The Tampa Bay Derby turned out to be an interesting handicapping day. Take Charge Indy scratches, and Prospective gets bet down from a ML of 8/1 down to 2/1 during most the wagering, then after the windows close he pops up to 3/1. Battle Hardened and Spring Hill Farm sit at 5/2. I didn't play the race, I was distracted getting ready for Delta Downs, but in the end I will admit I would have gone with Battle Hardened. Prospective ran a great race, and now joins the fray for Derby Challengers.
Today, we run back over to Gulfstream and will look at the 10th race, the 27th running of Here Comes The Bride (G3), for 3YO fillies going a mile and an eighth over the grass. Eight entrants will be running for the $150,000 purse. Looking down the card, we see some familiar faces, with many have beaten each other in previous races, which makes it interesting. So here we go ...
#5 Dixie Strike ML 4/1
At first blush, I was going to slot Dayatthespa here, but the more I looked at this filly the more I liked her to win. She is shipping in from Tampa where she won the Florida Oaks ($150K) and that wasn't an easy trip. No doubt she is tougher today, but this girl knows how to win (three of five). Her Beyer's have progress nicely and yes, she will have to step it up, but with Lezcano staying with her, I think that is possible.
#8 Dayatthespa ML 2/1
What's not to like about this Chad Brown trained filly? Her last trip she fanned wide and took the win easily. She beat several in here today, and with her 86 Beyer would appear to win this event. So why not first? Maybe I'm over handicapping here, her speed pattern looks bouncy to me, even with the breaks. If she follows her form cycle then she should run in the 70's, still good enough to win, but more vulnerable against this group.
#1 Wholelottashakin ML 6/1
This filly has been progressing nicely, finished second to the #8 in the Sweet Chant running her best Beyer of 82. What I like in her is how she bounced off the trouble trip in the Ginger Brew. I watched the replay several times, and not only was she pinched off at the start, it looked like Solis had to pull her up as well. Her workouts are strong, she gets no added weight and Bush doesn't enter many in Graded Stakes but when he does he wins.
#6 Regalo Mia ML 8/1
There are a lot of good horses to get confused by, Northern Passion and Frolic's Revenge certainly deserve a mention. However, I really like the #6 as the dangerous filly. In her last, the Florida Oaks, she finished third, missing by a neck to Dixie Strike, and she had been brushed and didn't fold up. Her Beyer's are consistent and Castanon is back in the irons for this one. Her trainer, Michelle Nihei is careful where she puts her charges, and brings her back to where she won her maiden.
#7 Almusafa ML 12/1
She is another that bounced back well after a tough trip (5th in the Ginger Brew), even though her Beyer's flattened a bit. The angle here is JohnnyV stays on board, and McLaughlin has a stunning 32% win record with returning winners ($2.30 ROI). Also, if your are into breeding influences, her sire yields 31% North American turf winners. If she improves her speed along with her running style, she could be the won to beat today.
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