2021 Top Stakes Races for the Week March 1st Edition

2021 Top Stakes Races for the Week March 1st Edition

Written by on March 1, 2021

Three big time Kentucky Derby prep races happen on Saturday, March 6. The Grade 3 Gotham Stakes is the first Derby prep. That takes place at Aqueduct Racetrack in Ozone Park, NY. The other two preps are the Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby and the Grade 2 San Felipe Stakes at Santa Anita Park. Check out top plays and Horse Racing Odds for the Top Stakes Races of the Week from Saturday, March 6th. You can also visit our Online Racebook to place your bets on active racetracks.

Horse Racing Odds & Picks for March 6th Races

Top Stakes Races for the Week 

  • When: Saturday, March 6 

Oaklawn Park

  • Grade 3 Honeybee Stakes – 1 1/16 miles dirt – $300,000

Last out maiden winner Pauline’s Pearl could get some looks to win the Honeybee. Trained by Steve Asmussen, Pauline’s Pearl doesn’t face the strongest of fields. Brad Cox has a couple in here, including Coach, who may go off the chalk.

Aqueduct Racetrack

  • Grade 3 Tom Fool Handicap – 6 furlongs dirt – $200,000

The Tom Fool is shaping up as a small but excellent field. Second-place Grade 3 Toboggan finisher Pete’s Play Call could go off the chalk. Bob Baffert may start Speed Pass. If Bob days, Speed Pass will get some looks. So will Wendell Fong.  

  • Grade 3 Gotham Stakes – 1 mile dirt – $300,000

All eyes will be on the Chad Brown trained Highly Motivated. Sired by Into Mischief, the Nyquist Stakes winner stretches out to a mile. To win, the Brown equine must run down Capo Kane, which won’t be easy. One horse who could upset both Capo Kane and Highly Motivated plans is the Bob Baffert trained Freedom Fighter. Sired by Violence, the Baffert runner finished second behind stablemate Concert Tour in the Grade 2 San Vicente on Feb. 6 in his last. 

Tampa Bay Downs

  • Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby – 1 1/16 miles dirt – $400,000

12 horses figure to go for the win in the 2021 Tampa Bay Derby on Saturday. Todd Pletcher trained Unbridled Honor is an intriguing choice. But, no doubt, most horseplayers will side with Sam F. Davis winner Candy Man Rocket. Promise Keeper, Super Strong, and Helium are 3 other runners that could attract action.

Santa Anita Park

  • Grade 2 San Carlos – 7 furlongs dirt – $200,000

The San Carlos is a wide-open event. It’s so wide-open that you’ll be hard-pressed to find the winner. Don’t accept short odds on any of the entrants. Shashashakemeup finished second behind Wildman Jack in the Grade 3 Palos Verdes in the 4-year-old colt’s last. There’s a good chance Shasha goes off the chalk in this.

  • Grade 2 San Felipe Stakes – 1 1/16 miles dirt – $300,000

Bob Baffert may enter three in the San Felipe Stakes. Hozier is a last-out maiden winner and a half-brother to 2015 Triple Crown winner American Pharoah. Life Is Good is the second-ranked 3-year-old in the world and Medina Spirit won the Robert B. Lewis in his last. Although all three have a big shot to take the San Felipe, the best play could be the Simon Callaghan trained Roman Centurion. Make sure to handicap before dumping on one of the Baffert runners.

  • Grade 1 Frank E. Kilroe Mile – 1 mile turf – $400,000

At least 10 horses will enter the starting gate for the Frank E. Kilroe Mile. Chad Brown has a couple, Flavius and Spirit Animal. But it’s hard not seeing Todd Pletcher trained Social Paranoia going off the favorite. Paranoia finished fourth in the Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational in his last. 

  • Grade 1 Santa Anita Handicap – 1 ¼ miles dirt – $400,000

Favoritism in this year’s Big Cap, no doubt, will fall onto the Brad Cox trained Maxfield. The undefeated runner dominated his opponents when winning the Grade 3 Mineshaft in his last. If Maxfield skips this for the Dubai World Cup on March 27, Express Train, King Guillermo, or Independence Hall figures to go off the chalk.