Saturday’s Tampa Bay Derby and the 50 points it presents, offer the winner a guaranteed slot in the starting gates on the first Saturday in May. The race has become a major prep with both Street Sense and Super Saver using it as a final derby prep. In last years running, Tacitus even found it fitting to win a race and did so here before becoming the poster child for terrible trips and burning money the rest of the season.
The race seems to go through #4 Chance It and #7 Sole Volante although I would favor the latter given his impressive Sam F. Davis score across the surface. Sole Volante likes to sit off the pace and make on sweeping massive move, which is what has worked this entire meet in routs at Tampa. He should bet a perfect setup with Chance It, Relentless Dancer and Market Analysis all being on what should be a fairly contested early pace.
I also like some of the recent maiden score horses, although would use substantially less of them then the two main players. These horses include #1 Texas Swing, #2 Spa City, #5 Market Analysis and #9 Unrighteous along with #11 King Guillermo off the long layoff. I think the gap in quality between the two main contenders and the other 5 I mentioned is pretty vast, so I would use them in an A/C structure for horizontals and really stagger wager size for verticals.
Win: #7 Sole Volante @ > 2-1
Exacta: (10x) 7/4
Horizontal: A-4,7 C-1,2,5,9,11