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Tampa Bay Downs: Five last-out winners meet
By Doug McCoy
OLDSMAR, Fla. – Saturday’s first-level allowance feature at Tampa Bay Downs matches five horses coming off winning efforts. A field of 12 was entered for the 1 1/16-mile turf race, but only 10 will be allowed to start.
El Uno comes into the headliner off back-to-back winning efforts over the local turf course and looks to be in peak form for trainer Monte Thomas. A front-running winner here in his first local outing in December, El Uno was used up from post 11 when brought back in the Tampa Turf Test and wound up a tiring ninth.
The 5-year-old gelding chased a strong front-running winner in Gibson County Line in his next when second going a mile on the grass and then was given five weeks off. He came off that break in sharp form as he chased the leader from post 9 going a mile and then drove to the lead and hung on for a head win.
Most recently, El Uno displayed the ability to come from off the pace as he rallied from sixth to prevail by three-quarters of a length against open $25,000 claimers.
Iloveyoubutimbored left the winless ranks two races back with a strong stretch run. He then was sent to Gulfstream Park where he steadied at the break of a five-furlong turf dash and had to come from next to last while finishing second at 14-1.
If able to come close to the level of his maiden win, the Reid Nagle-trained runner could be tough to handle Saturday.
The 4-year-old gelding Bobby Flay raced with some strong competition on the West Coast last season and left the maiden ranks in his fourth career start at Santa Anita. He was off from December unitl March when he raced in an optional claiming route at a mile and 40 yards on the main track but could only manage a third-place finish as the betting choice.
Common Sense, who has had more than his fair share of bad racing luck in seven local starts this season, seemed to appreciate the drop from $25,000 to $16,000 claiming last time out and came away with a 1 1/4-length victory under Dean Butler. The Bernell Rhone trainee has had traffic problems in several of his starts this winter and with a clean trip may handle the move up in class.
Robynhood came off a six-week break to capture a $50,000 claiming route on the grass last time out while Oak Harbor, from the Tom Proctor barn, also came off six weeks away from the races to leave the winless ranks over $25,000 maiden claimers in his last.
Another interesting entrant is War Politics, who last saw action for $80,000 when second at Santa Anita last April. War Politics has since moved from the Doug O’Neil barn to that of Ed Williams.
Gibson County Line never got a chance to display his good early speed last time out when third and looks like the chief speed of this group. While he moves up in class and is coming off just eight days’ rest, look for him to cut out the early fractions.
- 1.Posted 12/05/2013 04:54PM
- 2.Posted 12/08/2013 09:52AM
- 3.Posted 12/07/2013 07:42PM
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