By Tim Holland
#8 Big Time Player (8-1) drops in class off an unplaced effort in a maiden special weight event over 6-furlongs here last month in his second start for trainer Johnson. Son of Candy Ride was an expensive $525K yearling purchase and finished third at about this level at Fair Grounds before joining Johnson, who wins with 27% making this class drop. Morning Line may be a touch unrealistic, but Big Time Player should be tough at this level under Olesiak, who won with one of last nine rides for the barn.
Trainer Compton wins with 10% of his runners second off a layoff and saddles #3 Cash Tiz Wonderful (8-1), who may have needed her latest when fifth facing better last month being her first outing since last April. Seven-year-old has won one of five starts on this oval and Compton wins with a solid 17% of his claimers. Mare has tactical speed and can be in good position throughout with Fackler remaining aboard.
Claimers going 6-furlongs include #2 Spell Winder (6-1), who has a decent record of 15-3-5-0 on this oval. Dark bay closed to finish second over four furlongs in her latest last month in her second start after a three-month break. Mare appears best at this longer distance and trainer Donlin wins with 17% third off a layoff. Eight-year-old can be forwardly placed early with Haar again in the saddle.
Tampa Bay Downs
Several well-bred maidens line up here and trainer Stidham saddles #7 Sense of Justice (7-2) a son of Street Sense, who is a half-brother to one stakea winner. $350K yearling purchase has not been seen since finishing third in an even effort in his debut as the favorite at Parx last July and adds Lasix. Stidham wins with 17% of his runners that have not raced for 90 days or more, and colt has been working well. Can be forwardly placed from the start with Mejia up.
Trainer Weaver wins with 11% of his runners that have not raced for 90 days or more and saddles #2 Our Country (2-1), who has not been seen since making belated progress while unplaced in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) in early November. Son of very promising young sire Constitution was third in the Pilgrim (G3) two back, and Weaver wins with 15% of his starters on turf. Value may be low, but colt has been working well and should be best here with Centeno taking the mount.
Will Rogers Downs
#2 Camp Washita (4-1) flattened out to finish second as the favorite in her latest over 6-furlongs here at this level last month and has a record of 5-1-3-0 on this oval. Trainer Pruitt wins with 35% of his runners that were beaten as the favorite last time out and filly has won 2-of-5 starts at this distance. Daughter of Notional can be along from off the pace with Wethey remaining aboard.
Claimers going 5 1/2-furlongs include #5 Very Boisterous (7-2), who makes her first start for Diodoro. Chestnut drops in class off a fading unplaced effort at Turf Paradise in February and Diodoro wins with 24% first time for his barn and at a whopping 33% this meet. Daughter of Boisterous can be tough at this level with Eikleberry up.
Newcomer #2 Save the Day (8-1) has a good win early pedigree being by 14% first-out sire Kitten’s Joy and out of a mare by Majestic Warrior (offspring win 12% at first asking). Works are on the light side, but trainer Young wins with 21% of his runners that debut in maiden claiming events and has won with a solid 32% at this meet. Three-year-old seems likely to be ready for a good first outing under Kennedy, who won with two of last eight rides for this barn.
#4 Gray Sky Mesa (7-2) may have needed her latest when fading to finish third after leading early over 6-furlongs here last month being her first outing since October. 5-year-old has hit the board in both of two starts on this oval and trainer Luneack wins with 32% of runners second off a layoff. Daughter of Graydar can be on or near the lead from the start with apprentice Lavertu riding.