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2024 Tampa Bay Derby Day


Tyler Gaffalione aboard Domestic Product after winning the Tampa Bay Derby
Date: 3/09/2024

The highlight of the Tampa Bay Downs racing season is the $400,000 Lambholm South Tampa Bay Derby (G3) at 1 1/16 miles on the main track. It is the major local prep for the Triple Crown series and worth 50 points to the winner as part of the Kentucky Derby Championship Series. Conditions were excellent at the Oldsmar oval for the 6,134 fans in attendance, with cloudy skies and temperatures in the low 80's, main track rated fast and the turf course firm. However, due to a communications network failure affecting AmTote's Mid-Atlantic hub which occurred immediately after the Florida Oaks, the Tampa Bay Derby was run as a non-wagering event. The horses were held in the paddock for almost half an hour as track officials hoped the tote system would be restored, before opting to run the race with no betting, breaking from the gate at 5:51pm ET (originally scheduled for 5:18), with all advance wagers being refunded. The last race on the card was cancelled due to darkness as well as the ongoing tote failure.

Domestic Product rallies in the stretch

A field of 10 went to post, with No More Time the 7-5 morning line favorite off his win in the Sam F. Davis Stakes (G3). In to challenge him included 8-5 second choice Domestic Product, second in the Holy Bull (G3), and 8-1 third choice Sturdy, making his stakes debut off three third place finishes in maiden company at Saratoga, Aqueduct, and Gulfstream.

Jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. sent 15-1 Good Money to the lead first time by through easy fractions of 25.25, 51.14, and 1:16.21 while pressed by No More Time and stalked by 12-1 Grand Mo the First. Turning for home No More Time gained the lead through 1 mile in 1:39.36. Domestic Product, fifth early under Tyler Gaffalione, came out 4 wide for room and rallied to win by a neck over No More Time in 1:45.47. It was a head back to Grand Mo the First third.

horse racing
Pgm  Horse              Jockey         Win   Place   Show
 5   Domestic Product   Gaffalione    *no betting due to tote malfunction*
 7   No More Time       Castellano            ----   ----          
 9   Grand Mo the First Camacho                      ----          

Winning Time:  1:45.47

$1 Exacta  5-7                 -----
$0.50 Trifecta  5-7-9          -----
$0.10 Superfecta  5-7-9-4      -----
Results Chart

horse racinghorse racingLeft: Domestic Product in the winner's circle. Winning trainer Chad Brown said, "He showed a lot of heart after getting bumped by (Grand Mo the First) and he showed a lot of perseverance. He got good seasoning today. He had to rate and he was pulling a little bit off a slow pace, and I was really impressed with his heart and the fact he got his nose down on the wire. I wanted to run him here because he needed a race like this for a little more experience and a little more seasoning. I do think this horse would benefit from one more race. Just because we have points secured, I don't think playing defense, just trying to get into the gate, is the right way to try to win the (Derby)."

Right: The trophy presentation for the Tampa Bay Derby. Winning jockey Tyler Gaffalione said, "It actually worked out well because I was able to get right behind Javier (Castellano, on No More Time) the whole way and when we got around 4the 3/8 pole, he started to ask his horse and I just followed him. My horse was very responsive and he did the job well. That's the thing I was most proud of coming into the stretch was that (Grand Mo the First) was kind of leaning on him and I felt like if I could just get him free, I had plenty of horse."

horse racinghorse racingLeft: Domestic Product in the paddock. Gaffalione added, "He's still young and he's still learning but I was very proud when he got (No More Time) at the wire. Yeah, my dad Steve won this race in 1989, I think, on Storm Predictions. And this is my first time riding in it, so I'm really excited."

Right: Domestic Product warms up before the race. Brown added, "I was concerned about (the tote delay) a little because you know how much time it usually takes these horses to warm up and get ready to run, but then again everyone is in the same boat. So any way you look at it, from that perspective the race is going to be run fairly regardless. I'm happy management here decided to go ahead, because this is an important race for the Kentucky Derby and I think they should be commended for putting the (wagering) aside and running the race."

horse racinghorse racingLeft: Second place finisher No More Time returns after the race. Trainer Jose D'Angelo said, "It was very close. It was a tough beat. He ran a very good race and got a perfect ride. I was a little sad afterward, but that's racing. But we won more points and we're going to the Kentucky Derby, I think. From his race today, it looks like he wants to go longer and that's a very good thing." Jockey Javier Castellano added, "Unfortunately, that's horse racing and (Domestic Product) nailed me at the wire. It was such a great race. It was a slow pace all the way on the backside, and turning for home when I asked my horse he took off. He responded, but the other horse ran a little better. I am not disappointed in my horse. He ran such a good race and sometimes it goes that way."

Right: Third place finisher Grand Mo the First in the paddock. The Victor Barboza Jr. trainee improved his record to 2 wins and 3 thirds in 5 starts, earning $121,650 for owner Granpollo Stables.


horse racing Immediately before the Tampa Bay Derby, a field of 11 three-year-old fillies went to post in the $200,000 Florida Oaks (G3) at 1 1/16 miles on the turf. Ginger Brew Stakes third place finisher Washesiu was sent off as the 11-4 favorite over 7-2 second choice Dynamic Pricing, third in the Sweetest Chant (G3), and 9-2 third choice Austere, unraced since fifth in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1).

