The Jury: Expert Picks, Bets and Fades for March 30 [Video]

March 28th, 2024

Racing analysts Ashley Anderson, James Scully, and Nick Tammaro tackle their best bets and fades for Gulfstream Park and Oaklawn Park for the Florida Derby (G1) and Arkansas Derby (G1) cards. Ashley and James offer their thoughts in the written portion below. Be sure to check out Nick's opinions in our on-camera portion as well!

Best Bet for Weekend Racing

James Scully:

#8 Donegal Forever (6-1) in the Ghostzapper (G3) at Gulfstream Park. Loved how he overcame a troubled start to stylishly win his debut at 1 1/16 miles last summer, recording a 94 Brisnet Speed rating, but Donegal Forever headed to the sidelines afterwards. The four-year-old returned with a game allowance tally at Gulfstream on Feb. 18, getting up late to prevail, and Donegal Forever will move forward off the comebacker. He’s trained sharply in the interim, recording a recent five-furlong bullet drill at Palm Beach Downs, and Donegal Forever doesn’t face the stiffest competition in his first stakes attempt. I will take a shot with the promising colt.

Ashley Anderson:

#2 Possiblemente (8-1) in Race 2 at Gulfstream. The four-year-old gelding has the early speed to his inside and has a chance to close late in the 1 1/8-mile handicap. Possiblemente tried the all-weather for the first time at Presque Isle Downs four back and was a half-length second racing a mile and 70 yards. He stretched out slightly to 1 1/16 miles next out at Gulfstream and was second in an allowance optional claimer, then handled the distance at 1 1/8 miles, getting up to win by a head.

Possiblemente switched to turf and cut back to a mile last out, finishing sixth. But a return to the all-weather and the longer distance should help here. He clocked a career-best 91 Brisnet Speed figure in his most recent start on this all-weather track, and his trainer Darien Rodriguez is a 40% winner with a +4.60 ROI when switching from turf to synthetic. Javier Castellano will also regain the mount and won with Possiblemente two back.

Top Fade for Weekend Racing


My Mane Squeeze (3-1) in the Fantasy (G3). A convincing winner of three consecutive restricted stakes, New York-bred My Mane Squeeze will stretch to two turns for the first time and the up-close stalker must work out a trip from the innermost post. Her Brisnet numbers are solid but not overwhelming, and I will play against the Mike Maker-trained filly in her first attempt against open company.


#3 Long Range Toddy (5-2) in the Sir Shackleton S., the ninth race at Gulfstream. The par winning BRIS figure for seven-furlong sprints at the track is a 96, and Long Range Toddy's last two Speed figures were an identical 87 when racing six and seven furlongs at Gulfstream. Three back, the eight-year-old wired a one-mile handicap with a 97 BRIS figure, but his Speed has dropped since, including his first start of the season when fourth in the Gulfstream Park Sprint. The majority of Long Range Toddy's victories have also come against smaller fields, and you have to go back 37 starts to find a time he beat a field larger than seven. The Sir Shackleton S. drew nine, and I see a couple of stronger win contenders here in #6 Oscar Eclipse (4-1), as well as #1 Vivir Con Alegria (6-1) and #2 Implementation. 

What Else Is Worth Noting


Fierceness (8-5) will seek to rebound in the Florida Derby (G1) from a third in the Feb. 3 Holy Bull (G3), the second time from three stakes attempts the champion juvenile male has faltered at odds-on, and the opening stages seem so important for the frontrunning colt. The race seems ripe for a massive upset if the favorite comes up short again. The Arkansas Derby (G1) features a more compelling match up between top contenders, with Rebel (G2) winner #2 Timberlake (9-5), San Vicente (G2) hero #7 Muth (8-5), and Southwest(G3) romper #9 Mystik Dan (5-2) leading the way, and I give the edge to Timberlake.


#5 Forever Young (9-5) will stretch out to 1 3/16 miles in the UAE Derby (G2) in Dubai on Saturday. The unbeaten colt is 4-for-4 and drew a ton of attention ahead of the Kentucky Derby, as he closed at 12-1 in Pool 5 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager (KDFW). However, Japanese runners are 6-0-0-0 in the history of the Kentucky Derby, and the 19 starters in the Derby who previously raced in the UAE Derby all failed to finish in the money in the Run for the Roses.

Last year, Derma Sotogake brought a lot of hype to the Kentucky Derby and ultimately finished sixth. Forever Young has a lot of negative history to defy if he's going to win on the first Saturday in May, and his performance in the UAE Derby may tell us whether we should keep a closer eye on him come Kentucky Derby time.