Tampa Bay Derby Lands 38 Nominations
The Grade II Tampa Bay Derby, set for March 10, drews 38 nominations including Grade III Sam F. Davis winner Battle Hardened and the next five finishers in that race.
The Tampa Bay Derby has featured the Kentucky Derby winner two of the past five years and is the centerpiece of Festival Day, the biggest day on Tampa Bay Downs' calendar.
Currency Swap, a Florida-bred son of High Cotton and Echo Bluff trained by Teresa Pompay, has not raced since winning the Grade I Three Chimneys Hopeful Stakes at Saratoga on Sept. 5. He has been working forwardly at Gulfstream for his sophomore debut, drilling four furlongs in :47.00 seconds Feb. 19 before Saturday’s five-furlong breeze in 1:01.80.
Battle Hardened broke his maiden in the Grade III Sam F. Davis under Julien Leparoux, but it wasn’t a total shocker since he had just missed in a 1 1/8-mile maiden special weight contest at Gulfstream in his previous start Dec. 31. The Kentucky-bred son of Giant’s Causeway and Jen’s Fashion is trained by Eddie Kenneally.
Nominations also include Gemologist, Motor City, Out of Bounds, and the second through sixth-place finishers in the Sam F. Davis: Prospective, Reveron, Ravelo’s Boy, Neck ‘n Neck and Fox Rules.
Todd Pletcher, who won the 2004 Tampa Bay Derby with Limehouse, has nominated six horses. In addition to Gemologist, they are Big Blue Nation, Dan and Sheila, Heavy Breathing, Spring Hill Farm and Windsurfer.
Also on tap on Festival Day are the Grade III Hillsborough Stakes for older fillies and mares at about a mile-and-an-eighth on the Tampa Bay Downs turf course, and the Stonewall Farm Ocala Suncoast Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at a mile and 40 yards on the main surface.
The Hillsborough closed with 32 nominations, and the Stonewall Farm Ocala Suncoast Stakes closed with 24 nominations.
On Festival Day, a commemorative cooler bag will be given to all patrons with paid admission while supplies last.
Complete List of Nominations
--Edited Tampa Bay Downs release