Aqueduct, Gulfstream Park, and Tampa Bay Downs host Grade III races on February 11. I will give my best bets for each of the three events.

Grade III Withers Stakes

The first race of Saturday’s big races has a post time of 4:27 p.m. (ET) at Aqueduct Race Track. Seven 3-year-olds are slated to go a one-and-one-eighth mile.

As a part of the Kentucky Derby Prep, the winner will get a portion of the $250,000 purse along with 20 Derby points. Second place gets eight Derby points, third gets six points, fourth gets four points, and fifth gets two points.

Artic Arrogance leads three horses in the field with eight Kentucky Derby points. Arctic Arttogance, the morning line favorite at 8-5, picked up four Derby points with a second-place finish in the Grade II Remsen Stakes on December 2. The son of multiple stakes winner Frosted also picked up four points in his last outing in the one-mile Jerome Stakes, marking the fifth straight race that he has finished either first or second.

General Buncker and Andiamo a Firenze each have three Derby points. General Bunker earned his three points by finishing third in the Jerome Stakes. Andiamo a Firenze grabbed two points with his fourth-place finish in the Champagne Stakes at Aqueduct and one point due to a fifth-place finish in the Jerome Stakes.

Jungfrau (4/1) and Hit Show (9-5) are coming off wins. Jungfrau was awarded a victory in a Maiden Special Weight race due to the disqualification of the first-place finisher.

Analysis: The Withers Stakes were running a week late thanks to single-digit temperatures in New York City last week. This will be a two-horse race between the two favorites, Artic Arrogance and Hit Show. I like General Bunker, Ninetypercentmaddie, and Andiamo a Firenze to varying degrees.

Artic Arrogance is the most consistent horse in the field, with two wins and three second-place finishes in five starts. But there is concern that he does not have the winning instinct as he has fallen short in three of the four stakes events he has run. He has a victory at this distance and runs well at Aqueduct.

Hit Show has improved in his three career races, winning a $100,000 one-mile allowance race at Oakland in early December by over three lengths. This will be the 3-year-old first foray into stakes action and the first time he stretches out to the distance.

Ninetyprcentmaddie has also run well. There are questions about whether the competition upgrade and going two turns for the first time will be too much. General Banker is the most experienced of the runners though consistency is an issue. Artic Arrogance has defeated General Banker in the first two races they have competed versus each other.

Best Bet: $2 on Arctic Arrogance to win. He is the best horse in the field and has the best jockey on board in Jose Lescano. His morning line price is an issue.

Other Bets:$2 show bet on General Banker.

Longshot Exotic Bet: $2 exacta Box Arctic Arrogance/General Banker/ Andiamo a Firenze

Grade III Gulfstream Turf Sprint Stakes

This Grade III race will end at 5:06 p.m. (ET) at Gulfstream Park. The Gulfstream Turf Sprint Stakes originated in January 2011. The event was awarded Grade III status in 2021.

10 four-year-old male runners will go five furlongs on the turf for a share of $125,000. Yes, I Am Free (6-1) is returning as the reigning champion of the race, although he will have Miguel Vasquez in the saddle this year instead of Emisael Jaramillo.

Another win by Yes I Am Free, and he will become the second horse to win the race for a second time. It would also allow trainer Laura Cazares to tie Brian A. Lynch for the most wins. Yes, I am Free, My Pal Mattie (20-1), Belgrano (3-1), and Full Disclosure (10-1) are coming off wins.

Analysis: I expect this sprint to be highly competitive and entertaining. I like Belgrano, Carotari (3-1), Full Disclosure, Shekky Shabazz (15-1), and Classical State of Mind (20-1) to varying degrees.

I am going with Yes I Am Free to win back-to-back Gulfstream Turf Sprint Stakes. He is coming off a hard-fought victory in an Allowance Optional Claiming race on January 19. Yes, I Am Free, who likes to be in front, has a field best wins at a distance (10) and Gulfstream (8).

Carotari is to pick up the win as he has nine career wins and 17 top 3 finishes in 26 career starts. He is the highest-earning horse, been running fairly well over his last seven events (four victories) and seven wins at five furlongs. Shekky Shabazz has hit the board in 14 of 18 career races on the turf.

Best Bet: $2 on Yes I am Free To Win. He is a sprinter who loves racing at Gulfstream. Yes, I am coming off a victory, which is an excellent value at 6-1.

Other Bet: $2 bet on Shekky Shabezz (15-1) to Show.

Grade III Sam F. Davis Stakes

The Grade III Sam F. Davis Stakes concludes the day’s most prominent races as post time is slated for 5:18 p.m. (ET) at Tampa Bay Downs. Originating in 1981, the race is named after industrialist Sam F. Davis, president of the Florid Downs and Turf Club. It has been part of the Road to the Kentucky Derby since 2013.

Twelve 3-year-olds are expected to go the one and one-sixteenth miles on the dirt for a share of the $250,000 purse. The winner of the Sam Davis Stakes will get $150,000, a trophy, and 20 Kentucky Derby points. Second place through fifth place also get portions of the purse and Kentucky Derby points, while sixth place will receive $500,000 but no points.

Dubyuhnell, the morning line favorite at 9-5, is one of the race’s competitors to have Kentucky Derby points with 10. The son of multiple stakes winner Good Magic earned his points by winning the Grade II Remsen Stakes edging out Artic Arrogance by a half-length. Dubyuhnell has two wins in three career races.

Champions Dreams, the morning line’s second choice at 9-2, picked up one KD point with a fifth-place finish in the Grade I Champagne Stakes in October at Belmont at the Big A. The son of Justify finished second to Zydeceaux in a seven-furlong race by a neck at Tampa Downs the last time out on January 14. Champions Dreams won the Grade 3 Nausua Stakes the previous year.

Prairie Hawk (6-1), Classic Legacy (12-1), Classic Car Wash (12-1), Notah (30-1), Dreaming of Kona (12-1), and Zydeceaux (20-1) are coming off victories. Dreaming of Kona’s win in the Mucho Macho Man Stakes resulted from Legacy Isle being disqualified for interference.

Analysis: This is Dubyuhnell’s race to lose, although I expect the race to be very entertaining with place and show up for grabs. I also like Champions Dreams and Prairie Hawk. Notah, Classic Car Wash, Notah, Dreaming of Kona, and Litigate (5-1) to varying degrees.

Best Bet:$2 on Dubyuhnell to win.
Other Bets:$2 Show bet on Prairie Hawk.