By Monique Welch
When the Past Performances show Daniel Centeno riding for trainer Arnaud Delacour, you often think “this might be the horse to beat.”
That is the case on Saturday in the eighth and feature race at Tampa Bay Downs, with scheduled post time at 3:55 p.m. It is an allowance with a purse of $22,500, at 1 1/16 miles on the turf for 4-year-olds and up.
Delacour and Centeno will team up with King of Diamonds, the 5-2 morning line favorite.
Over the last several years, Centeno and Delacour have teamed for numerous wins at Tampa Bay and at tracks in the northeast such as Delaware Park during the summers and falls.
Also, not to mention their wonderful adventure and success together in New York on Nov. 26 at Aqueduct. Delacour trained and Centeno rode Diving Rod to a second-place finish in the $500,000 Cigar Mile Handicap (Grade 1), and they teamed for second with No Dozing in the $300,000 Remsen (Grade 2).
Both horses are in training at Tampa Bay Downs for future starts.
This meet at Tampa Bay Downs their combined wins include Musical America, a filly at 1 1/16 miles on the turf on Dec. 30.
Through Friday, Centeno leads Tampa Bay jockeys with 34 wins in 97 starts. Delacour has had 19 starters in the meet, he has four wins, four seconds, and four thirds.
King of Diamonds, a 4-year-old colt has a win, two second place finishes and a third place in four career starts.
Other contenders to keep an eye on include Map Room, Hesmakingabigscene, Speightful Song and Bridles Holiday.
Map Room, the 4-year old gelding, has morning line odds at 3-1. He finished third at a mile on turf at Tampa Bay on Dec. 23. He is coming off a bullet workout at three furlongs at Tampa Bay on Wednesday.
Map Room likely will be closing down the stretch. Jesus Castanon will ride him and Thomas Proctor is the trainer.
Hesmakingabigscene has four-second place finishes in his last five races. It is crucial for him to get a good start because in several his second place finishes it looks like he simply ran out of ground to catch the winner.
A new face to the barn at Tampa, Ali Alnaz, trains him and Pablo Morales will ride him.
Speightful Song is a 4-year old gelding that won his last race at Tampa Bay Downs on Dec. 16. He led gate to wire and won at seven furlongs on dirt. He has not raced beyond seven furlongs, but has one turf race in his three-race career. Ian Wilkes trains him and Ronald Allen Jr. will ride him. Morning line odds for him are 8-1.
Bridles Holiday is another that might have a chance if the pace is fast. He had three second place finishes in mid 2016 (one at Tampa and two at Gulfstream), but finished sixth and fifth in his last two starts.