Tampa Bay Derby analysis, jockey selections

The Grade II, $350,000 Tampa Bay Derby puts three-year-olds in the spotlight at Tampa Bay Downs this Saturday. The 1 1/16th-mile heat drew a field of 10 looking for points toward the Kentucky Derby. Fifty points go to the winner, 20 to the runner-up, 10 to third and five to fourth. The race features four…

McCraken makes seasonal debut in Sam F. Davis

The Sam F. Davis Stakes, the local prep for the Tampa Bay Derby, is the Saturday feature at Tampa Bay Downs. It’s a Grade III, 1 1/16th-mile event worth $250,000 to Kentucky Derby-minded three-year-olds. Undefeated MCCRAKEN leads a field of nine in pursuit of valuable Derby points (10 to the winner down to one for…

Can Classic Empire be conquered in the Holy Bull?

The Grade II, $350,000 Holy Bull Stakes highlights a terrific 12-race card at Gulfstream Park this Saturday. Going as the finale, the Holy Bull pits eight three-year-olds against last year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner CLASSIC EMPIRE. The 1 1/16th-mile heat is worth 10 Kentucky Derby points to first down to one point to the 4th-place…