Exotics Plays for the 2023 Suncoast Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs

February 9th, 2023

Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) and Alcibiades (G1) winner Wonder Wheel will go for her fifth victory in her sixth career start when she faces a field of nine in the one-mile and 40-yard Suncoast S. for three-year-old fillies.

The Champion 2-Year-Old Filly was named the 1-1 morning line favorite in the Kentucky Oaks (G1) prep — which will award points to the top five finishers on a 20-8-6-4-2 scale — but she's in for a challenge from another improving Kentucky Oaks candidate in Julia Shining.

Below we offer a full field analysis and provide our best exotics plays — including exacta, trifecta, and superfecta tickets — for the ninth race on Tampa Bay Downs’ Saturday card.

Suncoast S. selections

  • #1 Wonder Wheel (1-1)
  • #9 Julia Shining (5-2)
  • #2 Opus Forty Two (10-1)

Suncoast S. wagers

  • $10 Exacta: 1 with 9 ($10)
  • $5 Trifecta: 1 with 9 with 2, 6 ($10) 
  • 50-cent Superfecta: 1 with 2, 9 with 2, 6, 8, 9 with 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 9 ($12) 

#1 WONDER WHEEL (1-1): The Into Mischief filly will go for her third straight victory while cutting back in distance after winning her last two at 1 1/16 miles. The three-year-old’s lone loss of her career came at seven furlongs in the Spinaway (G1) at Saratoga, and she’ll drop in class here in her first start in more than three months. Trainer Mark Casse is a 15% winner in non-graded stakes but is 0-for-6 at Tampa this meet. Regular rider Tyler Gaffalione will stay in the saddle.

#2 OPUS FORTY TWO (10-1): A daughter of Mendelssohn, Opus Forty Two was a close second in her first two career starts, both turf sprints in Maryland, then broke her maiden when trying dirt in a six-furlong maiden special weight at Tampa Bay Downs. She stretched out to seven furlongs in the Gasparilla S., where she beat today’s race rival Charlie’s Wish by a nose, and will now try a route for the first time. Conditioner Arnaud Delacour strikes at a 24% rate with horses that won their last race and a 34% rate with horses running a route for the first time. Jockey Daniel Centeno has also been hot at Tampa Bay Downs (19% winner), and he’s 4-for-12 paired with Delacour over the last two months.

#3 CHARLIE'S WISH (12-1): Just missing to Opus Forty Two last out in the Gasparilla, Charlie’s Wish will also try a route distance for the first time for trainer David Fawkes. The bay filly won on debut in a seven-furlong maiden special weight at Gulfstream Park but settled for the minor awards in her next three races. Fawkes is just a 10% winner with horses trying a route for the first time and a 13% winner in non-graded stakes.

#4 CHAMPAGNE CALLING (30-1): Another route debutante, the Empire Maker filly broke her maiden last out in a seven-furlong maiden special weight at this track and will move up in class in her second start off a layoff. The Ian Wilkes pupil posted a sharp, 47-second four-furlong workout in preparation for this event, but her Speed figures in both career starts rank poorly compared to the field.

#5 DREAMING OF SNOW (15-1): Trained by Gerald Bennett, a 28% winner at Tampa, Dreaming of Snow finished 4 1/4 lengths in fourth in the Gasparilla and will look to rebound in her first start at a route. The Curlin granddaughter breezed four furlongs in 46 seconds on Feb. 4, and she has the early speed to factor here.

#6 GUNS N' GRACES (15-1): A daughter of Gun Runner, the Chad Brown trainee won at today’s distance last out while posting a 78 BRIS figure in a $32,000 maiden special weight. She’ll move up in class here in her first start in nearly two months. Brown is a 27% winner in non-graded stakes and a 28% winner with horses coming off a maiden win. Hector Diaz Jr. will stay in the saddle and wins at just a 10% rate with routes.

#7 FAST TRACKED (20-1): Another Delacour runner in the field, the Cross Traffic filly finished two lengths in second to a next-out winner in the seven-furlong Maryland Juvenile Filly S. on Dec. 3 and will now ship to Tampa Bay Downs. The gray three-year-old posted an 83 BRIS figure in the stakes and has since turned in several sharp workouts ahead of her first start at a route.

#8 TICKER TAPE HOME (8-1): The Medaglia d’Oro filly finished a half-length second last out in the seven-furlong Display S. against males on Woodbine’s all-weather after romping to a 9 3/4-length maiden win on turf the race before. She’ll try dirt for the first time here for trainer Mark Casse and will get a new rider in Antonio Gallardo, who has gone 10-4-2-2 over the last seven days.

#9 JULIA SHINING (5-2): The Todd Pletcher pupil is undefeated in two career starts and posted an 88 BRIS figure when winning by a neck in the 1 1/8-mile Demoiselle (G2). The Curlin filly will drop in class here while cutting back in distance and will keep regular rider Luis Saez, a 25% winner paired with Pletcher over the last two months. The royally bred closer turned in a 98 Late Pace rating in the Demoiselle to get up late over a sloppy track, conditions she may see again Saturday with rain in the forecast.

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