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Endeavour Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs

2014 Endeavour Stakes

Old TuneSaturday, January 25th, 2014 will see the Grade 3 Endeavour Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs for fillies and mares four years old and up traveling 1 1/16 mile on the turf. In last year’s edition of this race Old Tune won by 1 ¾ lengths in her first American start, duking it out with Awesome Belle for the early lead before shaking her off and holding back stalker, Appealing Cat for the win.  Initially, it was thought that she had set a new record for the race, toppling My Lordship’s 2006 time of 1:40.26, but after further review an error had been made in the race’s timing and her final time was changed from 1:39.30 to 1:41.48. Still it was an impressive run nonetheless. This year we have a field of 12 with one also-eligible ready to duke it out. Let’s see what we can find.

Endeavour Stakes at Tampa

Left a MessageThe morning line favorite here is Left a Message at 3 to 1. Trained by Thomas Proctor and ridden by Quincy Hamilton, Left a Message looks like a reasonable contender for the Endeavour. Although the 5 year old has yet to win a graded race, she has been in the top 4 finishers in her last 6 races including a win in the Flaming Page Stakes at Woodbine and a 3rd place finish in the Grade 3 Long Island Handicap. Looking to give her trouble on the morning line at 7/2 is Moment in Dixie.  Like Left a Message, Moment in Dixie has yet to prove herself in a graded event. She is trained by James Toner and Elvis Trujillo will be in the irons. I have 2 value plays here that I believe will do well against the 2 morning line favs. My first value play is Final Escrow at 5 to1 on the ML. Ridden by Antonio Gallardo and trained by Arnaud Delacour, this 5 year old put up a fantastic effort and win in her last outing and I expect to see more of the same from her in the Endeavour. My other value play is the William Mott trained Floral Romance at 6 to 1 on the morning line. Floral Romance will have Daniel Centeno at the helm. Mott is the only trainer to have won this race twice in the past (back-to-back) and I believe he’s looking for a third here with Floral Romance. She didn’t fare so well in the Grade 3 Marshua’s River Stakes at Gulfstream when she finished 7th, but her speed figures look great (even in that race) and I believe she will shine in the Endeavour. Good luck everybody!

 

 

 

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Mike Jr, eldest son of Mike Lane Sr, is co-lead author at HandicapHorseRacing.com and was raised on thoroughbred horse racing and handicapping. Although father and son often butt heads on their selections, they both have much love and admiration for the sport. Mike Jr. brings a new, fresh perspective to horse racing and is often in search of new angles to try.

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