Older Males Face Off On the Turf in The Tampa Stakes

The Tampa Stakes- Grade III

TAM Race 6 1 1/16M Turf

Purse $175.000 for Four Year

Olds and Upward


A field of 9 evenly matched older horses goes to the post in the Tampa Stakes. While there are no superstars in the group most of them have been holding their own in allowances and various levels of stakes races. This one looks like it will be a typical HRP blanket finish so let’s see if we can figure out who will come out on top.

1 Admirals Aces, trained by Our Athletes

When I said there were no superstars in the race I meant in their current form as this guy certainly would have qualified in the past. The high earner in the race with career winnings exceeding $3,000.000 he won the BC Turf back in 2016. Since that race however he has only found the winners circle once and has changed hands a couple of times most recently for $125.000 in the September auction. He did put in a solid effort in his last outing when the trainer removed all of his adds and even though his works may have slowed down a tick it certainly would not be a surprise if he was able to find his way home first.

2 Abu, trained by D J C racing Stables

The gelding has changes hands three times in the last 6 months with his current connections claiming him for $20. His last race was his first try around two turns and from the outside post he dueled for the lead before fading to fourth. He did garner an impressive 101 speed rating for that effort but his works are a bit slower than most of the field and he is not as accomplished as a couple of others.

3 Banshee Star, trained by Joseph Racing

Has only won 2 of 16 lifetime but has earned over $700 and spent most of 2017 racing in the big 3 year old events. His last race in a NW1 was his first try on the turf and it turned into his 2nd victory. His trainer and jockey are both winning at a 33% clip this year so from this post you have to think he will get a good trip. His works seem to be competitive so while I cannot make him my first choice with his limited turf experience he does look very dangerous.

4 Free Rotation, trained by Alberta Rose Stables

Ultra consistent gelding has won 7 of 8 career starts on the turf ranging from a 6K claimer to a 60K Handicap. Spent the early part of his career sprinting but since being claimed by his new owner has found routing to be to his liking. Speed ratings have improved to the point to where it looks like he can fit in here although top honors may be a bit out of his reach.

5 Deep Six, trained by Nakamura Stables

The outsider in this field as he has only earned $15.000 from 12 career starts. Most recently was seen in a 20K claimer where he finished 4th while only carrying 116 pounds. His speed ratings are well below the others in the field and while he does have a good recent mile work I cannot see him being a factor today.

6 Raj Action Packed, trained by Night Rider Stables

A graded stakes winner who has spent time running in some of the most prestigious turf races on the site. Disappointed in his last outing where he paid the price for having a 9% jockey and got stuck behind a wall of horses. Should be able to get a much better trip in here and I believe he is the one to beat.

7 Tower Isle, trained by Winning Link Stables

Trainer will look to keep his perfect year intact with this 8 year old autogen. Was not able to win in 2017 going 0 for 7 and only hitting the board once which was in his first start of the year. 3 of his 6 wins have come on the off going but there is no rain in the forecast for Saturday. I think father time has finally caught up to this old boy so I do not think he will be able to score a check here.

8 Expressly, trained by Wolfs Den

Claimed from Mb for $35.000 which it seems is rarely a winning strategy this 4 year old gelding has won 3 of 4 lifetime starts on the grass. His only defeat came in his last race the Grade 2 Fort Lauderdale when from the far outside post he had little chance after racing wide and then encountering traffic. I think we will see him closer to the pace here and although his works are a tad slower I think he is a major contender.

9 T N T Dynamite, trained by Saratoga Stud

Our final entrant has won 3 of his last 4 with his only defeat coming by a neck. He has been gradually stepping up in class which led to a convincing victory in a $75.000 Handicap last out where he earned a 100 speed rating. Has some of the fastest works in the field and a hot trainer. Seems to prefer racing off the pace so if Desormeaux can find a spot not too wide he should be closing fast at the wire.



While there does not seem to be a ton of speed in the race there should be enough to get at least an honest pace. I think that post position will make the difference today with Raj Action Packed being able to get up.


Categories: Grade III, STAKES ARTICLES

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