03/10/2012 2:40AM

Festival Day at Tampa Bay Downs


St. Pete Beach, Fla. -- On the off chance you're not going to be in the neighborhood for the handicapping seminar I'm doing at Tampa Bay Downs Saturday morning at 10 a.m., here's my cheat sheet for the three stakes on the card -- the $100k Suncoast for 3-year-old fillies, the $150k G3 Hillsborough for older turf fillies, and the $350k G2 Tampa Bay Derby for 3-year-olds:

The stakes comprise the first three legs of a late pick-4 if you're willing to get involved with the finale on the 12-race card, a maiden race for 3-year-old fillies on the grass that's loaded with first-time starters.

The TB Derby came up a bit light this year, with just two G3 winners in the field and only Take Charge Indy having exceeded a Beyer of 85, when he ran second to El Padrino in a Jan. 29 Gulfstream allowance race. That came over a wet (officially good/sealed) track, but El Padrino validated the figure winning the Risen Star in his next start. Take Charge Indy also was a decent 5th behind Hansen, Union Rags, Creative Cause and Dullahan in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile.

The forecast here is for temperatures in the high 70's with a 30 percent chance of late-afternoon showers. Post time for the Tampa Bay Derby is 5:28 pm.

This will be my first day back at the races after an unexpected layoff for some successful eye surgery. It's a relief to be able to read the past performances and watch races with two eyes again -- for a while there, I was afraid I would have to seek employment as a steward.


[Update 12:30 pm: Take Charge Indy has been scratched from the Tampa Bay Derby, leaving a field of 11. You can also scratch longshots Prothoe from the Suncoast and Last Full Measure from the Hillsborough.]

Rudy DiCristina More than 1 year ago
Steve, As one fan at the Tampa Morning Glory acknowledged you as "God"Thanks for your handicapping insight and the free Tampa Bay Downs DRF section.Hope you had the Leigh Delacour firster in the last race to complete the pick four...its always great to have you here just wish the question answer could have been longer...
Yuwipi More than 1 year ago
Yeah, this getting old business is pain in the neck. Still, with spring around the corner gotta try to crank it up a notch from my winter hiatus. Glad the eye business worked out successfully. Think we might have a good chance for a better than average triple crown season this year.
1stsaturdaymay More than 1 year ago
Anyone know how to view the spreadsheet with an iPhone?
Larry Kratochwill More than 1 year ago
St. Pete Beach. The Don Cesar I hope...
Steven Crist More than 1 year ago
That's my usual St. Pete's place but they were sold out and I found a good alternative in the Grand Plaza mile or two north. Retro circular hotel with revolving rooftop restauranr and excellent beachfront tiki bar.
Keith Coumbe More than 1 year ago
Steve, you like anyone in the Rebel today?
Grunt Marine More than 1 year ago
Good to have you back Steven....I was starting to worry that something was really wrong. Look forward to reading your blog as the Triple Crown trail heats up.
Johnzimbo More than 1 year ago
Steward... hehe
John Roselli More than 1 year ago
As for your final thought - you'd be King Crist. (In the land of the blind...) Ba dum-boom. Thank you ladies and germs.
hialeah More than 1 year ago
Glad to "see" you back, Steve. Good luck!
Randy Breedon More than 1 year ago
Hi Steve, Glad the peppers are back in good form. (pun intended) By the way, I think you would make a great steward
Jimmy Morales More than 1 year ago
Hope your feeling better Steve...and good luck today..... Jim in Texas.....