Track record-holder Win Win Win and Grade III Sam F. Davis Stakes winner Well Defined, appear headed for a showdown on Saturday, March 9 at Tampa Bay Downs in the 39th edition of the Grade II, $400,000 Lambholm South Tampa Bay Derby, but there will be no shortage of opponents in the "Road to the Kentucky Derby" main-track event.
Eleven were entered today in the 39th annual Tampa Bay Downs showcase, to be run at a distance of a mile-and-a-sixteenth on the main track. At stake, in addition to the purse money, are "Road to the Kentucky Derby" qualifying points, awarded to the first four finishers on a 50-20-10-5 scale.
The Lambholm South Tampa Bay Derby is scheduled as the 11th race on a 12-race card beginning at 12:12 p.m. It is one of five stakes races on the program worth a combined $1-million in purse money.
2019 Tampa Bay Derby Odds & Entries
Race 11 on Tampa Bay Downs's Saturday card with a Post Time of 5:25 PM
|2||Sir Winston||12-1||Julien Leparoux
|3||Lord Dragon||30-1||Jose Bracho
|4||Dream Maker||4-1||Florent Geroux
|5||Well Defined||7-2||Pablo Morales
|7||Win Win Win||5-2||Irad Ortiz, Jr.
|8||The Right Path||15-1||Joe Bravo
|Jorge Duarte, Jr.|
|Victor Barboza, Jr.|
Florida-bred colt Win Win Win, who set a Tampa Bay Downs 7-furlong track record of 1:20.89 in his Pasco Stakes victory on Jan. 19, has been established as the 5-2 Lambholm South Tampa Bay Derby morning-line favorite. The second choice at 7-2 is the Florida-bred gelding Well Defined, who won the Grade III Sam F. Davis Stakes here on Feb. 9 at the Lambholm South Tampa Bay Derby distance.
Reigning Eclipse Award Outstanding Jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr., will ride Win Win Win, whose trainer, 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.
Although the Live Oak Plantation homebred Win Win Win has been training here since his Pasco victory, the hometown favorite is Well Defined, a homebred racing for breeder-owner Gilbert G. Campbell's Stonehedge, LLC.
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, and the two-time leading Tampa Bay Downs conditioner is optimistic Well Defined is sitting on another big effort after his Sam F. Davis romp.
"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.
Morales will be riding Well Defined for the second time after guiding him in his front-running 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. We need to run a big race Saturday" (to stay on the Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve trail), she added.
The third choice on the morning line at 4-1 is Dream Maker, one of two entrants trained by Mark Casse, along with Sir Winston. If he decides to run like he did in his season debut, he has a very good chance of success. His post position gives him a fgood edge in this race.
Pre-Draw Tampa Bay Derby News
The mile-and-a-sixteenth Lambholm South Tampa Bay Derby is the centerpiece of Festival Day 39, with five stakes, three of the graded variety, shining a national spotlight on Tampa Bay Downs. All told, the track is offering a cool $1-million in stakes purse money alone.
The Lambholm South Tampa Bay Derby field of 3-year-olds and their connections will vie for Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve qualifying points, awarded to the first four finishers on a 50-20-10-5 scale.
Win Win Win, a homebred colt racing for Live Oak Plantation, is 3-for-4 in his short career. He set the racing world abuzz on Jan. 19 here, winning the 7-furlong Pasco Stakes in track-record time of 1:20.89.
Well Defined, also a homebred racing for owner Stonehedge, LLC, was nearly as impressive in his gate-to-wire Sam F. Davis triumph at the Lambholm South Tampa Bay Derby distance, winning in 1:42.70, less than a second off the track record.
Other likely entrants as of this afternoon include trainer Mark Casse's 1-2 punch of stakes winner Sir Winston and Dream Maker; Current, a Grade III winner on turf trained by Todd Pletcher; Tacitus, trained by Bill Mott; Admire, conditioned by Dale Romans; The Right Path, from the barn of Jorge Duarte, Jr.; and Lord Dragon, conditioned by Jordan Blair.
The connections of multiple-stakes winner Avie's Flatter and stakes winner Zenden are also leaning toward running.