2022 Tampa Bay Derby selections

Tea Tampa Bay Derby (G2) at Tampa Bay Downs is set to offer its top four finishers Kentucky Derby points in 50-20-10-5 payouts. Here is how Horse Racing Nation‘s staff and contributors are playing the race.

Sara Elbadwi

Winner: #9 Shipsational

On the board: #4 Classic Causeway

Long shot I like: #5 Giant Game

Analysis: While 4-Classic Causeway is obviously the horse to beat, 9-Shipsational ran a credible second to him last out in the Sam F. Davis. He’s come himself on an off track; something Classic Causeway has yet to contend with.


Mike Shutty, Super Screener

Winner: #9 Shipsational

On the board: #8 Major General

Long shot I like: #1 Grantham, #6 Golden Glider

Analysis: The outcome of this race is very dependent on whether the surface comes up wet or dry. We have sloppy surface Shipsational and Major General move up. If the track comes up fast, Classic Causeway looks very tough again here.

Jarrod Horak, Best Bets

Winner: #4 Classic Causeway

On the board: #9 Shipsational

Long shot I like: #7 Strike Hard

Analysis: Classic Causeway is a sharp, classy early-pressing type in a race lacking front end speed. He drew well and defeated a similar cast in the Sam F. Davis (G3) including Shipsational. The latter is a New York-bred stakes winner with running style versatility. Sam Davis 4th place finisher Strike Hard drew a better post and can get a piece of this at square odds. Wagers: Exacta 4-9/4-7-9, Trifecta Box 4-7-9, Trifecta 4/ALL/7

Candice Curtis

Winner: #9 Shipsational

On the board: #8 Major General

Long shot I like: #10 Belgrade

Analysis: Shipsational ran too well in the Sam F. Davis to ignore in this one – back to the same distance, he should get a similar trip and a swifter pace to run into. Should also get a good price on this NY-bred who is not among the buzzy 3-year-olds (at least right now). Pletcher’s Major General should be sharp off the layoff. Belgrade is interesting on the step-up in class and stretch-out for Graham Motion – board-hitter at a price.

Victor Ryan

Winner: #4 Classic Causeway

On the board: #9 Shipsational

Long shot I like: #3 Happy Boy Rocket

Analysis: Classic Causeway looks to be a much-deserving favorite following his impressive win over course and distance in the Feb. 12 Sam F. Davis (G3). He’ll be keyed in an exacta box with Happy Boy Rocket (12-1) and Shipsational (5-1).

Ron Flatter

Winner: #4 Classic Causeway

On the board: #9 Shipsational

Long shot I like: #5 Giant Game

Analysis: The last six Kentucky Derby points preps, including four in the US, have been won by favorites. If this is more than a statistical coincidence, it may underscore the lack of depth among these 3-year-olds when they are spread across the country. Classic Causeway looks that much better than this field. Speed ​​figures might give Shipsational a fighting chance, but he lost to Classic Causeway on merit in the Sam F. Davis. Bad weather Saturday means Giant Game could be the only horse without mud in his eye, so he must be included on any ticket.

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