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OLDSMAR, FL – An overdrawn field of 10 sophomore males and two Also-Eligibles will each fight for their first victory in the eighth and final race at Tampa Bay Downs on Wednesday, May 6.
The mile-long maiden special weight turf event has a $20k purse and a local post time of 4:30 PM Eastern. Here is a preview of the full field:
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1. Talako (10/1) – One of three first-time starters who drew into the field, Talako has the tough task of breaking from the rail in his debut, but the son of Karakontie has positive factors on his side. Trainer Jorge Abreu has won with 26% of his first-time starters, Karakontie 3-year-old offspring have won 10 of 57 starts, and his dam, Sobinka, won the first four starts of her career – all at age 3 and none shorter than 1 1/4 miles on turf.
2. Food and Wine (8/1) – The Glen Hill Farm homebred son of top turf sire War Front will make his 3-year-old debut after finishing fourth in a pair of turf sprints last summer. Trainer Tom Proctor opted to make the ultimate equipment change on him during his time away; this will be his first start as a gelding.
3. Storm Tracker (20/1) – As a second debut runner in the field, Storm Tracker will attempt to pull off the upset for trainer David Fisher, who has won with 2 of 10 first-time starters over the past five years. The Florida-bred gelded son of Bahamian Squall has been breezing steadily at the Winding Oaks Farm training center in Ocala.
4. Charliecando (8/1) – Trainer James Gulick will stretch him out to two turns for the first time in this event after finishing second here in a 5-furlong sprint on April 15. Prior to that effort, the gelded son of Shanghai Bobby raced four times on synthetic (finishing second twice) and once on dirt while under the care of Ingrid Mason.
5. Safe and Sound (6/1) – The Ignacio Correas IV trainee returns to the turf after not handling the course in a rained-off event last time out. He earned a 63 Beyer speed figure in both prior turf starts, finishing third while going 1 1/16 miles, then running second at a mile 20 days later.
6. Fit for a King (8/1) – The Godolphin homebred is back for a second try at a turf mile after finishing fourth on debut here on March 28. The Street Sense colt’s trainer, Mike Stidham, has won 3 of 10 times when jockey Angel Suarez climbed aboard since 2019 and 21 of 84 (25%) races when his maidens made their second starts.
7. Curlin’s Thrill (8/1) – The Sam-Son Farm homebred will make his first start for new trainer J. Kent Sweezey and jockey Gary Wales, who have won 23% of their combined mounts since 2019. Curlin’s Thrill failed to hit the board in three prior starts, all two-turn local turf events.
8. U S Army Corps (7/5) – The Joe Allen homebred son of War Front nearly got the job done last time out while making his 3-year-old debut here on April 11, leading until the final stages before missing by a head (pictured above). His Beyer speed figures have improved with every start and he will have Antonio Gallardo, the meet’s leading rider, aboard for the second straight time.
9. Big Dreaming (6/1) – The Frank Calabrese homebred is the third debut runner in the field and hails from the same Stidham barn as Fit for a King. The son of Declaration of War appears sharp for his unveiling, having fired a local bullet 5-furlong work in 1:01.00.
10. Belushi Samurai (30/1) – The longest shot on the morning line tote will make his first attempt at completing two turns after debuting in the same 5-furlong turf sprint as Charliecando. The Mike Tomlinson trainee can be forgiven for finishing seventh, beaten 18 lengths, in that event because he got loose before the start and then broke awkwardly, spotting the field 15 lengths at first call.
11. Juror (3/1) (Also Eligible) – If he enters the gate, the Juddmonte Farms homebred should attract serious attention at the betting windows. Trainer Chad Brown, one of the nation’s best on turf, has won 5 times and hit the board with 14 of his 17 starters at the current meet.
12. Beachwalker (7/2) (Also Eligible) – The Godolphin homebred crossed fourth in his most recent effort, the same event that U S Army Corps lost by a head, but he was disqualified and placed ninth for causing interference in the stretch. Should he draw into the field, this will be the Street Sense gelding’s second start for trainer Eoin Harty after making his four prior starts for the now-retired Kiaran McLaughlin.
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