Thursday, April 17, 2008

Breaking Down the Field

No, not the Derby field. The field for the 4th race at Tampa Bay Downs on Saturday which, to me personally, is more important than who's going to do what on the 1st Saturday in May.

Yes, Fizzy Pop is making start number two for our little band of miscreants otherwise known as GRS#1. The race is a $16,000 claiming race going about 1 1/16th on the turf. It's a full field of 10 with four also eligibles.

The Fiz comes into this race with a turf record of only 1 for 6 (1 for 4 at this distance) his win being here at Tampa in Allowance company last year and two of the three loses with excuses (bumped start; swerved out in stretch). The other start at this distance on the grass was a mid-pack finish at the $32,000 level, hardly a disgrace. Now the rest of the field:

1 - Prospector's Legacy: drops in from $32,000 where he lost by 11 1/4 which followed up two back of the pack finishes in starter handicaps. His early '08 form at 25,000 shows him to be dangerous if he can run back to it.

2 - Kid Carousel: Led all the way until the end in two of his last three at $25,000 - one over this turf course. Coming into this one after getting drilled by 49 after an awkward start. Dangerous if there are no lingering effects.

3 - Dakota Max: Sometimes you have to watch out for horses that just belong at this level. Max is one of those. He comes in after running a solid second over this turf course at this level and posting a nice 79 Beyer. The downside - he's been away for two months and his drills have been average.

4- Brickell: Another one coming in off a two month layoff with average drills, but showed guts coming back for a third place finish at this level at a mile on the turf last out.

5 - Hots is Hot: While starting the meet in fine form, he has just stopped in his last two efforts. He may need some time off.

6 - Princeofthestage: Hasn't shown much at all since being pulled up in January 07.

7 - Miami Beat: Another that has been competitive at $25,000 and a recent third at $16,000. Could be an exotic factor.

8 - Fizzy Pop!

9 - Solar Surprise: Last raced in January finishing a weakening third at $16,000. Unlike the other layoff horses inside of him, he has been working sharply coming into this one including a bullet 1:01.1 on Saturday.

10 - Roman Valor: He has not shown a recent liking for the turf here at Tampa, though his one turf win was here in 2007. Looks like a cut below these.


11 - Afleet Pardner: A very game effort to win last out over a $17,700 allowance field on the turf going 1 1/8th. He disappointed in the slop two back, but prior to that was a strong second in another turf allowance. Very dangerous if he draws in.

12 - Ho Ho Ho: Only solid effort this meet has come in the slop where he has been on the board in 4 of eight wet starts. He'd need to run back to old form to be a factor here.

13 - Final Prophecy: Has missed the board in every start at this meet.

14 - Jared'stemper: Won at this level going a mile on the turf on April 2. Other two efforts at this level at the meet were two close up thirds. I'd be happier if he doesn't draw in.

So all in all it looks like a pretty competitive field. I'm concerned because there is not a lot of pace in this race. There are quite a few closers along with us in here and that could make for an ulcer inducing cavalry charge finish - or a romp by a pacesetter that can have his own way on the front end (Kid Carousel?). I think we have at least a puncher's chance in here as Fiz seems to be rounding into form at the perfect time for us. We'll know more on Saturday afternoon!

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