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2022 Kentucky Derby Prep Race Betting Odds & Picks: Classic Causeway Favored in Tampa Bay Derby (March 12)

2022 Kentucky Derby Prep Race Betting Odds & Picks: Classic Causeway Favored in Tampa Bay Derby (March 12) article feature image

Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images. Pictured: Tampa Bay Derby favorite Classic Causeway, with jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr., aboard.

We take another huge leap toward the Kentucky Derby on Saturday, with more crucial points on the line in the $400,000 Grade II Tampa Bay Derby at Tampa Bay Downs in Tampa, Fla.

The winner of the 1 1/16-mile race on the dirt track earns 50 points, which essentially guarantees the horse and its connections a spot in the starting gate for the 148th edition of the annual “Run for the Roses” on May 7 at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky.

Looking to build on their good run, featuring several winning selections and tickets, TVG analyst Andie Biancone and Action Network handicapper Jeremy Pond have returned searching for more victories at large profits.

That said, the duo takes a deep look at the solid Tampa Bay Derby field, featuring 12 entrants. Let’s check out their best bets and other top wagers.

Tune in to TVG for coverage of the Tampa Bay Derby and the entire racing card at Gulfstream Park, which will also feature Biancone delivering analysis for the day’s slate of races.

2022 Tampa Bay Derby (Grade II) Odds

*Latest Odds via TVG

1 — Grantham 20-1 S. Camacho
2 — Trademark 30-1 D. Centeno
3 — Happy Boy Rocket 12-1 J. Alvarado
4 — Classic Causeway 8-5 I. Ortiz, Jr.
5 — Giant Game 10-1 J. Talamo
6 — Golden Glider 12-1 A. Gallardo
7 — Strike Hard 8-1 L. Saez
8 — Major General 9-2 J. Castellano
9 — Shipsational 5-1 M. Franco
10 — Belgrade 20-1 H. Diaz, Jr.
11 — Money Supply 10-1 J. Ortiz
12 — Spin Wheel 20-1 J. Castanon

Race Information

Date | Post Time: Saturday | 5:23 p.m. ET

Distance | Surface: 1 1/16 miles | Dirt

Location: Tampa Bay Downs | Tampa Bay, Fla.

Tampa Bay Derby Top Picks & Longshots

Andie Biancone

No. 4 Classic Causeway (8-5): I have to include the Sam F. Davis winner in my top picks for the Tampa Bay Derby.

This horse is in my top three for contenders on the Derby Trail because the performance he put on in that win was something only a truly good horse can do. Classic Causeway had pressure on him all the way, yet still managed to draw away with ears pricked to finish the last furlong in 12 seconds.

The way in which he won the Sam F. Davis truly showcased this horse’s ability, so if he maintains this upward trajectory this horse could be one of the biggest threats heading into the Derby.

Classic Causeway had two strong works coming into this race, which he put away with ease, and trainer Brian Lynch said he couldn’t be doing any better. I also think that the No. 4 post position is the perfect spot for this horse and his pace-pressing running style.

Trainer @BLynchRacing feeling good about how CLASSIC CAUSEWAY is coming into Saturday's G2 Tampa Bay Derby!

He shares with @andie_biancone how he's been developing since the Sam F. Davis Stakes. #RoadtotheDerby

— TVG (@TVG) March 10, 2022

No. 9 Shipsational (5-1): Shipsational is one of my top choices on the betting board entering this race.

He finished second to Classic Causeway last time out, but had an unideal trip going four wide most of the way. This horse ran impressively off the layoff last time out, and should improve even more so coming into this race.

If Shipsational continues his trend of improvement, he might be the one to give Classic Causeway a run for his money in this stakes event.

There’s also a high probability of rain, but this horse has proven he loves the slop. An off track could be a serious impeding factor for many of the horses in the group, so the fact that this horse has run his best number over a sloppy track is a huge green light for me.

Drawing the No. 9 post position was a slight concern for me initially, but looking at this horse’s work tab it shows he has all the speed to get him out of there and into a good, early position.

SHIPSATIONAL and @luissaezpty battle down the stretch and take the Sleepy Hollow Stakes! #BelmontPark #NYBred

— NYRA (🗽) (@TheNYRA) October 30, 2021

Longshot — No. 7 Strike Hard (8-1): At a solid price, Strike Hard is going to be my long shot play in this deep field.

This horse had a horrendous trip — to say the least — last time out in the Sam F. Davis, going five wide in the final turn and still rallying to pick up fourth place. Strike Hard likes to press the pace, yet still managed to make an extremely solid effort after being shuffled back to nearly last all the way around.

This horse’s running style will also be advantageous for him, as there are some speed horses in here to set up the pace. His work tab coming into the Tampa Bay Derby was also impressive, working four furlongs handily in 47 seconds and five furlongs in a minute the work prior to that effort.

Jockey Luis Saez picking up the mount will also be a huge help as well.

Jeremy Pond

Best Bets

$5 Win | Place | Show: No. 9 Shipsational (5-1)

$4 Exacta: 4-9-11 over 3-4-7-8-9-11

$1 Trifecta: 4-9-11 over 3-4-7-8-9-11 over 1-3-4-5-7-8-9-11

Exotic Wagering

(Races 10-11)

Biancone’s Daily Double

Columbia Stakes | Tampa Bay Derby

3-7-9 | 3-4-7-9

Pond’s Daily Double

Columbia Stakes | Tampa Bay Derby

2-3-5-8-9 | 4-9-11

The #RoadtotheDerby is picking up speed! Take a look at the current Kentucky Derby Leaderboard & stay with @TVG for all the action on the Derby trail.

Upcoming Prep Races:
Sat 3/12: Tampa Bay Derby @TampaBayDownsFL

— TVG (@TVG) March 9, 2022

Road to the 2022 Kentucky Derby

Jan. 22 Lecomte (Grade III) Call Me Midnight
Jan. 29 Southwest (III) Newgrange
Feb. 5 Holy Bull (III) White Abarrio
Feb. 5 Withers (III) Early Voting
Feb. 6 Robert B. Lewis (III) Messier
Feb. 12 Sam F. Davis (III) Classic Causeway
Feb. 12 El Camino Real Derby Blackadder
Feb. 19 Risen Star (III) Epicenter
Feb. 26 Rebel (II) Un Ojo
March 5 John Battaglia Memorial Tiz the Bomb
March 5 Fountain of Youth (II) Simplification
March 5 San Felipe (II) Forbidden Kingdom
March 5 Gotham (II) Morello
March 12 Tampa Bay Derby (II) Tampa Bay Downs (50-20-10-5)
March 26 UAE Derby Meydan Racecourse (100-40-20-10)
March 26 Louisiana Derby (II) Louisiana Downs (100-40-20-10)
March 27 Sunland Derby (III) Sunland Park (50-20-10-5)
April 2 Florida Derby (I) Gulfstream Park (100-40-20-10)
April 2 Arkansas Derby (I) Oaklawn Park (100-40-20-10)
April 2 Jeff Ruby Steaks (III) Turfway Park (100-40-20-10)
April 9 Wood Memorial (II) Aqueduct (100-40-20-10)
April 9 Blue Grass (II) Keeneland (100-40-20-10)
April 9 Santa Anita Derby (I) Santa Anita Park (100-40-20-10)
April 16 Lexington (III) Keeneland (100-40-20-10)

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