Horse Racing Picks for Wednesday, April 22: Best Value Bets for Tampa Bay Downs
Pat Scala/Racing Photos
Wednesday’s racing at Tampa Bay Downs will start at 12:30 p.m. ET with Race 1, which commences the Early Pick 5 sequence.
There is a carryover of $13,835 in the pick-six, a 20-cent jackpot wager that spans races 3-8.
The weather forecast calls for mostly sunny skies and a high of 87 degrees. All even-numbered races will be run on what figures to be firm turf, with all odd-numbered races going on a fast main track.
Race 1 (Early Pick 5)
Time: 12:30 p.m. ET
My primary option in this 1 mile and 40-yard dirt route is the No. 3 Big Rig (4-1), who makes his first start since October for trainer Ron Potts – who is 0 for 7 off of layoffs longer than 180 days. The son of Big Brown looks like the class of this field, but I’m unsure whether he needs one race as a tuneup, first.
I’ll utilize the No. 2 The Kahn (5-2) and the No. 4 Autograph (8-1) as backup options.
The Kahn goes out for trainer Gerald Bennett – who is winning 23% of the time in claimer races and he has hot hockey Samy Camacho, who is winning 24% of the time over the past month, in the irons.
Autograph will run for Victor Carrasco Jr., who carries a 23% win rate in claimers, with a 2 for 14 mark overall when moving a horse from turf to dirt.
Picks: 3, over 2, 4, 1
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Race 2 (Early Pick 4)
Time: 1:00 p.m. ET
Mark Casse’s No. 7 Pioneer of New York (2-1) is my top selection in this 1 1/16 mile turf race, especially with Tampa Bay’s top jockey Antonio Gallardo (23% win) aboard.
But the Casse/Gallardo connection is just one for 14 at the current Tampa meet, and Casse only sports a 17% win rate at the claimer level. That horse also figures to be a very short price.
My one alternative is the No. 8 Bettyb (15-1), who I’ll include in my Pick 4, but not in my Pick 5.
Picks: 7, over 9, 8, 10
Race 3 (Pick 6)
Time: 1:30 p.m. ET
The No. 4 Super Twenty Five (2-1) has good speed and should benefit from a solid post position, but she could face sustained pressure in this six-furlong sprint, and this race looks ripe for spreading.
A swift pace should ultimately benefit the No. 1 Moonlit Sea (15-1).
But I can make arguments for at least four other horses – the No. 2 Lil B Quick (9-2), No. 3 Alluring Approval (8-1), No. 7 I’llmakeyousmile (8-1), and the No. 9 Rattlesnakerose (4-1) each winning this race.
The jockey/trainer combination of Gerald Bennett and Daniel Centeno, for Rattlesnakerose, is 27 for 84 (32%) at the current Tampa meet.
Picks: 1, over 2, 4, 7
Race 4 (Late Pick 5)
Time: 2:00 p.m. ET
I would only use two selections in this one-mile turf race to begin the late Pick 5, including the No. 4 Gesture (5-2), and No. 6 Natoma (7-2) – who has improved both since adding blinkers and switching over to the turf.
I don’t know how you pick against Gesture, however – dropping in class for a barn that is 16 for 34 (47%, $2.37 ROI) at the maiden claimer level, and seven for 17 when moving a horse from maiden special weight to a maiden claimer.
Picks: 4, over 6, 2, 3
Race 5 (Late Pick 4)
Time: 2:30 p.m. ET
The No. 4 Highland Park Hero (6-1) races for the first time August, for a barn that is six for 15 (40%) in allowance races. He has a versatile running style and should be a real threat; even in his first start off of the bench.
The No. 2 Top Seed (5-2) seems the likely favorite for Shug McGaughey and could be sitting on a career effort – coming off of a bullet workout and into his third career start.
A couple of back options include the No. 6 Legacy Azteca (7-2) – who goes out for leading trainer Gerald Bennett’s barn. However, Bennett only has a 14% win rate ($0.80 ROI) in allowance races.
Lastly, you could use the No. 7 Cave Run (8-1) who takes a drop-in class and should have sufficient speed in this race to make one run off of the pace.
Picks: 2, over 4, 6, 7
Time: 3:00 p.m. ET
There are several sprinters stretching out in distance in this one-mile turf route, meaning that the early pace should be hot enough for the late-running No. 1 Durven (3-1) or No. 7 Antalya (7-2) to close down the field in the stretch run.
Picks: 1, over 7, 4, 2
Time: 3:30 p.m. ET
This seven-furlong dirt sprint might be the most difficult race of the day.
The favorite is the No. 7 Blake the Cake (9-5), who hasn’t raced since last August – but trainer Ian Wilkes wins 20% of the time off of long layoffs.
The No. 3 Land Mark Deal (12-1) should also be on your tickets at a big number, with a trainer who has hit the board with seven of 18 debut runners, including three wins, over the past three years.
Shug McGaughey also sends out a first-time starter in the well-bred No. 5 Creed (5-2), who figured to take a bunch of money but could have immediate success.
My “B” options include the No. 4 Holy Cross (10-1), whose trainer Ian Hemingway is two for eight with maidens making their second start; and the No. 6 Sense of Justice (3-1) whose trainer Michael Stidham wins at a 17% clip in maiden special weights.
Picks: 5, over 3, 7, 4
Time: 4:00 p.m. ET
The No. 8 Summer Assault (2-1) will be a short-priced favorite at post time, cutting back in distance from one mile to five furlongs for this sprint race.
The son of Summer Front has recorded three Beyer speed figures in the mid-70’s when no other horse in this field has beaten 63.
The ROI metrics aren’t particularly encouraging for trainer Michele Boyce in this type of spot, but the ongoing pandemic is presenting unique scheduling challenges for all trainers.
Summer Assault is my lone “A” option, but sprinting isn’t necessarily his game so I’ll look for an upside option who could potentially reach the winner’s circle at a price.
I’ll look to the No. 4 Cliffy (10-1), who should be able to work out a tactical trip, and whose trainer Mike Dini is four for 16 when moving from dirt to turf ($4.36 ROI).
If I’m still alive on any multi-race tickets, heading into the final race, I’ll likely bet Cliffy across the board as a hedge – or use him on top of a trifecta key.
Picks: 8, over 4, 6, 3
Bets for Tampa Bay Downs, April 22
Favorite Win Bets
- Race 4: No. 4 Gesture (5-2)
- Race 8: No. 8 Summer Assault (2-1)
Sample Multi-Race Wagers
- Early Pick 5 (Race 1): 2,3,4 / 7 / 1,2,3,4,7,9 / 4 / 2,4 ($0.50 Ticket = $18)
- Early Pick 4 (Race 2): 7,8 / 1,2,3,4,7,9 / 4,6 / 2,4 ($0.50 Ticket = $24)
- Pick 6 (Race 3): 1,2,3,4,7,9 / 4 / 2,4 / 1,7 / 3,5,7/ 8 ($0.20 Ticket = $14.40)
- Pick 3 (Race 4): 4 / 2,4,6,7 / 1,7 ($2 Ticket = $16)
- Late Pick 5 (Race 4): 4,6 / 2,4,6,7 / 1,7 / 3,4,5,6,7 / 8 ($0.50 Ticket = $40)
- Late Pick 4 (Race 5): 2,4,6,7 / 1,7 / 3,4,5,6,7 /8 ($0.50 Ticket = $20)