On Saturday, Tampa Bay Downs runs multiple graded races, including the Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby. The winner of the Tampa Bay Derby secures a spot in this year’s Kentucky Derby. The other grade 2 event happens at Oaklawn Park when 4 year old fillies and mares race in the Azeri Stakes. Check out more information for six of Saturday’s top graded races. Check out top plays and Horse Racing Odds for the Top Stakes Races of the Week from Saturday, Mar. 12th. You can also visit our Online Racebook to place your bets on active racetracks.
Horse Racing Odds & Picks March 8th Edition
Gulfstream Park – Saturday, March 12
- Grade 3 Hurricane Bertie Stakes – 5 furlongs turf – 4 year olds and up
Grade 3 Chilukki winner Obligatory figures to go off the chalk in what should be a terrific rendition of the Hurricane Bertie. Four Graces, which finished second in the Inside Information in her last, Feeling Mischief, Starship Nala, and Bramble Berry will also attract action.
Tampa Bay Downs – Saturday, March 12
- Grade 3 Florida Oaks – 1 1/16 miles turf – 3 year olds
The Florida Oaks is shaping up as one of the most competitive races of the week. Graham Motion trained Vergara might attract the most action. But Hail To from the Tom Albertrani barn and Claude McGaughey runner Skims will also garner some play. Chad Brown puts the saddle on Spicer. So expect that runner to go off no worse than fourth choice.
- Grade 2 Hillsborough Stakes – 1 1/8 miles turf – 4 year olds and up
Roger Attfield trained Lady Speightspeare, and Chad Brown runner Kalifornia Queen figure to go off first choice and second choice. Brown’s other entrant, Bleecker Street, warrants a long look. The Quality Road sired miss won the Grade 3 Endeavour in her last start. Last out maiden winner Take Charge Ro could go off at overlay odds. The Bryan Lynch trained runner has gotten better with every race.
- Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby – 1 1/16 miles dirt – 3 year olds
Horseplayers will settle on making Todd Pletcher runner Major General, who took the Iroquois Stakes in his last, or Sam F. Davis winner Classic Causeway the chalk. Both look difficult to beat. Last out maiden winner Happy Boy Rocket, trained by Bill Mott, has the breeding and ran good enough to consider. But only back Happy if the odds are right.
Oaklawn Park – Saturday, March 12
- Grade 2 Azeri Stakes – 1 1/16 miles dirt – 4 year old fillies and mares
Based on the likely entrants, Shedaresthedevil, Brad Cox’s superstar filly, should easily take the Azeri Stakes. Pauline’s Pearl, She’s All Wolfe, Golden Curl, Lady Mystify, Ava’s Grace and Lavender should have no chance versus the Cox runner. However, pay attention to how Shedaresthedevil warms up. If the Cox equine isn’t feeling like herself, one of the underdogs could pull off the upset.
Santa Anita Park – Saturday, March 12
- Grade 3 San Luis Rey Stakes – 1 ½ miles turf – 4 year olds and up
This year’s San Luis Rey is wide open. Say the Word, Acclimate, Current, Red King, Award Winner, Henley’s Joy, Dicey Mo Chara, Offlee Naughty, and Airman can all run to the winner’s circle. If you plan on betting the San Luis, make sure to study every entrant’s past performances before settling on your key horse.