Tampa Bay Derby could make or break horses for Kentucky Derby

The Tampa Bay Derby takes place on Saturday, March 9th at Tampa Bay Downs. The event is one of American Thoroughbred racing’s biggest lead-up races to the Kentucky Derby. This year’s event will carry a significant number of Kentucky Derby qualifying points. The Tampa Bay Derby could make or break a horse ahead of May’s race in Louisville. American horse racing fans are following the build-up to the race in Florida. The Tampa Bay Derby could have an impact on the rest of the American racing calendar and bettors can use PA sportsbooks to wager on the outcome of the big race.

The race has grown in popularity in recent years. Due to horse racing fans being able to glimpse a possible Kentucky Derby winner, it has led many to seek out the race. In addition, due to the number of races held at Tampa Bay Downs during the day, it brings out quite a few well-known jockeys and horses.

With the Tampa Bay Derby on tap for this Saturday, here are some of the key storylines horse racing enthusiasts should know.

Tampa Bay Derby – Impact on Kentucky Derby

One of the most important aspects about the Tampa Bay Derby is the impact it has on the Kentucky Derby. Top horse racing trainers, owners, and jockeys want to compete at Churchill Downs in May. However, to get to Louisville, race horses must earn points in specified prep races.

The Tampa Bay Derby is one of these designated races. The race winner receives 50 points, which means they will qualify for the Kentucky Derby. Second, third, and fourth place divide up the remaining 35 points available.

Tampa Bay Derby – The race

The Grade 2 race will see a prize fund of $400,000 up for grabs. The Derby will be the highlight of the day at Tampa Bay Downs. Twelve races will be run during the event as horse racing fans will get their fill of thoroughbred horses. The one and one-sixteenth mile race sees 11 horses competing for Kentucky Derby points.

Trainer Dale L. Romans’ Admire is listed as the sportsbooks’ favorite. The three-year-old and up race is run on dirt at Tampa Bay Downs. Opened in 1926, Tampa Bay Downs is one of the Unite States’ oldest and most famous racetracks.

Tampa Bay Derby – Experts top choice

Derby experts have praised Win WinWin as the horse to beat. There is a lot of hype surrounding the horse and Saturday’s race should show the world if it is warranted. In his most recent effort, Win WinWin won the Pasco Stakes, marking his third victory from four career starts. If the horse can win at Tampa Bay Downs, he could parlay that success into the Kentucky Derby.

The Tampa Bay Derby started in 1981. Since its inception, two horses who have run in the race have gone on to win the Kentucky Derby. In 2007, Street Sense won at Churchill Downs after participating at Tampa. Three years later, Super Saver won the Kentucky Derby after placing third at the Tampa Bay Derby.

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About Editor

Rich Nilsen is a 19-time qualifier to the National Horseplayers Championship (NHC), an event he has cashed in four times. He was the first player to finish in the top 10 of the NHC twice. A former executive with Brisnet.com and a member of the NHC Players’ Committee, Rich is a graduate of the University of Louisville Equine Business Program and is founder of AGameofSkill.com, a site devoted to horse racing education and promotion.

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