Large field entered for Tampa Bay Derby

Mar 5th, 2014 | By TrackSide View | Category: Iron Maidens

Mike Henry
Tampa Bay Downs

OLDSMAR, Fla. – The 34th edition of the Grade II, $350,000 Tampa Bay Derby will be contested at Tampa Bay Downs on Saturday, with a field of 10 3-year-olds set to go a mile-and-a-sixteenth and earn qualifying points for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands on May 3.

Saturday is Festival Day 34 – the richest day in the track’s 88-year history, with 12 races on a card that begins at 12:25 p.m. and stakes purses alone of $700,000.

Also on tap are a pair of graded turf stakes: the 31st running of the Grade III, $200,000 Florida Oaks for 3-year-old fillies at a mile-and-a-sixteenth and the 16th renewal of the Grade III, $150,000 Hillsborough Stakes for older fillies and mares at a mile-and-an-eighth.

The Oaks has attracted an overflow field of 14, of which only 12 can start. Nine horses will contest the Hillsborough.

Three of the top four finishers from the Grade III Sam F. Davis Stakes are entered in the Tampa Bay Derby: the winner, Vinceremos, from the stable of Todd Pletcher; the third-place finisher, Cousin Stephen, trained by Chad Brown; and the fourth-place finisher, Matador, trained by Mark Casse.

The owners of Sam F. Davis winner Vinceremos, WinStar Farm, LLC and Twin Creeks Racing Stables, LLC, will collect the Tampa Bay Downs Million Dollar Derby Bonus if the son of 2009 Santa Anita Derby winner and Kentucky Derby runner-up Pioneerof the Nile wins the Tampa Bay Derby and the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands.

Additionally, Ben Wheelock of Hudson, Fla., stands to win big by collecting the Lambholm South $100,000 Fan Bonus if Vinceremos completes the three-race sweep. Wheelock’s name was drawn by winning Sam F. Davis Stakes jockey Edgar Prado from an approximate 300 fans who picked Vinceremos.

Prado will again ride Vinceremos, while Javier Castellano is named on Cousin Stephen and Julien Leparoux on Matador.

The Tampa Bay Derby is part of Churchill Downs’ “Road to the Kentucky Derby” Championship Series points system that determines the 20 starters for the Run for the Roses, should more than that number pass the entry box.

The Tampa Bay Derby awards 50 points to the winner, 20 points for second, 10 for third and 5 for fourth. The Tampa Bay Derby has produced two of the last seven Kentucky Derby winners: the 2007 Oldsmar winner, Street Sense, and the 2010 third-place finisher, Super Saver.

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