What a great day of racing across the country with Big Cap day at Santa Anita as well at Tamp Bay Derby day at Tampa. Two minor stakes at Gulfstream but lets start at Tampa for their great Derby card.
Tampa Race 3 is the Challenger stakes. I’m looking at the #1 OUTLASH in this spot. Two good races at Gulf that got good numbers, has speed but doesn’t need the lead and can get good position breaking from the rail. Think he has more potential and this 1 1/16 trip should suit him perfect. 1-4-7
Tampa race 8 is the Florida Oaks for 3yr old fillies on the turf. I’m going to the try to eat the favorite Ave’s Kitten who hasn’t raced since last October. I’m going to pick SPINAMISS for Todd Pletcher and Castellano. Loved her allowance win over this course two back and then just missed to Pricedtoperfection who would be favored here if she ran. Has the edge over the other favorites with a recent race and should be tough here. 7-10-2-4
Tampa Race 10 The Hillsborough stakes looks like Tepin’s race to lose. She should be very short odds and will be super tough in here. I am picking against because there is some other speed in here, and she might not be fully cranked up for this with her major goal being the Makers Mark Mile in a few weeks at Keeneland. Also I don’t think she is as good going 1 1/8. That leads me to BALL DANCER on the outside. Showed great potential late in ’14 and early ’15 winning the Jenny Wiley. Likes this distance and Chad usually has them ready to run fresh. The odds will be right for her today. 10-6-3
Tampa Race 11 In the Tampa Bay Derby I really like DESTIN to improve off of his win in the Sam Davis last out. He likes the track, seems to have figured it all out, and will have a nice pace to run into. I also like RAFTING and ECONOMIC MODEL to complete the exacta and trifecta. Economic Model could be interesting finally stretching out after two sprint starts. I think Brody’s Cause will need a race and wont be fully cranked for this.
S.A. Race 6 In the Kilroe Mile I really like BAL A BALI to return to his former self. He has been training lights out after a brief freshening for Mandella and loves this distance. Overnight rain softened the turf course and he has shown an affinity for it back in Brazil. Will be tough. BOLO also looks like a tough customer in this spot coming off that great win first time back, worried about a bounce. 3-4-6
S.A. Race 7 The San Felipe might be the deepest Derby prep of the year so far. I’m leaning heavily on EXAGERATOR. When he hasn’t faced Brody’s Cause or Nyquist he hasn’t lost! I think the 7F prep set him up perfectly for this race and with plenty of speed it will set up his closing kick. 7-2-1
S.A. Race 9 In the San Carlos I’m picking Calculator to go back to back. Couldn’t have been more impressive in his comeback race and doesn’t have to be as far back as he was there when he missed the break. Will get a good stalking trip inside and if he can get out, will be tough in the stretch. 1-3-8
S.A. Race 10 The Big Cap may have lost some luster with most top US horses going to Dubai, but we are left with an intriguing group of starters here. I’m leaning towards DONWORTH who I’ve always been very high on. Should be tighter second start off the layoff and with a start over the track, should have the edge on favorite EFFINEX, who may need a race, first time out since November. In the last 20 runnings of the big cap, no horse has won making his season debut!