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Tampa Bay Downs Betting - Other Sunshine Action

Posted by Brian Mulligan on 12/5/2011 5:02:40 PM
tampa bay downs betting

Tampa Bay Downs, which kicked off Saturday for its 86th season, was a long-time haunt of New York Yankee Boss George Steinbrenner and is a hidden online sportsbook gem in the early portion of the racing year. Bettors will be much better off in the long run if they pay attention to this meet and to the shippers that will go elsewhere when the meet ends in May.

The Tampa form seems to hold up better every year and although it doesn’t have the glitter and glory of Gulfstream Park there are some good riders and some very good trainers that ply their trade there.

The highlight of the sport betting meeting will be the Grade 2 $350,000 Tampa Bay Derby on March 10 but there are some other serious stakes there that sophomores can build momentum toward the spring classics.

The riding title should be up for grabs since Daniel Centeno, who was second in the standings last year mainly due to being injured, will move his tack to Gulfstream.

Ronnie Allen Jr. will try to defend his status and win a consecutive Tampa title. One rider to look out for is Mark Guidry, who has been around forever and should find his way into some veteran stables.

When scrutinizing turf races, know that Leandro Goncalves was second to Allen in most turf wins despite getting 23 fewer chances.

Daniel Coa also had a great season on the grass course, as did the Rosemary Homeister

A trainer to watch with comebackers this meet is Gerald Bennett. He is great with horses that need some tender loving care. The Canadian native has been a fixture in the Michigan racing scene for what seems life forever but is best known for his work with Beau Genius. A few seasons ago he planned and orchestrated that runner’s 13 stakes winning career which including Grade 1 scores in Jersey in the Haskell and Phil Iselin.

Bennett had a sensational Tampa meet last year tying for the title with Jamie Ness, who despite sending out 58 fewer starters, still matched Bennett’s win total of 61, according to sports betting websites.

There was quality in small numbers for Jorge Navarro last season as he won with 23% of his starters. The very patient Ian Wilkes had a solid stand with 13 happy endings from 52 runners but Lonnie Arturburn did him a bit better popping with 11 of his 40 steeds.

One of my favorite trainers in the country has called Tampa his winter home since the 2001 season and when bettors see runners mentored by Tom Proctor, they had better pay attention.

Tom learned from his pops, the legendary Willard, who is one of the most respected trainers in California history.

The younger Proctor broke into the Tampa scene and promptly hit at a 60% win clip going 15 for 25. He proved that number was no fluke but following up with seasons of 32%, 36% and last year 37%.

Last year, Proctor only sent out 77 starters but 15 came back to the winner’s circle and another 17 ran in the money.

The best thing about Proctor is he is dangerous at a price and he has been known to saunter to the betting windows.

So, when things get boring for online sports players in New York, or at Gulfstream, or even at Santa Anita, take a glance at the Tampa Bay action and get in on the value.

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