Horse Race of the Week: Tampa Bay Derby Stakes, Odds & Betting Plays

SI Gambling insider Frankie Taddeo handicaps the Tampa Bay Derby, set to run on Saturday from Tampa Bay Downs, and includes the latest odds and best bets.
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Over the course of 2020 and into 2021, our Senior Gambling Analyst and Vegas Insider- Frankie Taddeo - has shared his horse racing handicapping formula which has correctly predicted the following winners at SI Gambling:

On Saturday, SI Gambling’s “Race of the Week” takes us to racing action from Tampa Bay Downs. Among the 12 races on the card is the $400,000 Tampa Bay Derby which has drawn a full field of 12 that offers an attractive betting opportunity. The prestigious race is a Kentucky Derby prep race, with the winner receiving 50 Kentucky Derby qualifying points. The second-place finisher will receive 20 points, with third place netting 10 points and the fourth-place finisher five points in the standings.

Morning line favorite is Bill Mott’s Candy Man Rocket (2/1), who won the Sam F. Davis (Grade 2) last month and is a perfect 2 for 2 in 2021.

Hidden Stash (4/1), a son of Constitution for trainer Victoria Oliver, who was last seen finishing third behind Candy Man Rocket in the Sam F. Davis. In that race, also a full field of 12, he drew the dreaded rail and was forced to go four-wide in the stretch. He will now turn the tables after drawing favorably into the Tampa Bay Derby with post No. 8.

The third choice is Helium (6/1) for trainer Mark Casse who comes in off an impressive sweeping move winning the Display Stakes by over 4-lengths back in October. The biggest questions are whether he can overcome the long layoff, a surface change from synthetic in Canada to dirt in Florida, as well as an ankle injury late last year- since purely by the numbers, he fits in here nicely.

There is a near 90% chance of rain, so please advised betting updates in the SI PRO Betting Discord.

Odds courtesy of

Odds courtesy of

Who will cross the finish line first? Let’s take a look at the odds and dive deeper.

Tampa Bay Derby (G2)

  • Racetrack: Tampa Bay Downs
  • Date: Saturday, March 6, 2021
  • Purse: $400,000
  • Distance: 1 1/16 M, Dirt
  • Race: 11
  • Post Time: 5:25 pm EST / 2:25 pm PST


Listed by post number, name, and odds:

#3 Candy Man Rocket (2/1) - The formula lands on Bill Mott's entry, who is 2-for-3 in his early career. I am willing to bet that this son of Candy Ride will repeat his effort last month in the Sam F. Davis. The formula expects him to use his early speed once again and avoid any potential traffic issues in a race with 12 entries. Pick

#8 Hidden Stash (4/1) - Victoria Oliver's entry will look to turn the tables on Candy Man Rocket after finishing third behind him in the Sam F. Davis last month. This son of Constitution has drawn well and has hit the board in four of five career races. Contender

#11 Promise Keeper (8/1) - I love to back horses coming out of WinStar Farm and combine that with Todd Pletcher's talents and consider me intrigued at odds of 8/1. If we face an off-track on Saturday, we will likely not find the favorable odds listed here and move up our list. Threat

#9 Unbridled Honor (20/1) - This son of Honor Code for trainer Todd Pletcher won his last race over the Tampa Bay Downs track on Feb. 6, and he has been drilling impressive morning workouts leading up to this race. At 20/1 odds, he will offer tremendous value if he can hit the board. Top Longshot

HORSES WHO IMPROVE WITH RAIN / OFF-TRACK: #11 Promise Keeper & #5 Boca Boy

Tampa Bay Derby Formula Rankings

  • #3 Candy Man Rocket
  • #8 Hidden Stash
  • #11 Promise Keeper
  • #9 Unbridled Honor
  • #2 Super Strong
  • #10 Helium Boy
  • #5 Boca Boy
  • #6 Awesome Gerry
  • #12 Sittin On Go
  • #4 King of Dreams
  • #7 Moonlight Strike
  • #1 My Liberty

Tampa Bay Derby Breakdown

I will use #3 Candy Man Rocket (2/1) with #8 Hidden Stash (4/1) and #11 Promise Keeper (8/1). I will add #9 Unbridled Honor (20/1), #2 Super Strong (8/1) and #10 Helium Boy (6/1) on the bottom to round out the trifecta tickets.

  • Exacta BOX: 3-8-11-9
    • $1 wager: $12
  • TOP Trifecta Part-Wheel: 3 with 8,9,11 with 8,9,11
    • $1 wager: $6
  • TOP Trifecta SPREAD Part-Wheel: 3 with 2,8,9,10,11 with 2,8,9,10,11
    • $1 wager: $20
  • PROTECTIVE Trifecta BOX: 3-8-11-9
    • 50¢ wager: $24

All wagers display ticket cost. All bettors should adjust wager amounts based upon bankroll.

In addition, for all eligible horse bettors out there it is always strongly advised to check for beneficial promotions when wagering on the exciting sport. This week we found that is offering a $200 cash bonus when you sign up.

Current Kentucky Derby Standings By Points

Odds courtesy of TwinSpires

Odds courtesy of TwinSpires