Big-Race Showdown: Expert Picks for Florida Derby, Arkansas Derby

Kentucky Derby Florida Derby Gulfstream Park Arkansas Derby Oaklawn Park Triple Crown
Our expert panel offers selections for both the Curlin Florida Derby Presented by Hill ‘n’ Dale Farm at Xalapa at Gulfstream Park and the Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn Park. (Eclipse Sportswire)

For the seventh year in a row, America’s Best Racing is challenging some of the brightest minds in horse betting to come up with their top three picks for key races every weekend leading up to the 2023 Triple Crown and then continuing through the 2023 Breeders’ Cup World Championships. The handicappers face off in what we like to call the “Big Race Showdown.”

The players’ picks will be posted here and a running bankroll will be kept to track their success all year long. Bankrolls will be tabulated on the basis of $2 exacta and $2 trifecta box bets of each player’s top three selections. We will also be keeping track of which playercorrectly selects the most winners.

Your players for the 2023 Big Race Showdown season are Edison Hatter (In the Money Media Analyst, Meadowlands On-Air Host), Ashley Mailloux (freelance racing analyst), Jessica Paquette (Racecaller for Parx Racing, Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation), John Piassek (Communications Manager, Maryland Horse Breeders Association),  Roberto Rodriguez (El Potro Roberto, DRF en Espanol), Mike Somich (The Magic Mike Show, Somo Bombs Handicapper – The Racing Dudes), Naomi Tukker (Eclipse Award-winning Sports Broadcaster, World Horse Racing Producer),  Darwin Vizcaya (Handicapper and Host, La Trifecta from America’s Best Racing), Rowan Ward (Chartcaller at Hawthorne Race Track and a Freelance Writer), and Brian Zipse (Senior Writer for Horse Racing Nation and Host of HorseCenter).

This week’s Big Race Showdown races are a pair of 100-point prep race for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve on Saturday, April 1: the $1 million Curlin Florida Derby Presented by Hill ‘n’ Dale Farm at Xalapa at Gulfstream Park and the $1.25 million Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn Park.

The Florida Derby will be televised live on CNBC and streamed on Peacock as part of NBC Sports’ “Road to the Kentucky Derby” series. NBC’s show airs from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. ET Saturday and will be hosted by Ahmed Fareed, with analysis from Randy Moss and Jerry Bailey. The Florida Derby has a scheduled post time of 6:40 p.m. ET. The Arkansas Derby will be showcased on NYRA’s “America’s Day at the Races,” anchoring a seven-hour broadcast Saturday on FS2. Post time is set for 7:50 p.m. ET.

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