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2014 Tampa Bay Derby

Tampa Bay Derby at Tampa Bay Downs

Street SenseOn Saturday, March 8th, 2014 we have the $350,000 Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby at Tampa Bay Downs. The Tampa Bay Derby is one of the Kentucky Derby Championship Series races this weekend that rewards the top 4 finishers with qualifying points towards this year’s Kentucky Derby. If you are unfamiliar with the Kentucky Derby Points System, you should check out our page dedicated to the system with the leaderboard, replays and breakdown of the points system- 2014 Kentucky Derby Points System. The Tampa Bay Derby began in 1981 and in its short time has produced one Kentucky Derby winner with 2007 edition’s winner, Street Sense. In his 2 year old campaign he had won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and winning the Kentucky Derby the following year made him the first horse to capture both wins. Let’s see what this year’s Tampa Bay Derby might produce!

Tampa Bay Derby 2014

Conquest TitanThe 2014 Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby is the 11th race on the card at Tampa Bay Downs on Saturday and will feature a field of 10 three year olds traveling 1 1/16 mile. The 3/1 morning line favorite is the Todd Pletcher trained, Surfing U S A. Surfing U S A broke maiden at Aqueduct in a straight maiden 70k back in November and followed that win up with a 2nd place finish in an optional claiming 75k at Gulfstream in late January. He’ll have to contend with a few others here for the front end lead and I’m not sold on the idea that he will be able to win this one. For a pinch of value, I’m going with Conquest Titan at 7/2 on the ML. I’ve liked this horse for some time now and I am eager to see him as he matures. He impressed me most with his run in the Grade 2 Holy Bull. On paper, his second place finish 5 ¾ lengths behind Cairo Prince looks ugly, I know, but you really have to watch that race to appreciate the run Conquest Titan gave that day-

He starts off dead last and finally starts to make a move around the ½ mile mark. He then has to circle the field, hung out a good 5-6 horses wide and fights on to capture second place! It was truly one of the best runs I’ve seen this year from a horse that didn’t win. If he can make a move a little earlier here, I look for him to win this one with no problem. His speed figures have vastly improved since his last place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and his works say he’s ready for this one. For a longshot, I like East Hall at 10 to 1 on the morning line. Like Conquest Titan, I look for a late run and possible upset here. Good luck everybody!

 

 

 

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Mike Jr, eldest son of Mike Lane Sr, is co-lead author at HandicapHorseRacing.com and was raised on thoroughbred horse racing and handicapping. Although father and son often butt heads on their selections, they both have much love and admiration for the sport. Mike Jr. brings a new, fresh perspective to horse racing and is often in search of new angles to try.

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