TAMPA BAY DOWNS – NINTH RACE (Post time: 4:17 ET)
We’re not sure if Machingunpreacher has any ability at all, but if he does, this maiden $32,000 turf miler for 2-year-olds would be an ideal spot to show it. Unplaced and far back with self-caused trouble in his first three outings against infinitely tougher straight maiden foes at Gulfstream Park, the son of Gun Runner shows up in a seller for a barn that has powerful stats with the maiden-to-maiden claiming class drop angle, makes his first start as a gelding, lands one of top riders on the circuit, and switches to grass for the first time. Freshened since late October, the Kelsey Danner-trained 2-year-olds has buried speed figures that actually make him quite competitive in this modest affair. He’s 6-1 on the morning line and at that price probably is worth a small gamble in the win pool and in the various rolling exotics.
GULFSTREAM PARK – NINTH RACE (Post time: 4:32 ET)
Abaan, a lightly-raced 4-yer-old gelding, apparently has found his niche as a turf marathoner. In this year’s renewal of the two mile H. Allen Jerkens Stakes, the son of Will Take Charge lands an ideal spot to extend his razor sharp form that has produced two wins and two seconds in his last four starts, all on grass, while leaving his previous form far behind. Most effective on the lead and catching a field that will allow to dictate the race at his leisure, the Todd Pletcher-trained gelding picks up Luis Saez, shows three nice breezes since arriving in South Florida, and should offer excellent wagering value at or near his morning line of 4-1.