Tampa Bay Derby (G2) Cheat Sheet

Track: Tampa Bay Downs

Purse: $400,000

Distance: 1 1/16 miles

Points: 50-20-10-5 to top 4 finishers

At Tampa Bay this meet – pacesetters and pressers have won 66% of race, mid-pack runners 20%, and closers 14%.

Well Defined got an easy wire to wire win in the Sam F Davis, but I’m not sure how he will handle Zenden challenging him.  Win Win Win has won from both the front end and the back so the pace won’t be the issue, but I have a hard time going with a horse when they choose a big stakes race to attempt two turns for the first time.  Given how he dominated in such an easy fashion last time out, I’m tempted to go with Dream Maker over the other two favorites.

1 – Admire (12/1)

  • Pedigree: Cairo Prince – Visavis by Indian Charlie
  • Trainer: Dale Romans / Jockey: Robby Albarado
  • Running style: Mid-pack runner
  • Race Record: 3:1-0-0
  • Cutting back 1/16th of a mile to try and rebound from 5th in Withers (G3) at Aqueduct
    • Raced wide and didn’t have anything left at the end, so inside post will help
  • Nice workouts so might have an improved effort, but don’t think its enough to win

2 – Sir Winston (12/1)

  • Awesome Again – La Gran Bailadora by Afleet Alex
  • Mark Casse / Julian Leparoux
  • Stalker
  • 6:2-0-1
  • Looks to prefer the synthetic at Woodbine over dirt – hit the board in all 3 starts there
    • Won the Display S. at 1 1/16 miles
  • Finished 4th in Withers (G3) in last start

3 – Lord Dragon (30/1)

  • Oxbow – Broken Spell by Broken Vow
  • Jordan Blair / Jose Bracho
  • Closer
  • 6:1-2-1
  • Has improved in past two starts at this track and broke his maiden in 6th attempt last time out
  • Toughest field he faced was in 1 1/16th mile Keeneland maiden where he finished 10th
  • Big jump in class for him and I think its more than he will be able to handle

4 – Dream Maker (4/1)

  • Tapit – To Dream About by Monarchos
  • Mark Casse / Florent Geroux
  • Stalker
  • 4:2-0-0
  • Won two-turn Fair Grounds optional claimer by 8 ½ under hand ride in first start after a layoff
    • Horse he beat, Courtyard, came back to win allowance – him and 2nd place finisher were 13 ¾ lengths ahead of third place
  • Looks to be getting better at the right time and should improve in second start off layoff
  • Win contender

5 – Well Defined (7/2)

  • With Distinction – Fru Fru by Medaglia d’Oro
  • Kathleen O’Connell / Pablo Morales
  • Pacesetter
  • 7:3-1-1
  • Homecourt advantage – won Sam F. Davis (G3)
    • Given he didn’t do well in previous races against non-stake breds this win was a surprise
  • Will have more pace pressure here
  • As a 2 year old won the Florida Sire In Reality Stakes by 7 ½
  • Win contender

6 – Outshine (8/1)

  • Malibu Moon – Life Lesson by Unbridled’s Song
  • Todd Pletcher / Joel Rosario
  • Mid-pack runner
  • 3:2-0-0
  • 2 length winner of Gulfstream allowance optional claimer after being 4 wide in turn
    • First start after 8 month layoff, so should improve in this start
  • Needs a big improvement, but don’t underestimate Pletcher in this race
  • Could hit the board

7 – Win Win Win (5/2)

  • Hat Trick (JPN) – Miss Smarty Pants by Smarty Jones
  • Michael Trombetta / Irad Ortiz, Jr.
  • Closer
  • 4:3-1-0
  • Set Tampa Bay track record with 7 ¼ length Pasco S. win and only career loss was by 1 ½ lengths
  • Will be first two turn start against toughest competition he has faced
  • Win contender

8 – The Right Path (15/1)

  • Quality Road – Always Trouble by Bernardini
  • Jorge Duarte, Jr. / Joe Bravo
  • Press the pace
  • 2:1-1-0
  • Won debut at Aqueduct in November and was 2nd in optional claimer at Gulfstream last month
    • Elevated from 3rd to 2nd after a disqualification
  • This will be his first time around 2 turns
  • Others in the field I like better at high prices

9 – Dunph (20/1)

  • Temple City – Skymynx by Sky Mesa
  • Mike Maker / Daniel Centeno
  • Stalker
  • 5:2-0-1
  • Won Spendthrift Juvenile Stallion S. by 7 ¾ lengths in October
    • Since then: 2nd in Springboard Mile, 9th in KY Jockey Club (G2) on sloppy track, and faded to 11th in Risen Star (G2)
      • Needs to prove he is still at the same level as his big win
    • Carrying 123lbs will not help him

10 – Tacitus (12/1)

  • Tapit – Close Hatches by First Defense
  • Bill Mott / Jose Ortiz
  • Mid-pack runner
  • 2:1-0-0
  • First race since November when he won 1 mile maiden at Aqueduct by a neck
    • Finished 4th in debut at Belmont against good competition like Kentucky Wildcat
  • Unproven at this level, but has some of best connections in field
  • Has been working well, but might need this race from a fitness standpoint

11 – Zenden (8/1)

  • Fed Biz – You Laughin by Sharp Humor
  • Victor Barboza, Jr. / Samy Camacho
  • Pacesetter / press the pace
  • 3:2-1-0
  • Has done little wrong with his career
    • Won first two starts sprinting at Gulfstream, including Buffalo Man Stakes
    • 2nd to sprinter Call Paul in Swale (G3)
  • Will be first race around 2 turns against tougher competition
    • Tough task from this post