TAMPA — Predicting the outcome of Super Bowl XLIII produced a dog and pony show in the paddocks.
Ten greyhound trainers at Derby Lane in St. Petersburg and 10 jockeys at Tampa Bay Downs in Oldsmar gave their opinions on whether Pittsburgh or Arizona would win Sunday at Raymond James Stadium. The consensus? The Steelers will prevail 24-20 for an NFL-record sixth Super Bowl title.
At Derby Lane, Pittsburgh was projected a 24-18 winner with seven trainers picking the Steelers. "Pittsburgh is on a mission and Arizona is probably just glad to be here," said John Graham, who selected the Steelers 24-21. John Filipelli chose Pittsburgh 32-24. "I want to see (the Steelers) win to go ahead of the Cowboys (and 49ers) for most Super Bowl wins," he said.
Justin Holland went with Pittsburgh 24-16. "(Pittsburgh's) defense is really good," he said. "The offense for Arizona has been doing really good, too. But it's got to come to an end sometime."
His father, Cal Holland Jr., predicted a 21-17 Arizona victory, saying, "I've been pulling for the Cardinals since Day 1 of the playoffs."
Other trainers on Pittsburgh's side: Jim Abernathy (28-17), Jim Campbell (31-17), Doug Flint (20-14) and Victor Hall (28-14). Arizona received support from Kim McAuliffe (24-20) and Ken Lesperance (21-17).
At TBD, Pittsburgh was picked to win 23-21, with six jockeys jumping on the Steelers' bandwagon. Mike Allen went with Pittsburgh 26-14. Brother Ronnie Allen Jr. predicted a 28-21 Arizona victory, saying, "I like the quarterback. He was down, kind of like the same story that I was … I was down and came back. Now he is going great again."
Dean Butler also chose Arizona 21-17. Carlos Montalvo selected Pittsburgh 20-17, going inside the jocks' room before revealing his pick. "Give me a couple of minutes," he said. "I have to check with my confidants."
Other Pittsburgh supporters: Daniel Centeno (24-13), Rosemary Homeister Jr. (24-14), James Lopez (21-17) and Phil Teator (27-21). A high-scoring game favoring Arizona was predicted by Filemon Rodriguez (40-30) and Luis Gonzalez (30-25).
HORSES: Rising Fever heads today's $65,000 Manatee Stakes (Race 10, 4:37 p.m.) at TBD. … Joan Scott trainee Dr. Zic finished third in the Grade II $150,000 Forward Gal Stakes on Friday at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach. … Also at Gulfstream, Capt. Candyman Can put himself on the path toward the Kentucky Derby by holding off favored Hello Broadway to win the $150,000 Grade 2 Hutcheson Stakes for 3-year-olds. … Pascacio Lopez won the Eclipse Award for apprentice rider on Monday.