Tampa Bay Downs Picks – Friday, February 19, 2021

| February 18, 2021 2:54 pm PDT

Tampa Bay Downs’ race card for Friday comprises nine maiden, maiden claiming, and claiming runs to kick off our weekend wagering.

Remember that spectators are welcome at Tampa Bay Downs, so if you plan to attend on Friday, expect thunderstorms (80% chance of rain), highs around 72 degrees, and winds around 18 mph.

Read on for my Tampa Bay Downs picks and betting tips for Friday, February 19, 2021.

Pick for Race 2 at Tampa Bay Downs

This is a claiming race for fillies and mares four years old and upward running a distance of seven furlongs for a purse of $20,950.

I like the fifth-favored (6/1) entry in this race — Italian Justice, with Harry Hernandez in the irons. This four-year-old filly moneyed 11 of her 17 career starts, winning five, which gives her the best record in this six-horse field.

The only horse in this race at longer odds (8/1) doesn’t look likely to finish anywhere near the money, so no value show wager recommendation.

  •  Win: Italian Justice 6/1

Picks for Race 7 at Tampa Bay Downs

This is a claiming race for fillies and mares four years old and upward running a distance of one mile on turf for a purse of $19,100.

I’m backing the 2/1 morning line favorite in this race — Pugilist, with Antonio A. Gallardo aboard. This six-year-old mare finished in the money for 17 of her 27 career starts, winning five.

The only long-odds entry worth risking a value show wager is the 15/1 also-eligible Dance or Stroll, ridden by Scott Spieth. This six-year-old mare moneyed 29 of her 54 career starts, winning 14. You might even consider her for an across-the-board bet, but I’m only recommending the show ticket.

  •  Win: Pugilist 2/1
  •  Show: Dance or Stroll 15/1 (if starts)

Pick for Race 9 at Tampa Bay Downs

This is a claiming race for four-year-olds and upward running a distance of seven furlongs for a purse of $17,350.

I’m backing the third-favored (9/2) entry in this race — Divine Ambition, with Ronald Dale Allen, Jr. in the irons. This 11-year-old gelding moneyed 43 of his 71 career starts, winning 19 of them. Expect to see some serious competition between him and the morning line favorite, but I believe Divine Ambition will prevail.

I don’t see any long-odds entries in this race likely to pick up a paycheck at the finish line.

  •  Win: Divine Ambition 9/2

More Racing Picks for Friday

There are plenty more profit opportunities at the other two tracks I reviewed for Friday:

J.W. Paine
J.W. Paine

J.W. Paine is one of the most experienced writers at GamblingSites.com. He's written for television and the printed media, and is a published novelist (as Tom Elliott).

Paine loves writing about Las Vegas nearly as much he loves living here. An experienced gambler, he's especially familiar with thoroughbred horseracing, poker, blackjack, and slots.

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