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2006 Tampa Bay Derby

Deputy Glitters out front in the stretch.

Date: 03/21/2006

A field of nine Triple Crown hopefuls went to post in the $250,000 Tampa Bay Derby (G3) at Tampa Bay Downs. As expected, Bluegrass Cat was sent off as the 2-5 favorite with Deputy Glitters the 8-1 second choice. An record on-track crowd of 10,451 combined with simulcast betting to set a new single day handle record for Tampa Bay with over $9 million wagered on the 13-race card.

Deputy Glitters winning the Tampa Bay Derby by 2 lengths.
When the field got underway, Winnies Tigger Too the longest shot on the board at 66-1 took to the front and jockey Joseph Rocco controlled the pace through slow fractions of 24.30, 49.29 and 1:13.43 while Deputy Glitters sat a length off the pace just to his outside. John Velazquez and Bluegrass Cat stalked the pace out in the 4 path in third most of the way. Turning for home, jockey Jose Lezcano asked Deputy Glitters for his best and got it, as the 8-1 shot surged past the pacesetter, gaining a 1 1/2 length lead at the 1/8 pole. Bluegrass Cat made his move in mid-stretch to pass the pacesetter but was left with too much to do, as Deputy Glitters drew away to a 2 length win in a time of 1:44.26 over the fast track. It was 3 1/4 lengths back from Bluegrass Cat to pacesetting Winnies Tigger Too in third.
Results Chart from DRF.

Winning trainer Tom Albertrani said, "We just had an ideal trip again. We want to see this horse go all the way to the Derby. But we have another race to go first. When he sprinting he was just being taken off his feet and we were kind of scratching are heads wondering why he wasn't running like he was in the morning. Just stretching him out was the key to this horse." Albertrani said Deputy Glitters would start next in either the Wood Memorial or the Blue Grass Stakes and will stick with regular rider Jose Lezcano.

Second place finisher and beaten favorite Bluegrass Cat after the finish. His trainer Todd Pletcher said, "John (Velazquez) said the ground was slipping away from under him a couple of times on the far turn and he lost all the position he had gained at a pivotal point of the race. The last sixteenth was the best sixteenth of the race for him, but he really lost all chance to win at the 5/16 pole. If you're going to get beat I guess this is the best time." Pletcher said that Bluegrass Cat would start next in the Blue Grass Stakes or the Wood Memorial.

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