Top Longshot Keys Big Payouts at Tampa Bay! – Super Screener
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Top Longshot Keys Big Payouts at Tampa Bay!

Photo: Eclipse Sportswire

Tampa Bay Stakes (G3)

Had to sweat this one out as there was a claim of foul and an inquiry involving the winner, Admiralty Pier, but, in the end, the Super Screener “A” horse and Top Long Shot pick was exonerated and his win led to huge payouts — and bolstered the points totals of a few NHC tournament players, too. 

We were very bullish on this long shot and we indicated that he was the long shot play of the weekend on our Saturday Facebook webcast. We were even more confident in this pick once Renaissance Frolic was scratched, which greatly altered the pace set up, leaving just two speed horses in the race, including the winner, Admiralty Pier. He cut a relatively soft pace with Real Story right there with him but that one really ran out of gas early giving Admiralty Pier control of the race as they hit the ¾ pole. He cut that corner saving all kinds of ground and then gamely held off the Chad Brown horse, Devamani, by a nose as they hit the wire.

Beyond the clear pace advantage, what I really liked about this horse was the fact that connections had been pointing to this race.  Last year he wintered at Tampa Bay Downs and produced two of his best races including a lifetime top earned in the last edition of the Tampa Bay Stakes finishing a close up 5th to tougher rivals. A year later he is a better horse and prepped similarly to last year when he won his prep and then moved forward to hit that next-out top. That insight really paid off and I was quite surprised but delighted that he went off at odds of 20-1+.  As a result one of our Super Screener suggested Exactas hit to pay nearly $1000.

#3 Admiralty Pier is a Woodbine-based horse that wintered at Tampa Bay Downs last year where he arguably submitted two of this best races. He finished just a length behind the winner of this race last year in what turned out to be his peak effort in 2019. Is pointed to this race again this year facing a field that is a tad easier than what he encountered last year.  Plus, he is a better horse right now as evidenced by that strong win last out in a race taken off the turf. This was a very useful prep and it is important to note that he won his prep for this race last year as well. The other advantage this 5 yr-old gelding brings to the race is the fact that he’ll be comfortably pressing the pace and will get first jump on all the other closers. Offers a very favorable risk/reward value proposition.

Sam F. Davis (G3)

Sole Volante, a Super Screener win contender, moved forward again off that big number earned last out in a race in which the pace collapsed. Independence Hall may have run the best race as he was closest to that pace and was easily 2nd with the rest of the field far behind. This was really a top effort by these two horses (Sole Volante earned a 102 BRIS Speed Rating that went along with a super 108 BRIS Late Pace figure) and they will proceed to their next starts as viable Derby contenders.

Suncoast Stakes

The Exacta in this race was comprised of two of our “B” horses, Lucrezia and the Super Screener Top Long Shot pick, Turtle Wax. With an “A” horse finishing 3rd , for one of the suggested Trifecta tickets to cash.

Here’s what the Super Screener said about the long shot player, Turtle Wax, before the race:

#8 Turtle Tax is highly advantaged by this pace set up and is expected to contend for a bottom the Trifecta/Superfecta (and perhaps higher) at long odds despite the poor showing in her two-turn debut at CD against tougher. Finite, who won that race, went on to win the Silverbulletday at FG in her next outing. #8 Turtle Tax hopped slightly and shuffled to the back of the field along the rail taking on a lot of kick back in her last race. She was wide on the far turn and once clear of that kick back, started to come on again.  Resumes that forward progression now and closes the gap some on #4 Motu who defeated her handily last out.

We faded both Comical and Two Sixty as the Super Screener determined the projected pace would be too much for them and they ended up finishing in the middle of the pack.

The big disappointment was Blame Debbie who did not pick up a leg throughout so you have to wonder if something may have gone wrong with this filly.

Thunder Road (G3)

It was quite clear that a horse that comes from off the pace was going to win this race and that is what happened when our Top Board Hitter pick, River Boyne, returned to his favorite venue and distance to run a good trip and then prevail by his nearest competitor by over two lengths. After that, it was a blanket finish with 5 horses finishing within ½ a length of one another fulfilling what we predicted that this would be a wide open affair. This is why we went to the “ALL” button when we were singling our Top Win pick #4 True Valour in third.  That ticket produced a whopping $1,145 payoff.

San Vicente (G2)

As we suggested, Storm the Court really needed this race as his campaign is just getting started. In the meantime, the Super Screener Top Win pick, Nadal, earned a hard-fought win. He dueled with Ginobili, who was stubborn and ran a good race in his own right, but Nadal showed more as they approached the wire, winning this in good time but short of a BRIS triple digit Speed Rating. 

Given the small field, the pace here projects to be quite modest though there will be plenty of early pressure. The Super Screener has landed on Bob Baffert-trained #4 Nadal as the tepid Top Win and Top Board Hitter pick over #5 Storm the Court. This colt, out of Blame, ran a picture-perfect debut laying out those ideal 93+ BRIS Pace/Speed Rating figures throughout the 6.5 furlong journey on this deeper SA surface. That energy distribution pattern along with stout breeding suggest that he’ll relish the added ground here. Most important, he is very much advantaged by the pace set up as he’ll sit in an ideal pressing position one length behind your pace leader #6 Ginobili reserving a ton of energy for the stretch drive. He comes back quickly from that debut race and jockey Joel Rosario gets the call.

The BRIS numbers come back lofty for the early pace figures, but the Late Pace number was only 86. Nadal is going to have to show more if he is to effectively compete at longer route distances.

Fast Enough, the Super Screener Top Long Shot pick in the race finished 3rd over Storm the Court at odds of 14-1.  

With the early Kentucky Derby preps winding down and as we head into the penultimate preps with the distances getting longer and contenders separating from pretenders, it starts getting serious right now. The Risen Star has traditionally marked the cut over to these next level Kentucky Derby preps with just 11 weeks to go before the final point earners line up in the Churchill Downs gate on the first Saturday in May.

This year, there were so many connections looking to get in the Risen Star that they had to create two divisions of the race. We have already knocked out the first look at those races thanks to the early release of the Past Performances. Those races are supported by a very strong undercard featuring deep, contentious fields as Fair Grounds takes center stage next weekend. 

Until this coming weekend, Go Fast and Win!
Mike

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