Trainer Todd Pletcher will try to add to his record number of victories when he sends out two runners in the 2021 Tampa Bay Derby at Tampa Bay Downs. Pletcher has won the Tampa Bay Derby five times. On Saturday, he will saddle two long shots in the latest 2021 Tampa Bay Derby odds: Promise Keeper (8-1) and Unbridled Honor (20-1). Meanwhile, the Bill Mott-trained Candy Man Rocket is the 2-1 favorite in the 2021 Tampa Bay Derby field of 12.
The winner of Saturday's 1 1/16-mile race will receive 50 qualifying points towards the Derby, guaranteeing himself a spot in the Run for the Roses. Post time for the $400,000 Tampa Bay Derby 2021 is 5:25 p.m. ET. With several lightly-raced horses ready to enter the starting gate on Saturday, you'll want to see what racing insider Bob Weir has to say before making any 2021 Tampa Bay Derby picks.
Based in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., Weir has been handicapping and following horse racing since reading Andy Beyer's landmark handicapping book "Picking Winners" in the late 1980s. Weir is highly invested in the Beyer Speed Figure, a number assigned to every race run by a horse that measures how fast the horse ran. He uses the figure as the backbone of his handicapping. In fact, thanks to his proficiency with speed figures and top-tier handicapping, he landed one of just eight spots on Beyer's figure-making team in 2017, a position he holds to this day.
Weir's methodology has produced multiple five-figure days. In 2014, he hit a $60,000 Pick 6 at Del Mar. The following year, he nailed a $31,000 Pick 6 at Gulfstream Park. In 2016 and 2017, Weir qualified for the prestigious National Horseplayers Championship in Las Vegas.
Last year, his first for SportsLine, Weir was on fire. On June 13, Weir hit a $2 superfecta in the Ogden Phipps Stakes that paid a whopping $1,039. He crushed the exacta and trifecta in the Forego Stakes in August for $1,134.50. He hit the late Pick 4 at Belmont Park on June 18, June 19, June 25, July 2 and July 5, with the June 25 score returning a whopping $2,159.50. Last month, he nailed the Candy Man Rocket-Nova Rags exacta in the Sam F. Davis Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs. Those are just some of his hits for SportsLine. Anyone who has followed Weir is way up.
Now, Weir has handicapped the 2021 Tampa Bay Derby lineup, made his picks and constructed his bets. You can only see his coveted picks here.
Top 2021 Tampa Bay Derby predictions
One shocker: Weir is passing on the favorite, Candy Man Rocket, as his top finisher. This son of Candy Ride is looking for his third win in four career starts. He enters the Tampa Bay Derby 2021 having won the prep for this race, the Sam F. Davis Stakes, by a length.
However, Candy Man Rocket earned just an 85 Beyer Speed Figure in that race, which does not tower over this field. "He will likely need to improve to win on Saturday," Weir told SportsLine. With Candy Man Rocket a short price on the morning line, Weir is fading Candy Man Rocket atop his 2021 Tampa Bay Derby bets.
Another surprise: Weir is high on the chances of Hidden Stash, who is under the radar at 4-1. This son of Constitution has two wins and two thirds in five career starts. He is coming off a third-place finish behind Candy Man Rocket in the Sam F. Davis.
However, that was his first race in more than two months, and he should be more prepared for this race. "I would not be surprised to see a forward move [from Hidden Stash] on Saturday," Weir said. Weir will be using Hidden Stash prominently in his 2021 Tampa Bay Derby bets.
How to make 2021 Tampa Bay Derby picks
Weir is also high on a double-digit long shot who is "capable of hitting the board" and spicing up the exotics. Weir is including these horses in his exactas, trifectas and superfectas, and so should you He's sharing which horses to back only at SportsLine.
So who wins the Tampa Bay Derby 2021? And which double-digit long shot is a must-back? Check out the latest 2021 Tampa Bay Derby odds below, then visit SportsLine to see Weir's Tampa Bay Derby picks.
2021 Tampa Bay Derby odds, horses
|3||Candy Man Rocket||2-1|
|4||King of Dreams||20-1|
|12||Sittin On Go||20-1|