2022 Tampa Bay Derby Betting Odds and Contenders

David Kaestle
2022 Tampa Bay Derby odds, info and conteders.
2022 Tampa Bay Derby odds, info and conteders. / Gentry Estes/Courier Journal

The 2022 Tampa Bay Derby will be run Saturday, March 12 at Tampa Bay Downs in Oldsmar, Florida. A Grade 2 race and an important Kentucky Derby prep race, it offers a lucrative $400,000 purse, and will be run at a mile and a sixteenth over Tampa Bay Downs’s dirt surface. Though first run in 1981, the race has risen in profile through recent years and is expected to draw a classy and contentious field.

The Tampa Bay Derby is open to three-year-old colts, geldings, and fillies, though the 2022 field is expected to feature only male horses. The 2007 Tampa Bay Derby winner, Street Sense, captured the blanket of roses in Louisville, and 2009 winner Musket Man ran third in the Kentucky Derby. 2010 third-place finisher Super Saver won the blanket of roses despite falling just short in Tampa! More recently, Tapwrit (2017) parlayed a Tampa Bay Derby win into Belmont Stakes glory, and Destin (2016) missed in the Belmont by the flare of a nostril.

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Tampa Bay Derby Odds

The 2022 Tampa Bay Derby field has been officially announced, and the morning lines published by the track. It drew a competitive field of twelve, with a mixture of familiar stakes horses and new faces on the Kentucky Derby trail. Here is the field, along with their trainers and morning line odds:

1. Classic Causeway (8/5)

Trainer: Brian Lynch

2. Major General (9/2)

Trainer: Todd Pletcher

3. Shipsational (5/1)

Trainer: Edward Barker

4. Strike Hard (8/1)

Trainer: Matthew Williams

5. Money Supply (10/1)

Trainer: Chad Brown

6. Giant Game (10/1)

Trainer: Dale Romans

7. Happy Boy Rocket (12/1)

Trainer: Bill Mott

8. Golden Glider (12/1)

Trainer: Mark Casse

9. Grantham (20/1)

Trainer: Michael Maker

10. Belgrade (20/1)

Trainer: Graham Motion

11. Spin Wheel (20/1)

Trainer: Rusty Arnold

12. Trademark (30/1)

Trainer: Victoria Oliver

Tampa Bay Derby Contenders

The final field of the race has been drawn, and these are the leading contenders among the possible horses for the Tampa Bay Derby:

  • Belgrade: Though this Hard Spun son has yet to face stakes company, this Graham Motion trainee battled to victory on the Sam F. Davis undercard, tracking the pace in a first-level allowance, rallying, and fighting to win by a head. The Tampa Bay Derby would also be Belgrade’s first try at two turns, but being by Hard Spun out of an Eskendereya mare from the family of Medal Count, he should thrive on the stretch out.
  • Classic Causeway: One of only three members of the final crop of Giant’s Causeway, Classic Causeway is already a graded stakes winner over the Tampa Bay Downs surface after romping by three and three-quarters lengths in the Sam F. Davis. The Brian Lynch trainee showed true quality at age two as well, finishing third in the Breeders’ Futurity (G1) at Keeneland and second in an extremely live running of the Kentucky Jockey Club (G2) at Churchill Downs.
  • Major General: If this Todd Pletcher charge has trained on into his three-year-old year, he will be an exciting prospect. The Tampa Bay Derby will be a test: Major General has only raced twice, most recently when winning the Iroquois (G3) in September of 2021. He is bred well to improve at three, though. He is by Florida Derby (G1) winner Constitution, out of an Uncle Mo mare from the family of G1-winning sophomore Well Chosen.
  • Money Supply: He has raced just once, but the Chad Brown trainee impressed with a two-length debut maiden win at Tampa Bay Downs on February 12, on the undercard of the Tampa Bay Derby. He overcame a rough beginning to rally home late. Though that was only at six furlongs, he has the pedigree to stretch out to a mile, and Chad Brown is well proven with route horses in particular.
  • Shipsational: This New York-bred son of Midshipman was a two-time stakes winner as a juvenile, and all four of his starts came against horses foaled in the Empire State. However, trainer Edward Barker had him well prepared to face open company in his three-year-old debut. He finished second to Classic Causeway in the Sam F. Davis, proving both his class and his ability to handle the sometimes quirky Tampa dirt.
  • Strike Hard: Though Strike Hard is winless on the year, he has two wins as a juvenile and has held his own in stakes company this year. The Matthew Williams trainee finished second behind Fountain of Youth winner Simplification in the Mucho Macho Man, and also picked up a Derby point with a fourth-place finish behind Classic Causeway in the Sam F. Davis.

Post Time for the Tampa Bay Derby

Post time for the 2022 Tampa Bay Derby is 5:23pm Eastern on Saturday, March 12.

The race will offer 2022 Kentucky Derby points to its top four finishers: 50 points for the winner, 20 for second, 10 for third, and 5 for whoever finishes fourth. Receiving 50 points virtually guarantees the winner a spot in Louisville on the first Saturday in May, and in most years, 20 points gets a horse a long way toward qualifying.

Tampa Bay Derby Undercard

The Tampa Bay Derby card offers a full day of excellent betting races, including five stakes-level events. In addition to the day’s feature race, the card also includes the Hillsborough (G2) for older turf mares, the Florida Oaks (G3) for three-year-old turf fillies, and the Listed Challenger Stakes for older dirt route horses.

The Hillsborough has been a particularly strong race, drawing some of the leading lights of the filly and mare turf division in recent years. Tepin (2016) is its most prominent winner; after winning the 2015 Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1), she made her next start in the Hillsborough. Stephanie’s Kitten (2015) began her six-year-old season in this race; she ended that season (and her racing career) with a triumph in the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf.

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