TAMPA BAY DOWNS NOTEBOOK
APRIL 30, 2013
by Bob Bauer
Wednesday started the last week at the Downs under the four-day racing
format. The track will be dark all this week until Friday. Closing weekend will
present the last trio of live racing programs for the 2012-13 season. Highlights
will include the simulcast of The Kentucky Derby with VERRAZANO (More Than
Ready), the Tampa Bay Derby victor, expected to be a top candidate to wear the
Sunday will wrap up the meeting with fan appreciation day featuring free
admission and parking and many food and beverage discounts throughout the
Conditions in Tampa were excellent once again all week long — fast and firm
with temperatures in the 80s. The moveable rail on the turf course was set at 22
feet. Both surfaces continue to be fair without any noticeable bias. Keep in
mind that some early speed to get position is never a bad thing on either
Favorites scored at a 31 percent clip, taking a dozen of the 39 races
contested last week.
Shippers were successful only five times, but they made their presence felt.
Sunday’s seventh race, a 5 1/2-furlong, $8,000 claimer for non-winners of three
lifetime, is a good example. The bettors made ANCHORWOMAN (Mass Media) the 9-10
favorite on the basis of her seven-length romp over nonwinners-of-two in her
last outing. She also had the top speed figure and was first on the BRIS Prime
OUR PLUM PUTTING (Put It Back) had been idle since July when she faced
similar company at Calder. Making her first start for trainer Jennifer Hayford-Quinones,
the five-year old mare was second in the Prime Power and was about 7-1 at post
The pair of Prime Power queens dueled from the onset and hit the wire
together. The photo revealed that Our Plum Putting was best by a head. She
returned a $15.40 mutuel to her backers and topped a $41.20 exacta with the
It is interesting to note that this race began the late pick four wager. Many
players, no doubt, singled the chalk as she appeared to be very formidable. It
can pay to use shippers in your wagers, especially at this late stage of the
Tampa season. When a trainer ships in now they are looking for a quick score
before there is no more.
HORSES TO WATCH
5TH — SIMON’S HOPE (Simon Pure) was bet down to 4-1in his lifetime debut
with $8,000 maiden claiming sprinters. He broke awkwardly and rushed up to take
the lead into the turn before fading. Certainly merits another chance with this
kind. If jockey Daniel Coa stays aboard, all the better.
8TH — QUINICHETTE (Kipling), a four-year-old filly from the Leigh Delacour
barn, checked in third after a rough trip versus $25,000 nonwinners-of-three on
the turf. Sent off at 3-5, she lacked room and was taken up on the far turn
entering the stretch, altered course seven wide and was closing too late. Seems
to like the Tampa turf and a clean journey may be all she needs.
6TH — DARN PROUD (Proud and True) showed some signs of life in her latest
attempt with $16,000 nonwinners-of-three lifetime on the green. This was only
her second race after a six-month vacation. The veteran mare came out at the
start and was boxed inside, moved off the rail on the far turn and chased the
leader, before tiring to finish fifth at 53-1. Consider with this kind if the
price is right.
8TH — SUMMER INTERLUDE (Put It Back) is another mare who showed some promise
on the lawn at huge odds with maiden special weight runners. She went to the
post at 78-1, broke alertly and was racing third at the half-mile call. She was
squeezed and roughed between rivals on the second turn and lost momentum between
the six-furlong marker and the stretch, but recovered and closed gamely to get
the show dough. Could be sitting on a winning effort.
9TH –WAYWARDWILLY (Exchange Rate) ran well to get the place against $10,000
claimers going a mile on the weeds despite racing down inside for six furlongs,
boxed by foes in front and to the outside. He might not have caught the
gate-to-wire winner no matter what his trip, but this one appears to be ready
for another big performance soon.
5TH — BERKSHIRE HILLS (Posse), a three-year-old filly, gave a good account
of herself in her debut with $12,500 maiden claiming sprinters. She dueled for
the lead early against the 3-10 favorite and came on again late on the outside
to miss by a neck. Should be leaving the maiden ranks soon.
6TH — NOORLAINE (High Cotton) has been compromised by bad racing luck in her
last pair of contests against maiden claiming fillies on the sod. Two races
back, she was making a winning move in the stretch and clipped heels with a
tiring pacesetter who bore out. Her pilot, veteran jock Ron Allen Jr. was
unseated and is now recovering from serious injuries. Her latest try with
$25,000 stock was derailed when she got shuffled between rivals on the
backstretch, but still closed from the three-quarter pole to the wire, making a
run after getting room and finishing sixth. Don’t overlook this one.
2ND — GIMMEAWINKPOPPY (Gimmeawink) was well backed at 5-2 in his first try
for the Greg Griffith stable. He had blinkers back on and rider Augusto Marin,
who had guided the six-year-old to a second-place finish last November at
Calder. They steadied coming out of the gate and were last at the first quarter,
moved wide on the far turn to briefly threaten the winner and finished a tiring
fifth, versus $5,000 nonwinners-in-six-months routers. Watch the tote next time
4TH — CITATIONS HONOR—(Double Honor) showed some ability for conditioner
Lonnie Arterburn in his lifetime debut with maiden special weight foes on the
turf. A four-year-old gelding, he had good early foot, rushing to the lead and
setting fractions of :23 2/5 and :47 2/5 before relinquishing the lead and
having to steady on the second turn. He then came again on the inside before
fading in the stretch. He raced erratically at times, but should improve off
6TH — ILLUSIVE FUGITIVE (Stephen Got Even) is another lightly-raced maiden
that should benefit from his first turf trip. This sophomore gelding went to the
front early on, but ran greenly and bore out badly in the backstretch before
getting straightened by leading rider Daniel Centeno. He tired after six
furlongs, checking in fourth with $32,000 maiden claimers. The Tom Proctor
charge was second favorite at 7-2 and better results are expected soon.