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Grass is where it's at on Saturday at the track

Posted by Pete Mitchell on 4/26/2012 10:28:28 AM

Tampa Bay Downs odds: Furthest Land can take you far

  • WHO: Thoroughbreds Furthest Land, Spice Route, Presious Passion, Nans Joy
  • WHO: Horse Racing Betting Tips – The Tampa Bay, The Mac Diarmida, The Bayou Handicap
  • WHERE: Tampa Bay Downs, Gulfstream Park, Fair Grounds
  • WHEN: Saturday, February 21

Let’s put the Triple Crown chase on hold for the weekend and give some older grass horses their due. There’s an interesting and competitive trio of grass stakes on Saturday’s cards at Tampa Bay Downs, Gulfstream Park and Fair Grounds, assuming the weather co-operates. We’ll handicap these races with firm turf in mind.

In the Tampa Bay, I’m intrigued by the job trainer Mike Maker has done with 4YO gelding Furthest Land. It’s rare that someone can improve a grass horse that’s been in the hands of Cristophe Clement, but that’s exactly what Maker’s done with Furthest Land since he was claimed for $35,000 last October at Belmont. Furthest Land has rattled off three straight allowance wins, the last two of which came with the addition of blinkers. His Beyer Speed Figures have improved in each of those starts, putting him on a par with this modest group of stakes runners. I’ll bet him to win at odds of 4-1 or better.

The Grade 2 Mac Diarmida features one of my favorite horses…the perpetually underrated Presious Passion. This guy consistently outruns his odds, and did so again last out when he was nailed in the final strides (at odds of 9-1) by favored Soldier’s Dancer in the Sunshine Millions Turf at Santa Anita. Presious Passion will relish the firm going at Gulfstream, where there’s been very little rain for the past few weeks. He’ll probably settle into a stalking trip behind #1-Finallymadeit, and should have enough left to hold off the late charge of #3-Spice Route. I’ll bet on #12-Presious Passion to win at odds of 5-2 or better, and box Presious Passion and Spice Route in the exacta.

My final horse racing betting tip of the day for those who bet horses is on #8-Nans Joy in The Bayou Handicap at Fair Grounds. She was beaten convincingly by Shytoe Lafeet two back, but that was off a three-and-a half-month layoff. The Bill Mott trainee has since cleared her N3X condition, and appears poised for another move forward. Look for her to turn the tables on Shytoe Lafeet at odds of 7-2 or better. #4-Meribel is the class of the field, but has just one win on her resume in 2008-09. I’ll bet on Nans Joy to win and also use her on top of Shytoe Lafeet and Meribel in the exacta.

Good luck at the racebook with this weekend’s races.

Pete Mitchell has been handicapping horses since his teenage years. He has been a professional horse player for many years, and came to betonline.com’s attention through multiple referrals from industry insiders/sportsbook owners. Pete is revered for his horse handicapping opinion and industry experts acknowledge his impressive career winning record. Thoughts or questions?

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