There will be an exciting weekend of racing action at Tampa Bay Downs on Saturday, as Skyway Festival Day takes place. There are three stakes races on the card, with all having interesting cards to break down with the leading horse racing betting sites.
Pasco Stakes- 2:14 PM ET
The stakes action gets underway with the Pasco Stakes, which is the fifth race on the card. Horses aged three will race over a short sprint distance of seven furlongs.
Cattin will head the betting for the opening stakes race of the day, as he looks for a second straight stakes victory for trainer Ralph Nicks. He was excellent in the Inaugural Stakes around Tampa in December, and few would be surprised to see him win again here. Both Gold Special and Magical Mousse were beaten in that stakes contest, and should be ruled out.
Provocateur looks to be the value in the betting for Hall of Famer Todd Pletcher. The three-year-old made her first start at Tampa Bay just before the turn of the year, and posted a speed figure of 87 when winning a maiden special weight. Despite being on the rail, we expect a quick start, and a new name to be catapulted into contention for the G3 Sam F. Davis Stakes next month.
Pick: Provocateur (ML- 3/1)
Gasparilla Stakes- 2:50 PM ET
Directly after the Pasco Stakes, we move into the Gasparilla Stakes for fillies that are three. Once again, this is run over a seven-furlong distance, and a wide-open contest could be in store for race fans.
William Mott’s Outfoxed is a serious contender here, having won the Florida Sire Susan’s Girl Stakes and My Dear Girl Stakes at Gulfstream Park last year. Her long break away from the track would be a concern. Goddess of Fire also can’t be ruled out after a decent third in the G3 Pocahontas back in September.
However, we like the chances of Strategic Bird, who has drawn the wide position here. She is trained by Mark Casse, and boasts a perfect record on track to date. She was brilliant last time out, beating Devin Charger at Tampa to win the Sandpiper Stakes, and a second straight win in stakes company at the track looks an excellent chance.
Pick: Strategic Bird (ML- 5/2)
Wayward Lass Stakes- 4:25 PM ET
The last of the stakes races at Tampa Bay on Saturday is the Wayward Lass Stakes, which is the ninth race on the card. Fillies and mares aged four and over can compete in this contest, which is run over a distance of one and one sixteenth miles.
There are a few with very good chances in this race. Don’t Get Khoozy has been in excellent form at Gulfstream Park over the past couple of months, and her second in the Rampant Stakes looks extremely strong form coming into this. Allworthy was third in the same race, but still has an excellent chance based on her third in the G3 Charles Town Oaks and fourth in the G3 Monmouth Oaks.
However, we are looking to take a chance on Molly’s Angel. She showed her best form on her latest start, as she hit a speed figure of 86 when winning an allowance optional around Tampa. She is very consistent, and a favourable draw gives her every chance this weekend at a slightly bigger price.
Pick: Molly’s Angel (ML- 5/1)