There are, of course, important preps for the Kentucky Derby on Saturday afternoon. The Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby at Tampa Bay Downs features another effort by Brethren, who won the prep for it with his victory in the Sam F. Davis. The Timely Writer at Gulfstream Park features the return of Uncle Mo, winner of the 2010 Breeders' Cup Juvenile. However, I have selected another Gulfstream race to handicap for the blog, the Grade 2 $300,000 Gulfstream Park Handicap. Here is the analysis:
I think this race shapes up as a speedfest. For that reason, I will select a horse I expect to be travelling slightly off the pace, #6 Tizway. Tizway will be making his return to the races in this spot with Rajiv Maragh aboard. His last performance was a fifth in the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile at Churchill Downs. His last workout on March 5 was a speedy one, going a half-mile in 49 seconds flat. For second, I will go with the favorite, #7 Soaring Empire. He has a win and a second in two graded starts at Gulfstream Park this meeting, finishing behind Tackleberry in one of them. He has a bullet work on February 28 and is extremely well-bred with Sire Empire Maker and A.P. Indy on the Dam side. I will put #1 Rule in third position. He is winless thus far in three tries at Gulfstream Park this meeting, although he posted Beyers in the 100s in the last two of those. John Velazquez will be aboard for trainer Todd Pletcher. I just refuse to leave #3 Tackleberry out of a position here. He has won the last two at Gulfstream Park at a furlong less and a furlong more than this try at one mile. He has been ignored in both of those tries and I would be loathe to do that again here. Here is the play for the Grade 2 Gulfstream Park Handicap:
$5 WP #6
$2 EX 6-7 with 1-2-3-6-7
$1 TRI 6-7 with 6-7 with 1-2-3
Right now, the blog is MINUS $70 for the year, so we are in need of a victory on Saturday. As always, They Are Off accepts no responsibility for any wagers placed in conjunction with these selections. They are merely suggestions. Tune in again next week for more from They Are Off. For right now, I am Gone... GOODBYE!