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Horseplayers already are winners this weekend with a fine day of racing in save on Saturday, including three contentious races on the road to the Triple Crown and what promises to be a memorable edition of the “big ‘Cap.”
The trio of stakes races for three-12 months-olds are the $300,000 Gotham Stakes at Aqueduct, the $four hundred,000 Tampa Bay Derby at Tampa Bay Downs and the $300,000 San Felipe Stakes at Santa Anita Park. Every will award 85 Kentucky Derby features on a 50-20-10-5 basis.
The San Felipe may be followed a number of races later by means of the $four hundred,00 “huge ‘Cap,” aka the 1¼ mile Santa Anita Handicap (Grade 1), which drew a solid cast led via the undefeated Maxfield.
The respectable information for Nevada horseplayers is that every one 4 races are unaffected via the continuing Churchill Downs contract dispute and may be purchasable for betting. The Gotham, Tampa Bay Derby and San Felipe could be shown on “the us’s Day at the Races” on Fox activities 2 at 2 p.M. TVG also will cowl those races, as neatly because the Santa Anita Handicap, which is scheduled to move to submit at 5 p.M.
The Grade 3 Gotham, run at the one-turn mile distance on the “large A,” will kick off the three-yr-old action.
The Chad Brown-educated particularly influenced is the eight-5 morning line favourite, in spite of the fact that the son of Mischief will stretch out past 6½ furlongs for the primary time in what could be his fourth start. The linemaker sees the Bob Baffert-proficient Freedom Fighter (5-2) as his main competition in the eight-horse box, as do I.
The Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby, contested at 1-1/sixteenth mile, seems like a large-open affair.
sweet Man Rocket, winner of the Sam F. Davis Stakes over the song on Feb. 6, is the 2-1 favourite in the container of 12. But the bill Mott trainee got an ideal stalking trip that day and is now drawn inner other horses whose riders could be trying to determine a similar event.
An upset looks feasible, with Hidden Stash (4-1), Helium (6-1) and Promise Keeper (eight-1) performing to be the greatest threats.
The Grade 2 San Felipe, additionally run at 1-1/sixteenth mile, drew a compact box of seven, led with the aid of two Baffert-expert runners: life Is first rate (four-5) and Medina Spirit (7-2). Most fascinating upset possibility to me is the Doug O’Neill-informed The top notch One (four-1).
in the massive Cap, Maxfield is the 8-5 morning line favorite in line with his 5-0 checklist for coach Brendan Walsh. The Godolphin homebred son of road feel has overcome distinct accidents en route to his four-yr-historic season, however now seems to be on the desirable of his online game as he makes his third beginning off a layoff.
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but the winner of the Grade three Mineshaft Stakes on the reasonable Grounds closing out doesn’t seem invincible. For one issue, he has yet to crack triple digits on the Beyer velocity figure scale, whereas 4 of his foes — Independence corridor (4-1), Kiss today Goodbye (8-1), Coastal protection (15-1) and specific educate (three-1) — already have performed so. He’s additionally making his first delivery over the Santa Anita dirt route.
I’ve been an enormous fan of Maxfield ever due to the fact his breathtaking victory within the 2019 Breeders Futurity (Grade 1) at Keeneland as a 2-12 months-historic, but my choose right here is express educate, upset winner of the Grade 2 San Pasqual Stakes at Santa Anita in his most contemporary start. I’ll use him in exactas with Maxfield and Independence hall if the payouts aren’t too puny.
Mike Brunker’s horse racing column appears Fridays. He will also be reached at mbrunker@reviewjournal.Com or 702-383-4656. Comply with @mike_brunker on Twitter.
Ellis Starr’s Tampa Bay Derby analysis