Horse racing powers on in Florida on Saturday, with Gulfstream Park and Tampa Bay Downs two of three racetracks that are racing today. The overall handle for horse racing was up impressively in April and tracks continue to break records in May. For those that are still racing. Several have been closed down all together to racing.
Santa Anita Park is the most well-known of the bunch, but good news in Santa Anita, as they’re expected to resume racing soon. The Santa Anita Derby is currently TBD, but now that they have the greenlight to start racing again, organizers can begin to hammer out details regarding a race day for the Derby.
Golden Gate Fields is on pace to returning as well next week. They are expected to hold their first card since getting closed by the Health Department on May 14. Kentucky is gearing up for racing as well. Churchill Downs is planning on getting their first meet of the season up and running soon. Of course, the gates will be closed to the public, with online wagering available for Churchill Downs handicappers.
With Santa Anita Park and Churchill Downs on the docket soon, other tracks that have been open during the pandemic might see a slip in handle when they’re racing on the same day. Tampa Bay Downs has another racecard on Saturday. We’ll take a look at the Pick 3 for the first three races. Head below for our free Tampa Bay Downs Pick 6 selections for May 9, 2020.
Post Time: 12:30 p.m. EST
Distance: 6 Furlongs
We’ll get started with Race 1 at Tampa Bay Downs at 12:30 p.m. EST. This race features a $10,000 purse with ten horses scheduled to run the early afternoon event in Tampa. This is likely going to be a race between two horses: Americano and Betweenhereandcool. Upset bids by Sum Overture and Red Rose Cat is unlikely here.
Sum Overture has won 3 of 20 events in his career and probably won’t find win No. 4 today. He’s winless in 11 straight outings after winning on July 1, 2019 at Gulfstream Park. Since that win, Sum Overture has placed in just 2 races. In his previous three races, Sum Overture has struggled going 7th, 8th, 7th. Red Rose Cat has struggled mightily as well.
Foaled in 2008, he’s been around the track more than a few times. This will be the 71st start of his career and he is looking for just his 7th victory. After a long layoff, Red Rose Cat returned to the track on January 27, 2019 and has struggled to compete. He’s finished 5th, 5th, DNF, 10th, 5th in his previous five outings. Neither horse is expected to make an impact in Race 1 at Tampa Bay Downs on Saturday. That is probably going to be different for Americano and Betweenhereandcool.
Americano draws the No. 10 post and should be a threat running on the outside out of the starting gate. The gelding has a win in 3 of 23 career starts and came close in his most recent appearance. Americano finished 2nd in his last outing on April 17. He didn’t have enough kick in him to overtake Expediter for the win, but it was a solid effort to finish ¾ lengths behind the winner.
Betweenhereandcool has been around a while, with wins in 10 of 65 entries in his career. He had a similar performance as Americano, and had the lead in the stretch for a second, but was fought off by English Laughter for the win by 1 ¼ lengths. He’s shown in the top-3 in three of his previous five races. Betweenhereandcool gets the edge out of the No. 2 post in Race 1.
Post Time: 1:00 p.m. EST
Ten horses are signed up for 6 furlongs in Race 2 with a purse of $10,000 on offer. Tiz Approved and Sindarius are going to be tough ones to beat in this event. If you’re looking for an upset bet here, the best option is Red Nation at +600 or Highwaytwentyseven. None of the big underdogs are jumping off the page in Race 2.
Red Nation has been sporadic, but was in sharp form two starts ago on January 17 in his first win. He won by a head over War Act after getting ahead at the ¼ pole and never letting go of the lead. It was close, but he was able to fend off his opponents. However, in four other outings, Red Nation has finished 4th, 5th, 6th, and 8th in his last race on March 14.
Highwaytwentyseven might be a better option at +500. He produced a couple of solid performances recently, with a win on March 18 by 4 ¾ lengths over Esor in a wire-to-wire victory. Highwaytwentyseven didn’t have enough in him for a win in his next race, but still managed to show and beat 9 horses. He was behind the winner by just about 3 lengths. He will be looking to block back-to-back wins for Tiz Approved in this event.
Tiz Approved was slow as a first-time starter on February 28 to finish 8th and was reportedly bothered. He didn’t care to run, but the script flipped as a sophomore in his second start. Tiz Approved won in a blowout by 9 ¾ lengths and was by far the best horse on March 29. Slow out of the starting gate, but exploded at the ¼ pole and pulled away driving.
If he wants to race today, Tiz Approved is going to be the one to beat in Race 2. His greatest threat according to the odds, Sindarius has a win in 16 outings and hasn’t won since his second start on July 8, 2018. Sindarius has finished 9th, 4th, 4th, 2nd, 6th, 3rd in his previous six races. If Tiz Approved isn’t bothered like he was in the first start of his career, he should be in for back-to-back wins. Bothered and Highwaytwentyseven might be there for the minor upset.
Post Time: 1:31 p.m. EST
Distance:1 Mile and 40 Yards
Race 3 concludes our Pick 3 card on Saturday at Tampa Bay Downs. This race has a $14,500 purse on offer. Eight horses will be in contention for the top prize, with Zitman, The Stifler, and Honest to Goodness likely serious contenders to win Race 3. Honest to Goodness has won 4 of 19 races and has finished in the top-3 in 3 of his previous 4 entries.
That includes back-to-back wins for Honest to Goodness on January 26 and February 15. In his latest outing, Honest to Goodness was good enough to finish 3rd at 1 1/16 miles. He improved throughout the race and broke well as the race progressed. Honest to Goodness was 9th at the ½ pole and made a bold bid at the win, but ultimately was good for 3rd.
The Stifler is a winner in 4 of 27 races and is coming off an impressive victory on April 11 over Zitman by a head. Zitman drove hard in the stretch, but was unable to overtake The Stifler, who took over the lead at the ¼ pole and barely held on at the wire. Prior to that win, The Stifler wasn’t in great form, though, having finished 5th, 5th, 5th, 4th in four straight races.
Zitman will be out for revenge in this one, as he looks to show The Stifler that the win was a fluke. He has won 7 of 40 races and is searching for his first win since July 10, 2019 so there isn’t much room for bragging. Zitman has gone winless in 9 straight races since that win. He’s gone 2nd, 3rd, 6th, 2nd in his previous four treks around the track.
Both should have strong performances, but you have to like the value with Honest to Goodness. Despite failing to win his last win, he came on really strong and just ran out of track. A longer race and we might be talking about Honest to Goodness with wins in 3 of his last 4 races. He may have just enough kick in him to upset Zitman and The Stifler in Race 3 on Saturday.