Todd Pletcher Enters Three in Tampa Bay Derby
Photo Copyright Eclipse Sportswire
By Emily Shields for TVG
The $400,000 Lambholm South Tampa Bay Derby (G2) at Tampa Bay Downs is one of three 2020 Kentucky Derby prep races slated for March 7, and the 1 1/16-mile race drew a full field of 12. With horses like Sole Volante and Chance It leading the contenders, trainer Todd Pletcher has entered three runners to help ensure his sixth victory in the race.
Texas Swing will break from the rail. The $275,000 son of Curlin is out of a Tiznow mare, so added distance should be no problem as he goes forward. He was fourth on debut sprinting at Gulfstream Park in December, then stretched out to a mile and 40 yards here February 8 to win by more than a length. Javier Castellano will take over for John Velazquez, who goes to Market Analysis.
Market Analysis won on debut at Gulfstream Park January 25, and has been pointing for this race since. The $250,000 son of Honor Code is out of an Exchange Rate mare, and keeps jockey Velazquez. He was favored when he won the seven-furlong maiden, defeating a horse who has gone on to win next out.
Unrighteous rounds out the trio. The son of Violence will put blinkers on for this. Calumet Farms owns and bred the colt, who was fourth on debut and then second stretching out to 1 1/8 miles last out. Both races were at Gulfstream Park; Unrighteous is still a maiden.
Sole Volante is the morning line choice at 2 – 1. The son of Karakontie (Jpn) is trained by Patrick Biancone, who just won the Fountain of Youth (G2) last weekend with Ete Indien. Sole Volante is three for four lifetime and is coming off a win in the local prep for this race, the Sam F. Davis (G3). He was a 5-1 shot then and won by two and a half lengths over Independence Hall, who will go next in the Florida Derby.
Chance It drew outside in the Fountain of Youth, so trainer Saffie Joseph, Jr opted to scratch and reroute the son of Currency Swap to this spot. He has never finished worse than second, with four wins including three stakes. He most recently won the Mucho Macho Man by a head; that was over a mile and As Seen On Tv, who was second that day, was third in the Fountain of Youth.
The field is completed by Spa City, Relentless Caner, Mo Mosa, Letmeno, Bye Bye Melvin, King Guillermo, and Tons of Gold. Watch and wager on the race and all the stakes on the Tampa Bay Downs card with TVG.
- March 27, 2020
Focus Group will need to return to his best if he is to have a chance in the $200,000 Kitten’s Joy Pan American Stakes (G2) at Gulfstream Park on March 28.
- March 27, 2020
March 28 is the biggest day of the Gulfstream Park winter meeting, with the $750,000 Curlin Florida Derby topping an action-packed, 14-race card with 10 stakes.
- March 19, 2020
The five rivals in the $400,000 Fair Grounds Oaks (G2) will have a tough time beating Finite. The three-year-old filly is the 3-5 morning line choice for the 1 1/16-mile race at the Fair Grounds in Louisiana on March 21.