Scully: Oaklawn, Tampa, Turfway spot plays for Jan. 15
Saturday’s stakes offerings include the $150,000 Fifth Season S., which will feature the return of the multiple Grade 2 winner Concert Tour. He’s set to face eight rivals in the mile test at Oaklawn Park.
Along with the Fifth Season, I have spot plays for Tampa Bay Downs and Turfway Park.
Fifth Season S. – Race 8, Oaklawn Park (4:46 p.m. ET)
Concert Tour appears to be training forwardly for new trainer Brad Cox, and has attracted the services of Joel Rosario, but he must run faster to win, earning a career-best 95 Brisnet Speed rating from three two-turn starts. His top performances, convincing wins in the Rebel S. (G2) and a maiden special weight, came when leading wire-to-wire, but Thomas Shelby appears to be the one to catch here. I will try to beat Concert Tour.
#3 Snapper Sinclair loves Oaklawn and the mile distance, easily defeating a salty allowance field in his lone Hot Springs appearance last year, and he missed by only a neck in the 2020 Fifth Season over a muddy track. The seven-year-old finished second in the 2020 Cigar Mile (G1) on a sloppy oval, and wet conditions are predicted Saturday.
His strong form last fall earned him a spot in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1), finishing sixth to Life Is Good, and we can throw out Snapper Sinclair’s last effort on a synthetic track. He should be in position to strike turning for home.
Wayward Lass S. – Race 9, Tampa Bay Downs (4:25 p.m. ET)
Fillies and mares will contest the 1 1/16-mile race, and the nine-horse field lacks early speed. #1 Nantucket Red switches surfaces following a nice frontrunning win on Tampa’s turf, her first win since September 2019, and I like her chances on the front end from her innermost post.
Listed at 10-1 on the morning line, Nantucket Red is trained by Michael Wright, who has won all four starts at Tampa this meet.
Likely Exchange S. – Race 6, Turfway Park (8:46 p.m. ET)
An eight-time winner at Turfway, #3 Rogue Too returns off a freshening in the $100,000 Likely Exchange S. The six-year-old mare faced good competition on the turf last fall, and she fired a big effort when returning from a layoff at Turfway last spring. She drew well in post 3 for a stalk-and-pounce trip.
Allowance – Race 7, Turfway Park (9:16 p.m. ET)
Displaying an improved turn of foot in his last three starts, #7 Royne is intriguing in his second start against winners for Michael Dickinson. The Ghostzapper gelding broke his maiden on Aqueduct’s turf two back, rallying past rivals on the far turn, and he made up serious ground before faltering in the final furlongs of his Turfway debut last time.
He will show more on Saturday. Dickinson adds blinkers to keep the four-year-old focused, and Royne has appeal for the vertical exotics at 12-1 on the morning line.