The Green Sheet nearly ran the table at Tampa Bay Downs on March 11, as two of my three top picks won–Dickinson ($8) in the Hillsborough (G2) and Tapwrit ($4.20) in the Tampa Bay Derby (G2)–furthermore, Compelled ran a huge race in the Florida Oaks (G3) and was only beaten two necks for all the money at nearly 3-1.
On the day, The Sheet had three winners from seven top picks for a 43 percent strike rate; six of those selections hit the board, 86 percent in the money.
Admittedly, the winners last weekend went off a short prices, and this weekend’s pair of races–Oaklawn’s Essex Handicap and Rebel Stakes (G2) and the Santa Margarita (G1) from Santa Anita–have a chalky feel to them as well. Shotgun Kowboy (5-1 morning line), however, has a chance to go gate-to-wire in the Essex and Royal Mo, tabbed at 9-2 on the morning line, has enough natural speed to overcome his wide post draw to post a mild upset in the Rebel (G2).
I decided to take a pass on the Azeri Stakes (G2), as Terra Promessa (3-5 morning line), looks to have that seven-horse field over the proverbial barrel, and the Santa Margarita (G1) is a two-horse race on paper between Vale Dori (Arg), who is 9-5 on the morning line, and Finest City who is the 8-5 favorite.
Next weekend, I’ll focus on three races from Turfway Park in Florence, Kentucky–the $500,000 JACK Cincinnati Casino Spiral Stakes (G3), the $100,000 Bourbonette Oaks (G3), and the $100,000 Rushaway Stakes.
For the March 18, 2017 Spot Plays from Oaklawn Park and Santa Anita, click HERE.