Tipsheet: 2022 Tampa Bay Derby

Profile Picture: John Mucciolo

March 10th, 2022

An intriguing field of 12 sophomores has been entered for the $400,000 Tampa Bay Derby (G2) on Saturday. The 1 1/16-mile test will offer a total of 85 qualifying points (50-20-10-5) to the top four finishers in the 2022 Road to the Kentucky Derby challenge series event.

Tampa Bay Derby Picks

  • #4 Classic Causeway
  • #11 Money Supply
  • #9 Shipsational
  • #1 Grantham

Tampa Bay Derby Wagers

  • $20 win #4 Classic Causeway
  • 50-cent trifecta 4, 11 with 1, 4, 9, 11 with all

Tampa Bay Derby Contenders

#1 GRANTHAM ran evenly when fourth in the Gotham S. (G3) over a muddy surface in his graded bow. The Mike Maker pupil has flashed potential and I feel that he is sitting on a lifetime-best performance on Saturday while securing the rail. Samy Camacho will guide the son of Declaration of War.

#2 TRADEMARK showed early interest in the recent Sam F. Davis (G3) before tiring badly in the stretch. The Vicki Oliver trainee will need marked improvement in his second local try to make the frame in this spot.

#3 HAPPY BOY ROCKET was a sharp maiden winner while traveling wide at Gulfstream Park last time out for trainer Bill Mott. The expensive two-year-old purchase moved forward with the addition of blinkers most recently, and he could easily grab a share with another step in the right direction on this occasion. Junior Alvarado has the call.

#4 CLASSIC CAUSEWAY impressed in his seasonal debut when taking the Sam F. Davis on the oval and looms large right back for Brian Lynch. The Giant’s Causeway chestnut has speed, and affinity for the surface, as well as two strong morning moves in preparation for Saturday. The one to beat retains the services of Irad Ortiz.

#5 GIANT GAME backed up late after being well placed turning for home in the Holy Bull S. (G3) at Gulfstream Park in his initial 2022 endeavor. The Dale Romans pupil, who was third in the 2021 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1), is eligible to take a big step forward at a solid number in his Tampa Bay debut.

#6 GOLDEN GLIDER suffered his first setback when an even fifth in the Davis, and slight improvement could find him challenging for a top-three placing against this crew. The Mark Casse-trained colt continues to prepare well this campaign, and he will be stalking the pace early on with Antonio Gallardo in the stirrups.

#7 STRIKE HARD is obviously talented and rallied to be fourth in the Davis here most recently, but I fear that we have already seen the best from the son of Flashback, and others appeal more to me.

#8 MAJOR GENERAL went two-for-two as a juvenile for conditioner Todd Pletcher, capped by a game tally in the Iroquois S. (G3) at Churchill Downs. The Constitution colt has trained in swift fashion in advance of his sophomore debut, and this barn knows how to have a runner ready to fire off the shelf, as well. The dark bay will be forwardly placed beneath Javier Castellano.

#9 SHIPSATIONAL continues to impress for trainer Eddie Barker, as the two-time stakes winner checked in second in the Davis on the course last time out. The $210,000 son of Midshipman has earned triple-digit Brisnet Late Pace figures in three straight overall, and the Empire State-bred rates as a must use, in my opinion. Manny Franco will be in the silks.

#10 BELGRADE got up late to bag an allowance race on the surface in his first run for Graham Motion most recently. The Hard Spun colt is two-for-two lifetime, and his pedigree suggests that he will get better as the distances increase. The chestnut will be a late presence with improvement under Hector Rafael Diaz.

#11 MONEY SUPPLY was a fantastic maiden winner on debut over the course and gives me the impression of a fine prospect for Chad Brown. The $400,000 son of Practical Joke faces a tall task going from six furlongs with maidens to 1 1/16 miles at the graded level, but I love the aggressive move from a top stable, and I give the bay a big chance here with Jose Ortiz riding.

#12 SPIN WHEEL impressed in a maiden score at nine furlongs at Churchill Downs two back. The Rusty Arnold pupil didn’t offer much in the subsequent Holy Bull, however, and he will need a big leap forward while also overcoming the widest post in the field. Jesus Castanon rides.