemeister (5-1), impressive at GPW in her October prep, and Feeling Mischief (9-2), a good third vs. salty Keeneland rivals last out.

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