Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Brody's Cause Heads Tampa Bay Derby Field

Brody's Cause, Destin and Awesome Banner head a field of ten horses that were entered on Wednesday afternoon for Saturday's $350,000 Tampa Bay Derby (Grade 2) at Tampa  Bay Downs.

The race for 3-year-olds is 1 1/16 miles on dirt. The first four finishers will receive qualifying  points of 50, 20, 10 and five respectively for the 1 1/4 mile Kentucky Derby (Grade 1) to be run May 7 at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky.

The Tampa Bay Derby will be the first race for Brody's Cause since he won the 1 1/16 mile Kentucky Jockey Club (Grade 1) at Churchill Downs on  Nov. 28.  Regular jockey Corie Lanerie has the mount for trainer Dale Romans.

Destin, trained by Todd Pletcher, won the 1 1/16 mile Sam F. Davis (Grade 3) at Tampa Bay Downs on Feb. 13.  Pletcher has tabbed Javier Castellano to ride Destin.

John Velazquez, Pletcher's  other go-to jockey rode Destin in the Sam F. Davis. In the Tampa Bay Derby, Velazquez will ride Outwork, the impressive winner of a six-furlong allowance on at Tampa Bay on Feb. 13.

Awesome Banner, a speedster who has taken the lead in all of his races, drew post 10 which could be a disadvantage on the run to the first turn. 

In January at Gulfstream Park, Awesome Banner won the six-furlong Hutcheson (Grade 3) and the seven-furlong Swale (Grade 2).  On Feb. 27, he finished fifth in the 1 1/16 mile Fountain of Youth (Grade 2) at 1 1/16 miles at Gulfstream.

Trainer Stan Gold has named Antonio Gallardo, Tampa Bay's leading jockey in wins, to ride Awesome Banner.
--Jim Freer

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