We might have witnessed the future winner of the Kentucky Derby romp at Santa Anita Park yesterday afternoon in Arcadia. Bob Baffer’s Life Is Good blew out the field for an easy 8 length win over Medina Spirit. Life Is Good joins what I believe is currently a three-horse race in the Derby between Essential Quality, and Greatest Honour. A lot can change between now and then, though, including injuries and unforeseen scratches.
At the moment Life Is Good appears to be a couple of steps better than the rest in the country after that performance on Saturday. Medina Spirit is no joke, and Life Is Good made him look bad. Mike Smith didn’t have to urge Life Is Good at all in the stretch and he still ran away. People will scoff at Life Is Good because of a disdain for Baffert, but if we’re looking at this objectively, Life Is Good is a major player.
Along with Life Is Good winning the San Felipe Stakes, the other Kentucky Derby prep winners were Weyburn in the Gotham Stakes and Helium in the Tampa Bay Derby. Weyburn was upset at Aqueduct in the Gotham. There are a couple of $100,000 stakes races on Sunday, with the running of the Santa Ysabel Stakes (Gr. 3) at Santa Anita Park and Biogio’s Stakes (Gr. 3) at Aqueduct Racetrack.
Our first stop on Sunday afternoon is at Tampa Bay Downs where there are a couple of horses that catch my attention. Tampa Bay Downs has nine races on the schedule on Sunday, with a total of $153,850 in prize money available. Head below for our free Tampa Bay Downs picks for March 7, 2021.
Post Time: 12:47 p.m. EST
Distance:1 Mile 40 Yards
Race 2 is our first selection at Tampa Bay Downs on Sunday afternoon, a mile and 40 yards for a $31,250 purse. Six horses are scheduled to participate, with Striking Chrome and Honorifique likely going to be up front with a chance to strike for the top prize. Striking Chrome has finished 1st, 9th, 1st, 4th in her career.
She has been a bit inconsistent, but has the talent to five a groove and start piling up the wins. In her most recent victory, Striking Chrome won two outings ago on January 9 with a 1 ½ length win in a $21,250 event. That was a nice showing for Striking Chrome as she took over in the stretch run after entering the final furlong in 3rd.
Striking Chrome couldn’t sustain that form in her next assignment, though. She couldn’t keep up with the field, as she slipped to 4th in a $23,750 event. Striking Chrome settled there and was able to show minor improvement throughout the race. More is needed at this level, but the competition shouldn’t be overly tough.
Honorifique is a one-time winner in five attempts in her career. She has finished 2nd, 7th, 3rd, 1st, 2nd. Like Striking Chrome, Honorifique was a winner two performances ago. She defeated Rookery by 3 ¼ lengths in a $85,000 event. That was impressive, so Honorifique went stakes racing in her next assignment
In the $75,000 Cash Run Stakes (Black Type), Honorifique placed 2nd behind Gulf Coast by a half length on January 1. The $110,000 Honorifique has looked strong in workouts since then, with times of 49.35, 47.90, 50.60, and 49.15 seconds at 4 furlongs. This looks like the winner of Race 2.
Post Time: 1:44 p.m. EST
Race 4 goes for 6 furlongs on the dirt for a $13,750 purse. Eight horses are expected to participate in the event, which likely features Valley Wildcat and Disturbingthepeace should do well in this race. Valley Wildcat is 2 for 17 in his career with some consistent and solid results as of late. He has finished 1st, 3rd, 6th, 3rd in his previous four performances.
In the win on January 1, Valley Wildcat edged away for a 1 ¼ length win in a $13,000 event. Valley Wildcat has gone winless in three straight, but was in the money in his most recent performance on February 3. Valley Wildcat showed 3rd in the $12,500 event after a slow start.
Did not break well out of the gate and didn’t recover fully, but came back to go from 8th at the ⅜ pole, 6th entering the stretch, to 3rd at the wire. If Valley Wildcat can avoid the slow start, then he is certainly going to have a good chance of getting home in Race 4. Disturbingthepeace will likely show the most resistance in this display.
Disturbingthepeace is 2 for 7 in his career and is back down in class for Sunday. The colt was a back-to-back winner on October 15 and December 23 in a $18,000 assignment by 2 ¾ lengths, and then a 4 ¾ length for a $13,750 prize before edging up in class. Disturbingthepeace finished 5th in his most recent showing in a $17,850 event, but will go back down to a $13,750 event on Sunday. This should be a winnable outing for Disturbingthepeace in any event like this.