The best racing action this weekend takes place at Tampa Bay Downs, with a stacked card of races set for Saturday. Last week, we were at Santa Anita for some compelling action, but the standout race on the card this weekend is the G2 Tampa Bay Derby, which is worth 50 Kentucky Derby qualifying points, while the G2 Hillsborough Stakes and G3 Michelob Ultra Challenger Stakes both look interesting races too. 

Tampa Bay Derby- Grade 2

The big Kentucky Derby qualifying action takes place at Tampa Bay Downs this weekend as the G2 Tampa Bay Derby is staged. This race will be run over 1 1/16 miles, with 50 qualifying points on the line. Two previous Kentucky Derby winners have lined up in this race, with both Street Sense and Super Saver stopping here on their way to Churchill Downs.

Classic Causeway looks an incredibly strong chance this weekend, as he won over this course and distance when winning the G2 Sam F. Davis a couple of weeks back. A speed figure of 104 was recorded from that run, and his second behind Smile Happy last year at Churchill Downs still means that he is incredibly well-priced for the Kentucky Derby.

Major General could be the biggest challenger this weekend, but he has something to find based on speed figures. He won the G3 Iroquois last time out, but that speed figure of 83 is still way off the pace. Instead, Happy Boy Rocket may be the interesting outsider. He won last time out over this distance at Gulfstream Park, and recorded a speed figure of 91. 

Pick: Classic Causeway

Hillsborough Stakes- Grade 2

The fillies and mares will also be in action at Tampa Bay Downs on Saturday, as they run in the Hillsborough Stakes over 1 1/8 miles. This looks like a very interesting race on the card, and I have a strong fancy.

The horse that I like the look of is Bleecker Street for Chad Brown. This four-year-old boasts a perfect record, having won on all four career starts, and was last seen winning at Tampa Bay in February when beating a few of her rivals this weekend in the G3 Endeavour Stakes. A speed figure of 98 from that run, coupled with a 96 from her run in January means that she will be very hard to oppose.

Lady Speightspeare looks to be the biggest danger this weekend, as the four-year-old was second behind Bleecker Street in the Endeavour. However, she boasts strong stakes form, having won both the G2 Bessarabian and G1 Natalma over the past couple of years.

Pick: Bleecker Street

Michelob Ultra Challenger Stakes- Grade 3

The interesting betting race of the day from my standpoint comes in the Michelob Ultra Challenger Stakes. This is run over 1 1/16 miles by horses aged four and over. It is a wide open field for this race, and I like two at a slightly bigger price.

Even before looking at the prices I was keen on Wolfie’s Dynaghost. This four-year-old has run to speed figures of 109-105 and 102 from his last three runs, with his latest resulting in a win in a handicap race at Gulfstream Park. He also has previous at Tampa Bay, having won an allowance optional claiming race there in late December.

The other that I like the look of is Cody’s Wish for trainer William Mott. This four-year-old seems to have found his groove, as he has won his last three, and progression can be seen from his speed figures, which has developed from a 95 in October to a 102 which was recorded in an allowance last time out.

Pick: Wolfie’s Dynaghost

Pick: Cody’s Wish