Never worse than third in 10 starts in 2023, Florida-bred Tape to Tape will try to add to his reliable record Friday night at Delta Downs when the 6-year-old gelding goes to the post in the $75,000 Sam’s Town, a five-furlong test for six 4-year-olds and older.

Last year, the Larry Rivelli-trained chestnut won half of his races with four seconds and a third including a three-quarter-length victory in the $50,000 Ed Skinner at Prairie Meadows going six furlongs in June and a nearly seven-length domination against upper level, $30,000 optional claimers going five furlongs at Delta Downs on Dec. 13 in his last start.

In two other starts in stakes last year, he was second to W W Candy in the $75,000 Work All Week at Hawthorne on July 27 and third in the $78,000 Karl Boyles won by Surly Furious at Presque Isle Downs on July 3.

Owned by Dominic Larocca, Tape to Tape has earned $346,304 from winning nine of 29 career starts with six seconds and four thirds. He is by Uncaptured out of Trippi Honor, by Trippi and was bred in Florida by Honors Stable Corporation.

Tape To Tape is the 5-2 second choice on the morning line for the Sam’s Town and  Timothy Thorton will ride from post one.

The 9-5 program favorite is Todo Fino (Chi), who makes his first start in more than 60 days.

Trained and co-owned by Amador Sanchez with Stud Vendaval Inc., Todo Fino exits a victory against upper level, $62,500 optional claiming company at Gulfstream on Oct. 22 and has trained sharply at Delta Downs with a four-furlong breeze in :49.20 on Dec. 30.

A winner of nine of 14 starts in his native Chile, Todo Fino has won three of five races since coming to the United States, including his first two races against optional claimers in Southern California in September and October of 2022.

By Verrazano out of Superdotada (Chi), by Scat Daddy, Todo Fino has won 12 of 19 career starts with one third while earning $177,490.

Vincente Del-Cid will ride Todo Fino from post five.

Another contender at 3-1 on morning line for the Sam’s Town is Empire of Gold for trainer Terry Eoff, who also owns the 7-year-old with Johnny B. Evans.

The bay son of Goldencents looks to return to his form of two races back when he won a Remington Park allowance by nearly five lengths on Oct. 13. In his last race, Empire of Gold was seventh in the $300,000 Bet On Sunshine won by Tejano Twist at Churchill Downs on Nov. 4.

Empire of Gold has won eight with nine seconds and six thirds with earnings of $593,606 and I. V. Diego rides from post two.

Others set for the Sam’s Town are Devil’s Tower, who will be ridden by Jansen Melancon; and Pickens with jockey Kevin Roman.

Return to the Jan. 3 issue of Wire to Wire