Tampa Bay Derby Draws 12 With Candy Man Rocket Favorite

Posted By Fairway Jay on March 5, 2021 - Last Updated on March 6, 2021

Road to the Kentucky Derby: Tampa Bay Derby

The Grade II Tampa Bay Derby is a Championship Series race on the Road to the Kentucky Derby. The $400,000 race headlines five stakes races at Tampa Bay Downs on Saturday, March 6, 2021. The 1 1/16 mile races drew 12 entries with Bill Mott-trained Candy Man Rocket (2/1) the morning line favorite.


Tampa Bay Derby

The Tampa Bay Derby is restricted to 3-year-olds, and the top-4 finishers receive Kentucky Derby qualifying points (50-20-10-5). The winner earns enough points to run in the May 1 Kentucky Derby.

Saturday, March 6, 2021. Post, odds, jockey, trainer. Race 11 with post time 5:25 p.m. ET.

1 – My Liberty (30/1)

  • Jockey: Tomas Mejia
  • Trainer: Jaime Mejia

2 – Super Strong (8/1)

  • Jockey: Antonio Gallardo
  • Trainer: Saffie Joseph, Jr.

3 – Candy Man Rocket (2/1)

  • Jockey: Junior Alvarado
  • Trainer: Bill Mott

4 – King of Dreams (20/1)

  • Jockey: Samy Camacho
  • Trainer: Juan Avila

5 – Boca Boy (15/1)

  • Jockey: Angel Arroyo
  • Trainer: Cheryl Winebaugh

6 – Awesome Gerry (15/1)

  • Jockey: Hector Diaz, Jr.
  • Trainer: Saffie Joseph, Jr.

7 – Moonlite Strike (20/1)

  • Jockey: Daniel Centeno
  • Trainer: Saffie Joseph, Jr.

8 – Hidden Stash (4/1)

  • Jockey: Rafael Bejarano
  • Trainer: Victoria Oliver

9 – Unbridled Honor (20/1)

  • Jockey: Julien Leparoux
  • Trainer: Todd Pletcher

10 – Helium (6/1)

  • Jockey: Jose Ferrer
  • Trainer: Mark Casse

11 – Promise Keeper (8/1)

  • Jockey: Luis Saez
  • Trainer: Todd Pletcher

12 – Sittin On Go (20/1)

  • Jockey: Roberto Alvarado, Jr.
  • Trainer: Dale Romans

Legal horse betting is available in more than 30 states from leading online operators like TVG and Twinspires. Get added bonus when using the promo code LSRTVG, or a $100 when registering at Twinspires.

Race Contenders Including Candy Man Rocket Profile

Candy Man Rocket has won 2-of-3 starts including the Sam F. Davis Stakes in February. He posted a 90 Equibase Speed Figure in that race, and stalked the pacesetter Boca Boy before taking command on the far turn and holding on to win by 1-length. He’s a vulnerable favorite to win this race, as he needs to improve his speed and move forward considerably. Trainer Bill Mott won the Tampa Bay Derby in 2019 Tacitus, who went on to finish third in the Kentucky Derby and second in the Belmont Stakes.

Hidden Stash made a late rally to finish third 1 1/4 lengths behind the winner, and Boca Boy was fourth in the Sam F. Davis. Those three run again in the Tampa Bay Derby. Hidden Stash won his two prior races going 1 1/16 miles to finish 2020. He is a son of Constitution, whose prodegy includes last year’s Florida Derby, Travers and Belmont Stakes winner Tiz the Law, who was runner-up in the Kentucky Derby.

Promise Keeper is a value play for trainer Todd Pletcher. He went wire to wire and crushed a decent field in his second start a month ago to break his maiden at Gulfstream. That 1-mile race produced a 90 speed figure over a sloppy surface, and Pletcher knows this son of Constitution can get more ground and continue to improve.

Unbridled Honor is the stablemate of Promise Keeper, and he broke his maiden over this track a month ago in his third start. Unbridled Honor is a son of 2-time Grade I winner Honor Code, and he’s posted 3 straight bullet works and is the live long shot at big odds.

Helium is 2-for-2 with both wins at Woodbine on the All Weather Track, and now makes his first start on dirt.

Super Strong is a son of 2010 Kentucky Derby winner Super Saver. He’s one of three runners in the race for EPO trainer Saffie Joseph, Jr. He won his lone start in Puerto Rico in December over a sloppy track.

Longshots Cash In

The 2020 Tampa Bay Derby winner was big longshot King Guillermo (49-1), who paid $100.40 on a $2 win bet. Jockey Samy Camacho rode him to a 4 3/4 lengh victory for Victoria’s Ranch and owner Victor Martinez, who was a 5-time Major League Baseball All-Star. King Guillermo then finished second in the Arkansas Derby at 9/2 odds, but was scratched the week of the 2020 Kentucky Derby and unable to make a Run for the Roses. The other noteworthy race that is a prep race for the Tampa Bay Derby and Kentucky Derby is the Sam F. Davis (G3) in early February.

Fairway Jay Avatar
Written by
Fairway Jay

FairwayJay is a leading national sports and betting analyst and provides insight and information you can bet on to engage and assist the avid fan. His tee-to-green coverage and racing contributions have been provided to Churchill Downs, Twinspires, TVG, Forbes, TheLines, numberFire and PlayUSA platforms. Follow on Twitter: @FairwayJay

View all posts by Fairway Jay
Privacy Policy