After a slow day of racing on Monday and Tuesday, we are back on Wednesday with a full card of horse racing action. There are nine races hosting cards on Wednesday throughout the afternoon and evening. Charles Town and Mountaineer Park in West Virginia will fight for betting dollars in the evening, Penn National will also have some night racing in Pennsylvania.
It’s nice to see new racecourses on the docket. That enables a larger sample size of options, which in theory, should give handicappers a better opportunity to find winning horses. Of course, it’s best to just avoid gambling altogether for that particular day if there isn’t anything you like.
The stakes racing is relatively quiet until the Pegasus World Cup races on January 23 at Gulfstream Park. That’s the biggest day on the calendar for Gulfstream Park, and the biggest events since the Breeders’ Cup Classic. The end of the year doesn’t yield much in the way of big time stakes racing, so don’t get too excited over the next two weeks if you are looking for any of the big boys and girls running.
Instead, we’ll be at Tampa Bay Downs in Florida to get started. Tampa Bay Downs has been seeing an increase in handle, which includes in-person betting and viewing. A 10% increase in purses has been ordered because of this, so that’s great news for the horsemen and employees at Tampa Bay Downs. Tampa Bay Downs has nine races on the card, with a total of $136,300 in prize money available. Head below our free Tampa Bay Downs picks for December 16, 2020.
Post Time: 12:42 p.m. EST
Distance:1 1/16 Miles
Our first selection at Tampa Bay Downs is a 1 1/16 mile event for a $11,200 purse on the dirt. Highrhythemdixie and Ridgelysredhot should present bold bids in this event. Highrhythmdixie is winless in 12 races and should be able to perform at a high level in this race. She has finished in the top-3 in just one out of her last six performances, with that race coming most recently December 2 in a $10,200 event.
Highrhythmdixie got into the money to show 3rd, but was well off the pace for the win. The winner, Dreaminofdasies, was ahead of Highrhythmdixie by 9 lengths. In any case, she should run well against this field, which is filled with winless runners.
Ridgelysredhot hasn’t won in 11-career events, though has been close several times. She placed 2nd in four races, including her last entry on December 2. Ridgelysredhot placed 2nd behind 6 ¾ lengths, but did clear Highrhythmdixie by 3 ½ lengths to get the place prize.
Ridgelysredhot was the favorite in that race and expected to get the win, but was still much better than Highrhythemdixie and it would have been enough to beat the other horses in this event as well. I would side with a Ridgelysredhot win in Race 1 on Wednesday afternoon.
Post Time: 1:40 p.m. EST
Distance:1 1/16 Miles
Race 3 is our next stop at Tampa Bay Downs with a $11,500 event covering 1 1/16 miles on the dirt. Silver Edge and Jack B Winkle are going to be tough to beat in this race, maybe a duel in the stretch unfolds in the race. Silver Edge will have to battle hard from the outside to get the win in this one. He has gone 2 for 6 in his career, along with a win on November 28 in his most recent performance.
Silver Edge defeated Prized Warrior by 4 ¾ lengths for a $10,200 purse in his first win since the summer. Silver Edge was a winner by a neck over Mr. Vecchio for a $18,00 purse in August, but regressed thereafter to go 9th, 5th, 3rd. Before winning, Silver Edge showed 3rd for a $14,400 purse. He was able to find a class he liked at the $10,200 level, so I think $11,500 should be more than suitable for him.
Jack B Winkle has finished in the top-3 in five straight races, including top-2 in four in a row. Jack B Winkle was a winner on November 12 by 5 lengths over Super Edgar for a $17,000 purse. He placed 2nd behind Campaign Spy by a nose on November 25 in his most recent performance. Jack B Winkle dueled in the stretch after holding into the lead for the duration of the event, before entering the stretch run. Expect Jack B Winkle to bounce back on Wednesday in a doable race at this level for a $11,500 purse.
Post Time: 3:45 p.m. EST
Race 7 runs for 7 furlongs on the dirt for a $11,500 purse. Federal Case and Tony Small should be close in the stretch in this event. Federal Case is 2 for 13 in his career and should have a say in the stretch on Wednesday night. He is looking to get back into the winner’s circle after failing in 11 straight races. After struggling in higher classes, Federal Case should run better tonight.
Federal Case finished 3rd, 5th, 5th, 11th, 4th in his previous five outings. He was 4th in his latest on May 31 for a $20,000 purse. There were only four horses running, so it was not a good effort. Federal Case is coming off a layoff, so we’ll see if the break helped. He was in good form in a workout on December 5 with a time of 49 seconds. If Federal Case can get back to previous form following the break, then a win should be close.
Tony Small has been in the top-3 in eight straight performances. He hasn’t finished outside of the top-3 since November 2, 2019. In his most recent win, Tony Small beat Yes for Less by 1 ¾ lengths for a $17,000 purse. A step down in class for today, it’s hard to see anything else happening but another win for Tony Small.