Our handicapper Bob Bauer’s picks for the Tampa Bay Derby (Grade 2) and the other Saturday races at Tampa Bay Downs can be found by clicking on Handicapping on the menu bar at the top of this Web site.
Bob’s pick to win the Tampa Bay Derby is Tapwrit.
He offers this explanation: The big horse, McCraken, is not in the race. Tapwrit was a strong second to McCraken last time out, in the Sam F. Davis. That makes Tapwrit the horse to beat.
Tapwrit lost by only a length and a half to a horse that set a track record. Like McCraken, he was moving fast near the finish.
Tapwrit was making a move near the inside. Not being able to get through, he was forced to veer outside a bit and passed State of Honor and Wild Shot who were near the rail.
Otherwise, he might have made it closer but still wouldn’t have beaten McCraken.
Note—Bob is picking Beasley to finish second and No Dozing to finish third in the Tampa Bay Derby.
Bob is a former publicity director at Tampa Bay Downs and a former racing correspondent/handicapper for the Tampa Bay Times.