Hear the Ghost, by Ghostzapper, picked up the pieces of a screaming fast early speed duel between race favorites Flashback, and Goldencents, as they notched early hot factions of:22.4, :45.4 and 1:09.4, that allowed the late closing Hear the Ghost, win by 1/2 length in the $300,000, GII San Felipe Stakes, for 3yo’s, going 1 1/16 mile over the Santa Anita main today!
Race favorite, Flashback, had settle for 2nd, back a 1/2 length and a 1/2 length in front of Cal/bred Tiz a Minister, with Goldencents, lingering to fill the superspot here today back another 1 1/4 length!
Verrazano, the 2/5 post time favorite, didn’t disappoint, as he grabbed the lead after the first call and would never let it go in $350,000, GII Tampa Bay Derby, for 3yo’s, going 1 1/16 mile over the Tampa Bay Downs main today!
Java’s War, at a big price, came late for 2nd back 3 lengths, Falling Sky, the GIII Sam Davis winner sparred with Verrazano, on the far turn only to have to settle for 3rd back another 4 1/4 lengths with Dynamic Sky, rounding the super here today!
Tampa Bay Downs fires off its final 2013 derby trail rocket this Saturday in the $350,000, GII Tampa Bay Derby, for 3yo Kentucky Derby hopefuls, all vying for “50” big derby points over the Tampa Bay Downs main track!
Verrazano, by More Than Ready, is out of that endless Todd Pletcher 3yo fleet and is coming off an eye-popping 16 1/4 lengths $75k, 1-mile Aoc win at Gulfstream Park last out as he will test his Kentucky Derby contender skills here on Saturday as he steps up into the graded stakes ranks for the first time here on Saturday!
Falling Sky, by Lionheart and Dynamic Sky, by Sky Mesa, are the 1-2 finishers in the GIII Sam F. Davis prep here last out where only a neck separated the pair at the line as a rematch of that race is in the cards here this Saturday!
Honorable Dillon, by Tapit, is the winner of the GII Hutcheson Stakes sprint at Gulfstream last out, comes across the state to test his derby potential here on Saturday, too!
Eton Blue, by Giant’s Causeway, was back those 16 1/4 lengths to Verrazano, in the Gulfstream $75k Aoc last out to finish that distance 2nd, looks for a closer finish here on Saturday!
Purple Egg, by Lionheart, won the Inaugural Stakes here at Tampa Bay back in early Dec. He has had series of minor ailments that plagued his early 2013 training, but he has been back to regular training now since early Feb. and could be a real force in this GII tussle. He’ll be bringing a 3-race undefeated streak to this contest, as well!
Offlee Fast, by Offlee Wild, lost a tight Aoc at Gulfstream last out to Capo Bastone by just a head and Java’s War, by War Pass, is the winner of the Sunday Silence Stakes at Louisiana Downs last fall, then 3rd in the GI Dixiana Stakes at Keeneland, closing out 2012 with a so-so 6th in the GII Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes at Churchill Downs brings his g/s experiences to this 3yo party!
So a good field of top 3yo performers seems to be setting up for Tampa Bay’s final derby trail event on their 2013 calander with the winner getting those big 50 Derby Points and most likely a spot in the 139th running of the Kentucky Derby on the first Saturday in May!
Rydilluc, by Medaglia d’Oro, sat an early stalking trip just off the early leader Dad’z Laugh, but by the 3/4’s mark had move to the lead and was gone to the line first by 3 1/4 lengths in today’s $150,000, GIII Palm Beach Stakes, for 3yo turfers, going 1 1/8 mile over a firm Gulfstream turf course!