Tampa Bay Downs will be back in business on Friday, sort of. Another day of racing without fans in attendance will commence, as Tampa Bay Downs depends on the betting handle from off-track wagering. Horse racing will go down in history as the only sport that kept going through the Covid-19 pandemic. Unless a second wave of the virus hits the country hard, horse racing is going to get through this, albeit while the doors have been closed to the public. Some racetracks are doing better than others, but they just have to be feeling fortunate that the show is going on in some capacity.
At least for the tracks that are racing, because there are some that had to close their doors completely. Golden Gate Fields and Santa Anita Park won’t be on the card again this weekend, while Sam Houston Park and Louisiana Downs are out of service as well. Their loss is the gain of other facilities, who are welcoming the increased handle from gamblers. Everyone just wishes that everything will go back to normal sooner than later, though. We have a couple of horse racing picks from Tampa on Friday. Head below for our free Tampa Bay Downs picks for April 17, 2020.
Post Time: 12:52 EST
Distance: 6 Furlongs
Eight horses are signed up to run 6 furlongs at Tampa Bay Downs in Race 2 on Friday. It’s reserved for 3-year-old fillies and mares, with a purse worth $14,500. Lincoln Center is going to be the most unlikely winner in Race 2, as she will look to spring an upset in her third outing. It will have to be much better than the first two races. She finished 9th in her debut on September 21, 2019 and then 5th recently on March 25. That’s nice to see improvement; however, Lincoln Center was never a threat to get the upset. She was 6th at the ½ pole and unable to show a burst of speed in the homestretch.
Undeniably Devine is going to be your best bet as a longshot. While she’ll see some stronger horses than in the past in this event, Undeniably Devine has been a consistent producer that can’t be ignored. Betting on her to show has been a money maker, as she’s shown in five straight races. Friday will mark the eighth race of her career, having shown in five of them. This will be a new barn for her, as they hope to get her into the winner’s circle in her first race. Likely going to linger around, but probably not enough for the upset.
Timeless Di, who will be on the inside rail out of the gate, will be making just the second race in her career. Finished 4th on her debut on March 25, and was unable to show much push in the homestretch. Other than getting the inside rail, there isn’t much to like about her. She does have one more race to her credit than the horse beside her in the gate, though.
Fast Fionnuala will be making her debut, having just completed a 4-furlong workout at 49.80 seconds on April 11. The same goes for Hyperloop, who is a brand new rookie getting her feet wet Friday. She was a little off from Fast Fionnuala, with a time of 50.40 seconds in her 4-furlong workout on April 5. Hyperloop has participated in four 4-furlong workouts since March 8, and has been unable to finish below 50 seconds.
Freedom Lass likely has what it takes from the No. 8 post. She didn’t win in her last outing, but was quite impressive to place against a talented field. Freedom Lass was 1st across the first-half of the race, but slipped just enough to get caught to lose by 2 ¼ lengths. It was a major improvement from her debut after finishing 8th. Flaming Indy, her biggest threat in this event, has gone 5th, 6th, 5th, and 3rd in four events. She was good enough to show for the first time in her career on March 25, though had no kick to do any better than 3rd.
Post Time: 1:21 EST
Race 3 will feature another eight-horse field, with a couple of big underdogs in the mix. A purse worth $14,000 is in play. Arnold’s Patsy will likely close at post time as the biggest underdog in the race. She is coming off the first win of his career, though that was back on September 13, 2019 so there’s been a layoff. Also, Arnold’s Patsy was winless in 15 straight before grabbing that win.
This is going to be a stiffer test than her last event as well. Miami Rose might be another attractive underdog, but has been unsuccessful since winning in the summer. She has finished 8th, 4th, and 7th in her last three performances. She isn’t a huge underdog, but La Belle de Course might be the best longshot in Race 3.
She was impressive in her first two races, finishing 1st on December 13, 2019 and 2nd on January 29. It’s possible we see her put together another performance like those two on Friday, but her last two outings weren’t that great on paper. She came in 5th and 4th in more recent starts.
Unfortunately, faded away on March 13 and couldn’t do better than 4th in her last outing. It’s expected that La Belle de Course can beat My Sister’s Keeper and Sammy’s Town, but is likely going to have issues navigating against Karatbars and Momento. Karatbars has only two races of experience, but was effective in her most recent effort on March 13.
She won over 6 furlongs of racing by 3 ½ lengths against I’mthekatsmeow. It was only her first win since the summer, and showed a lot of improvement. If she keeps the same form on Friday, it could be back-to-back wins for Karatbars. Momento has one good performance and three outings to forget.
She won on January 23 by 4 ½ lengths over Orb’s Soul, but was outclassed in the other three, with finishes of 9th, 7th, and 9th. The competition in this event is more on her level, but probably wouldn’t have won with that kind of effort in this class, either. She should expect to see a lot of pressure from Karatbars in this one. Slight edge to Karatbars for the win in Race at Tampa Bay Downs on Friday.