Tampa Bay Downs Picks – Saturday, March 6, 2021

| March 5, 2021 3:00 pm PDT

Tampa Bay Downs features a 12-race schedule for Saturday, headlined by five graded stakes races, including the Tamp Bay Derby — a Championship Series race on the 2021 Road to the Kentucky Derby, which along with a $400,000 purse awards KD qualifying points to the top four finishers.

Read on for my Tampa Bay Downs picks and betting tips for all five stakes races on Saturday, March 6, 2021.

Pick for Race 5 at Tampa Bay Downs – Challenger Stakes

This is the $100,000 Michelob Ultra Challenger Stakes, a Grade III stakes race for four-year-olds and upward running a distance of 1-1/16 miles for a purse of $100,000.

I’m not impressed with any of the competitors in this field, but of those, the least non-impressed I am is with the fourth-favored (at 4/1) Last Judgment, ridden by Daniel Centeno. This five-year-old gelding moneyed seven of his 15 career starts, winning six.

  •  Win: Last Judgment 4/1

Picks for Race 7 at Tampa Bay Downs – Columbia Stakes

This is the Columbia Stakes, a Listed stakes race for three-year-olds running a distance of one mile on turf for a purse of $75,000.

My money’s on the second-favored (4/1) entry in this race — Whatmakesammyrun, with Antonio Gallardo aboard. This colt moneyed four of his five career starts, winning one.

And I have to like the 20/1 longshot Castle King, with Ronald Dale Allen, Jr. aboard, for a value show bet. This gelding moneyed six of his ten career starts, winning one. Most of the money finishes were in Black Type stakes races.

  •  Win: Whatmakessammyrun 4/1
  •  Show: Castle King 20/1

Picks for Race 9 at Tampa Bay Downs – Hillsborough Stakes

This is the Hillsborough Stakes, a Grade II stakes race for fillies and mares four years old and upward running a distance of 1-1/8 miles on turf for a purse of $225,000.

I’m going to agree with the morning line here and call this stakes race for the 4/1 favorite — Counterparty Risk, with Antonio Gallardo in the irons. Four years old, this Irish import filly finished in the money three of her four career starts, winning two. Her most recent win was the Lambholm South Endeavour Stakes (Grade III) at Tampa Bay in early February.

 At 12/1, Morning Molly, with Jesus L. Castanon aboard, looks like a solid value show wager. This five-year-old mare moneyed six of her seven career starts, winning four. If this were a regular race, I’d recommend an across-the-board bet, but against this field, let’s stick with the show ticket.

  •  Win: Counterparty Risk 4/1
  •  Show: Morning Molly 12/1

Picks for Race 10 at Tampa Bay Downs – Florida Oaks

This is the Florida Oaks, a Grade III stakes race for three-year-old fillies running a distance of 1-1/16 miles on turf for a purse of $200,000.

I’m favoring the morning line’s second choice at 3/1 — Domain Expertise, ridden by Antonio Gallardo. This filly moneyed three of her four career starts, winning one. Her most recent money finish was a third in the Sweetest Chant Stakes (Grade III) at Gulfstream Park in January.

Complicating the wagering is the fact that there’s an 8/1 sleeper in this race — Mia Martina, with Julien Leparoux in the irons. This filly won both of her career starts.

At 20/1, I have to like Queen of the Green, with Robby Alvarado in the irons, for a value show bet. This filly finished in the money for four of her six career starts, winning two.

  •  Win: Domain Expertise 3/1
  •  Sleeper: Mia Martina 8/1
  •  Show: Queen of the Green 20/1

Pick for Race 11 at Tampa Bay Downs – Tampa Bay Derby

This is the Lambholm South Tampa Bay Derby, a Grade II stakes race for three-year-olds running a distance of 1-1/16 miles for a purse of $400,000. The Tampa Bay Derby is part of the Championship Series of the 2021 Road to the Kentucky Derby and awards points toward KD qualification to its top four finishers (50-20-10-5).

I’m sticking with the 2/1 morning line favorite here — Candy Man Rocket, ridden by Junior Alvarado. Already #16 on the RTTKD leaderboard with ten points, this colt finished in the money two of his three career starts, winning two — his most recent being the Sam F. Davis Stakes (Grade III) in February here at Tampa Bay Downs.

 There are plenty of longshots in among this 12-horse field, but I don’t see any that are likely to do anything but follow the other horses across the finish line.

  •  Win: Candy Man Rocket 2/1

More Racing Picks for Saturday

You can find plenty more stakes races that I’ve screened for potential wagers at the other two tracks I reviewed for Saturday:

J.W. Paine

J.W. Paine is one of the most experienced writers at GamblingSites.com. He's written for television and the printed media, and is a published novelist (as Tom Elliott).

Paine loves writing about Las Vegas nearly as much he loves living here. An experienced gambler, he's especially familiar with poker, blackjack, and slots.

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