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.