2013 Tampa Bay Downs Derby

Dave Bond | OTB Writer

Las Vegas, NV - Tampa Bay Downs will host one of two qualifying races along the "Road to the Kentucky Derby" this Saturday, March 9. The Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby will feature Kentucky Derby hopefuls as they chase the winner's share of the $350,000 purse and the valuable 50 points that come along with the win. The combatants will go 1 1/16 miles on Tampa Bay Downs' dirt track.

The Tampa Bay Derby has drawn a strong field of nine potential Derby qualifiers for race 10 on Tampa Bay Downs' Saturday card. Post time is 5:15 PM. Here is a look into the past performances of all nine entries ahead of this most important Grade 2 race. Remember 50 points are on the line for first place, 20 for second, 10 for third and five for a fourth place finish.

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2013 Tampa Bay Derby Race Favorites

Verrazano - Todd Pletcher trained colt makes his stakes debut after two starts and two wins - an impressive Allowance Optional Claiming last time out by 16 3/4 lengths at Gulfstream February 2 with a Beyer Speed figure of 105 and a MSW score by 7 3/4 lengths in his debut January 1 also at Gulfstream. He hasn't been touched in his two starts and is likely the favorite Saturday.

Falling Sky - has four career starts and three wins - a 1 3/4 length score in a 6 1/2 furlong Allowance Optional Claiming December 14 in which he earned an 89 Beyer Speed figure, a MSW score in his debut November 1 at Calder and last time out in the Grade 3 Sam F. Davis Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs in gate-to-wire fashion February 2. Sandwiched in there is a fourth in his only other stakes race - the minor Inaugural Stakes here December 1. Falling Sky, off his first graded stakes win is an intriguing entry for the Tampa Bay Derby - he should contend Saturday.

Tampa Bay Derby 2013 | Remaining Field Entries

Dynamic Sky - has six career starts with two wins, two seconds and a third place finish. Last time out was a very good second in the Grade 3 Sam F. Davis Stakes behind Falling Sky here February 2 after an impressive score in the Pasco Stakes over Sky Commander on this track January 12 and an OK sixth in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile. He had a very nice second in the Grade 1 Dixiana Breeders' Futurity at Keeneland October 6 after two stakes races at Woodbine resulted in a win in the Simcoe Stakes September 3 and a third in his debut at the Vandal Stakes in July. He figures to be right in the mix Saturday and could use the points that comes along with a good finish.

Eton Blue - Nicholas Zito trainee has a win, a second and a third place finish in three career starts - a second in an Allowance Optional Claiming last time out, a MSW score before that and a third place finish in a MSW in his debut at Gulfstream December 6.

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Java's War - Kenneth McPeek colt was fifth in his career debut but strung together two straight wins ahead of the Dixiana Breeders Futurity including the Sunday Silence Stakes at Louisiana Downs in September. He was an OK third in the Dixiana behind Dynamic Sky in October but was sixth in his only start since at the Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes at Churchill Downs November 24.

Honorable Dillon - has four career starts for trainer Eddie Kenneally with a win two back in a MSW at Saratoga, a third in a MSW in his career debut and a second place finish to Singanothersong as 13-10 favorite in an Allowance Optional Claiming at Gulfstream January 4. Last time out was a terrific win in the Grade 2 Hutcheson Stakes at Gulfstream February 2. Honorable Dillon is on the radar now and should provide a test for the field in the Tampa Bay Derby.

Purple Egg - has just three career starts for trainer Jane Cibelli but has won all three - the minor Inaugural Stakes last time out over the impressive Brave Dave at Tampa Bay December 1, an Allowance in September at Parx and a MSW in his career debut at Monmouth in August. He returns from illness after two months away and can't be overlooked this weekend.

Offlee Fast - will race in stakes company for the first time Saturday. In three career starts he has a win and a second place finish - the win coming two back in a MSW at Gulfstream January 26 and the second coming last time out behind Capo Bastone in an Allowance Optional Claiming at Gulfstream February 16.

Park City - Todd Pletcher trained colt has just two career starts with two wins - an Allowance Optional Claiming last time out over Declan's Warrior February 9 at Gulfstream and a MSW score in his debut at Saratoga July 27.

2013 Tampa Bay Derby Entries & Odds

Race 10 on Tampa Bay Downs's Saturday card with a Post Time of 5:15 PM.

Entry Horse Jockey Trainer ML Odds
1 Eton Blue J. Bravo N. Zito
2 Purple Egg E. Trujillo J. Cibelli
3 Honorable Dillon C. Lanerie E. Kenneally
4 Java's War W. Martinez K. McPeek
5 Dynamic Sky J. Rosario M. Casse
6 Verrazano J. Velazquez T. Pletcher
7 Offlee Fast J. Santana R. Pellegrini
8 Park City E. Prado T. Pletcher
9 Falling Sky J. Espinoza J. Terranova, II