The Tampa Bay Derby 2024

I always look twice at horses coming off the Tampa Bay Downs dirt track. I think it is a somewhat quirky track that can play funny, but it gets horses fit and legged up as they say. It is also looked at as somewhat second or third tier so often those horses are overlooked at some of the bigger meets.


On Saturday I will be looking directly at Tampa as we have The Tampa Bay Derby. You can hear from one of the top Tampa Bay Downs jockeys RIGHT HERE on how both the Tampa dirt and turf play. Knowledge is power.


Heartened breaks from the rail for Todd Pletcher. He has been steady and finally put it together last out to break his maiden. The race was also over the track, and I view that as a positive. Contender.


Everdoit was 100-1 when he lost the rider last out in The Sam Davis. Kevin Rice is not deterred and comes right back here. I am not a believer. Pretender.


Give Me Liberty looks way over his head. Pretender.


Good Money has only one start and it is a win over the track. He comes out of that seven-furlong sprint and goes right to the wolves so to speak. I expect him to go right to the top and not look back. Contender and where I land.


Domestic Product is probably the shorter priced entrant from Chad Brown. I like the other one. I’ll go with where I see a pace advantage especially with these lightly raced young horses. This colt definitely looks like one who has gone forward from two to three and can win, but I lean elsewhere. Contender.


Catire Vizcaya was good last summer at Saratoga so has or at least had ssome ability but has been dull in the two starts since leaving The Adirondacks. Not for me. Pretender.


No More Time ran big to win The Sam Davis. With Paco likely committed to Hades in the upcoming Florida Derby the connections go to Javier Castellano. I’ll have to see him string two efforts like the last one together especially with a different pace scenario. He’d be no surprise but again prove it. Pretender.


Crazy Mason has a lot of bottom to him and if you can toss the last or find a legit excuse, I guess you can give him a chance here. He is another I’ll make prove it to me. Pretender.


Grand Mo the First is an interesting runner in here. His only start on the main track looks like a perfect set up race for this. That third in The Swale is not a bad race at all and he can improve in the second dirt start and stretching out. Contender.


Sturdy is getting better but is still a maiden against winners. The wide draw does not help his chances. I think he will be very tough in the right maiden spot coming out of this race and off the Tampa track. That said I can’t entirely dismiss him. Contender.


It won’t be easy for Good Money to wire these and if by chance Irad doesn’t try to and ultimately clear off I think it would be a mistake. That said I think he will clear, and they can’t beat what they can’t catch. Hopefully the price is fair despite the connections as this is no cakewalk. I’ll take my shot hopefully on the front end and be a little more confidant if we have a speed friendly or favoring racetrack.


Enjoy the races!

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Jon Stettin

Since childhood, Jon has always had a deep love and respect for the Sport of Kings. His years of experience have earned him a well respected spot in the industry as a handicapper. He now is a frequent contributor to AmWager as well as writing for his own site.

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