On Saturday, trainer Saffie Joseph Jr. will find out if his gamble with talented three-year-old colt Chance It paid off when a field of 12 horses competes in the 2020 Tampa Bay Derby. Joseph originally entered Chance It in last week's Fountain of Youth Stakes at Gulfstream Park, but the trainer scratched the horse out of that race after he drew the disadvantageous No. 12 post. The son of Currency Swap drew post No. 4 for Saturday's race and is going off at 5-2 in the latest 2020 Tampa Bay Derby odds.
Sole Volante, who won the Sam F. Davis Stakes on this track, is the 2-1 favorite in the 2020 Tampa Bay Derby field. The winner will receive 50 qualifying points for the 2020 Kentucky Derby, and post time for the 1 1/16-mile race is 5:32 p.m. ET. Before you make any 2020 Tampa Bay Derby picks, you'll want to see how racing insider and accomplished horseplayer Bob Weir has handicapped the race.
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 on a $144 ticket. The following year, he nailed a $31,000 Pick 6 at Gulfstream Park on a $36 investment. In 2016 and 2017, Weir qualified for the prestigious National Horseplayers Championship in Las Vegas.
This year, his first for SportsLine, Weir has been on fire. In January, he crushed the Pegasus World Cup, giving out an $8 exacta that paid $312.80, and a $1 trifecta that paid $444.80. In last month's Sam F. Davis Stakes, he nailed the superfecta, which paid $150.75. Anyone who has followed his lead is way up.
Now, Weir has handicapped the 2020 Tampa Bay Derby, made his picks and formulated his bets. He's only sharing them here.
2020 Tampa Bay Derby predictions
Weir is fading Sole Volante, even though he's the favorite at 2-1. In fact, none of his wagers will include Sole Volante.
Trained by Patrick Biancone, the son of Karakontie is coming off a win in the Sam F. Davis Stakes over the highly-regarded Independence Hall. But the late-running Sole Volante benefited from a huge pace meltdown in that race, and he's not certain to get that ultra-fast pace again on Saturday. In addition, the Sam F. Davis Stakes featured a seven-horse field, much smaller than the 12-horse 2020 Tampa Bay Derby lineup. Because of the larger field and his late-running style, Sole Volante has a bigger chance of running into traffic trouble or being forced wide.
Another shocker: Weir is high on Texas Swing, even though the colt is a long shot at 12-1. Trained by Pletcher, Texas Swing is coming off a maiden win on Feb. 8 in which he earned a respectable 86 Beyer Speed Figure.
A son of Curlin, Texas Swing should thrive stretching out to the longer distance of the Tampa Bay Derby 2020. In addition, with his maiden win coming at Tampa Bay Downs, he already has shown an affinity for the surface, which has a reputation of being a quirky track.
How to make 2020 Tampa Bay Derby picks
Weir is especially high on a double-digit longshot who's one of the most dangerous horses in the entire field. He's including this horse in his exactas, trifectas and superfectas, and so should you. He's sharing which horse to back only at SportsLine.
So what double-digit longshot is Weir playing in the Tampa Bay Derby? And what other horses do you need to include in your exactas, trifectas and superfectas? Check out the latest Tampa Bay Derby odds below, then visit SportsLine to see Weir's picks for the Tampa Bay Derby.
2020 Tampa Bay Derby odds
Sole Volante (2-1)
Chance It (5-2)
Market Analysis (8-1)
Spa City (10-1)
Texas Swing (12-1)
Relentless Dancer (12-1)
King Guillermo (15-1)
Bye Bye Melvin (20-1)
Mo Mosa (30-1)
Tons of Gold (30-1)