by Jerry Shottenkirk
March 9, 2019
The Tampa Bay Derby over the past few years has become more important in producing quality worthy of the Triple Crown races – even Kentucky Derby and Belmont winners – and while a Grade 2 race, it’s still an sought-after spot on the Derby trail.
Connections of these are seeing if their horses are worthy of making the leap into the top Derby preps down the road. Quip and Tapwrit – the latter a Belmont winner – were the last two victors of the Tampa Bay Derby, and they join the likes of Kentucky Derby winner Street Sense and top-flight runner Verrazano, lending even more credibility.
The Tampa Bay Derby resembles the Fountain of Youth, run last weekend at Gulfstream. The favorite in both races are horses that were dazzling in one-turn races leading up to the headliner. Tampa Bay Derby fave Win Win Win won the Pasco Stakes by 7 1-4 lengths after six furlongs in 1:08 3-5 and finished with a final time of 1:20 4-5 for seven furlongs. In any land, that’s racehorse time. Prior to the Fountain of Youth, Hidden Scroll was a 14-time winner at a mile. He got locked into fast fractions and finished fourth behind closers that benefited from the early activities. A couple of differences to note: Win Win Win has had four starts (three wins and a second), and one of those wins was in a stakes race. Hidden Scroll had only one start, and it was against maidens.
Win Win Win is a son of Hat Trick and grandson of Sunday Silence. On the other side, he’s out of Miss Smarty Pants, a daughter of Smarty Jones. Those are some good pedigree credentials when he comes to digging in and doing some running. Win Win Win won his first two at Laurel and finished second in a stakes race there, just prior to his trip to Tampa Bay Downs. Trainer Michael Trombetta has named Irad Ortiz, Jr., as a riding replacement for Julian Pimentel. Since the Pasco win on Jan. 19, Win Win Win has been the talk of morning activities as well, with drills of :47 for four furlongs, :59 1-5 for five furlongs and 1:13 2-5 for six furlongs.
The Tampa Bay Derby is part of the All Stakes Pick 4, and that particular leg of the sequence is a terrific challenge. Well Defined comes in off a front-running score, while Sir Winston and Dream Maker have an impact on the closing yards if the pace is too much for the front runners. For that, I see this is a spread, using all four of those.
Here’s the suggested ticket for the All Stakes Pick 4 at Tampa Bay Downs:
Race 8) #1 Flameaway, #5 Bourbon Resolution.
Race 9) #2 Hawksmoor, #7 Rymska, #8 Onthemoonagain.
Race 10) #1 La Feve, #3 Winter Sunset, #5 Concrete Rose, #9 Winning Envelope, #10 Stellar Agent.
Race 11) #2 Sir Winston, #4 Dream Maker, #5 Well Defined, #7 Win Win Win.
50-cent Pick 4: 1-5/2-7-8/1-3-5-9-10/2-4-5-7 for ($60).