Win Win Win Morning Line Favorite
Saturday’s 1 1/16-mile Lambholm South Tampa Bay Derby is eight weeks ahead of the first Saturday in May, and Churchill Downs beckons.
Eleven were entered today in the 39th Tampa Bay Derby. At stake, in addition to $400,000 in purse money, are Road to the Kentucky Derby qualifying points, awarded to the first four finishers on a 50-20-10-5 scale.
Florida-bred colt Win Win Win, who set a Tampa Bay Downs seven-furlong track record of 1:20.89 in his Pasco Stakes victory on Jan. 19, is the 5-2 morning line favorite. Irad Ortiz, Jr., will ride Win Win Win for trainer Michael Trombetta.
The second choice, at 7-2, is another Florida-bred, the gelding Well Defined, who won Tampa's Feb. 9 Sam F. Davis Stakes at the Tampa Bay Derby distance.
Here is the field in post position order, with trainers and jockeys:
1. Admire, Dale Romans, Robby Albarado
2. Sir Winston, Mark Casse, Julien Leparoux
3. Lord Dragon, Jordan Blair, Jose A. Bracho
4. Dream Maker, Mark Casse, Florent Geroux
5. Well Defined, Kathleen O’Connell, Pablo Morales
6. Outshine, Todd Pletcher, Joel Rosario
7. Win Win Win, Michael Trombetta, Irad Ortiz, Jr.
8. The Right Path, Jorge Duarte, Jr., Joe Bravo
9. Dunph, Michael Maker, Daniel Centeno
10. Tacitus, William Mott, Jose Ortiz
11. Zenden, Victor Barboza, Jr., Samy Camacho
Although the Live Oak Plantation homebred Win Win Win has been training in Tampa since his Pasco victory, the hometown favorite is Well Defined, a homebred racing for breeder-owner Gilbert G. Campbell’s Stonehedge, LLC and trainer Kathleen O'Connell.
Campbell and O’Connell teamed to win the 2011 Tampa Bay Derby with Watch Me Go to earn a trip to that year’s Kentucky Derby. The two-time leading Tampa Bay Downs conditioner is optimistic Well Defined is sitting on another big effort.
“He’s coming up to the race just as good or better than last time. I couldn’t be happier with how he’s doing, and I’m happy with the post position,” O’Connell said.
Pablo Morales will be riding Well Defined for the second time after guiding him in his Sam F. Davis score. “This horse has plenty of speed, and Pablo fits him very well,” O’Connell said. “He just has to be forwardly placed, and the rest will be seen.
“I’m just happy he’s going in the right direction and hope they all stay healthy." And what will take to stay on the Kentucky Derby trail? "We need to run a big race Saturday," she said
The third choice on the morning line at 4-1 is Dream Maker, one of two entrants trained by Mark Casse. Sir Winston is the other.
The Columbia Stakes, another race for 3-year-olds, has drawn 11 entries, including the Chad Brown-trained Irish-bred Digital Age and Casse’s Proliferate.
Heading the six-horse Challenger Stake field are Casse’s 4-year-old colt Flameaway, who won last year’s Sam F. Davis and finished second in the Tampa Bay Derby.
Samy Camacho Steps Up
Leading Tampa Bay Downs jockey Samy Camacho has donated his purse earnings from Saturday’s three-victory performance, minus agent and valet fees, to Venezuelan countryman Carlos Carrasco’s youth foundation to aid needy children in the South American nation.
Carrasco, a native of Barquisimeto, Venezuela who resides in Tampa, is a right-handed pitcher for the Cleveland Indians. Camacho’s donation of $1,995 will be used to provide books, toys, medical supplies and other goods to children in his homeland, which has been devastated by the ongoing economic crisis.
“I’ve known about (Carrasco) and his foundation for a long time, but I first met him about a month ago when he and his wife Karry came to the racetrack,” Camacho said. “We made a connection then and talked about the foundation and how I could help.
“A lot of people in my country are suffering and I’m doing well here, so I have a chance to give something back. His foundation is a great way for me to help those in need,” said the 30-year-old Camacho, who hails from Caracas.
More About Saturday
The Tampa Bay Derby is scheduled as the 11th race on a 12-race card beginning at 12:12 ET. It is one of five stakes races on the program worth a combined $1 million in purse money.
The first 7,500 patrons through the gates will receive a commemorative umbrella, with paid admission.
Michael Trombetta is scheduled to be track announcer Richard Grunder’s guest at 10 a.m. on Saturday at the “Morning Glory Club” Show on the first floor of the Grandstand.
Edited release with content by Dick Downey