Jockey Carol Cedeno sent 106-1 longest shot A Primera Vista to the lead out of the chute through fractions of 23.18, 47.92, and 1:11.77 while pressed by 11-2 forth choice Poolside With Slim and stalked by 15-1 Destiny Star. Into the stretch A Primera Vista tired as Poolside With Slim inherited the lead through 1 mile in 1:35.89. Favorite Waskesiu, 4th early under Junior Alvarado, came out 3 wide and rallied to win by a length over 8-1 Style Points in 1:42.04. It was a head back to late-running 68-1 Dancing N Dixie third.

Results Chart

horse racinghorse racing Left: Waskesiu in the winner's circle. Winning trainer Bill Mott said, "I am very proud of her. I've been pointing for that race for a long time, ever since she broke her maiden. It worked out well. She came from off the pace and drove to the finish. Junior rode her beautifully. It was a very nice ride. I wanted to run on that turf course."

Right: The trophy presentation for the Florida Oaks.

horse racinghorse racing Left: Waskesiu in the post parade. Winning jockey Junior Alvarado said, "Last time I had a terrible trip, I couldn't give her a good shot to win the race and she still ran good. Today, we had the trip. Saved ground both turns, tip her out and she was very game at the end. She was on her toes, I took her away from the pony, I almost thought that was a mistake."

Right: Junior Alvarado celebrates aboard Waskesiu after the race.

. horse racinghorse racing Left: Second place finisher Style Points returns after the race. The Christophe Clement trainee improved her record to 1 win, 2 seconds, and 0 thirds in 4 starts, earning $100,315 for owner Cheyenne Stable.

Right: Third place finisher Dancing N Dixie in the post parade. The Mark Casse trainee improved her record to 2 wins, 0 seconds, and 1 third in 7 starts, earning $110,860 for owners Quintessential Racing Florida, Rocky Top Stable (Ventura) and LEMB Stables.

.


horse racing The $225,000 Hillsborough Stakes (G2) featured 6 older fillies and mares going 1 1/8 miles on the turf. Matriarch (G1) runner-up and Pegasus World Cup Filly and Mare Turf (G2) 4th place finisher Fluffy Socks was sent off as the 6-5 favorite over 5-2 second choice Elusive Princess, winner of the Saratoga Oaks (G3) but 4th in the Queen Elizabeth II Cup (G1), and 3-1 third choice Star Fortress, 11th in the Pegasus World Cup Filly and Mare Turf after winning the Cardinal (G3).

Jockey Jorge Ruiz sent 13-2 fourth choice Sparkle Blue to the lead out of the chute through easy fractions of 25.38, 52.11, and 1:17.44 while pressed by Star Fortress and stalked by Fluffy Socks. Into the stretch Sparkle Blue continued to lead through 1 mile in 1:41.35, and held off 12-1 Aspen Grove late to win by 1/2 a length in 1:52.62. It was a neck back to favorite Fluffy Socks third.

Results Chart

horse racinghorse racingLeft: Sparkle Blue in the winner's circle. Winning trainer Graham Motion said, "I think she's been knocking on the door to win one of these," winning trainer Graham Motion said. "I don't think she's that far behind these guys if given the right circumstances. I had a feeling she might end up on the lead. Jorge let her do her thing and she did it pretty easily in the end."

Right: Sparkle Blue returns after the race. Winning jockey Jorge Ruiz said, "My filly broke very well and went to the front. I said 'let's go, baby.'"

horse racinghorse racingLeft: The trophy presentation for the Hillsborough Stakes.

Right: Second place finisher Aspen Grove returns after the race. Jockey Javier Castellano said, "I caught up to the horse that was in front, but she had something in the tank. I'm satisfied. She cut the corner and got through, but didn't get there in time." Trainer Jack Sisterson added, "We are over the moon with the way she ran off the layoff. From 3 turning 4 you want to see them keep progressing and I think she did that. If there was pace in the race it might have turned out differently, though we're still over the moon with the way she ran."

horse racing
Third place finisher and beaten favorite Fluffy Socks returns after the race. The Chad Brown trainee improved her record to 5 wins, 9 seconds, and 4 thirds in 24 starts, earning $1,196,080 for owner-breeder Head of Plains Partners.


horse racing
Kicking off the stakes action was the $100,000 Michelob Ultra Challenger Stakes (G3) featuring a field of 6 older horses going 1 1/16 miles on the main track. Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile (G1) third place finisher Skippylongstocking but pulled up in the Pegasus World Cup (G1) last out, was sent off as the 7-10 favorite over 3-1 second choice Dynamic One, 7th in the Pegasus World Cup, and 4-1 third choice Sherlock's Jewel, making his stakes debut off two straight allowance wins.

Jockey Jesus Castanon sent 17-1 Impacto to the lead first time by through fractions of 23.80, 46.94, and 1:10.93 while pressed by Skippylongstocking and stalked by 38-1 longest shot Mbagnick. Into the lane Impacto tired as Skippylongstocking inherited a 1 1/2 length lead through 1 mile in 1:36.44. Kept to task by Tyler Gaffalione, Skippylongstocking drew off to win by 2 1/2 lengths over Sherlock's Jewel in 1:43.12. It was a neck back to Mbagnick third.

Results Chart

horse racinghorse racingLeft: Skippylongstocking heads to the winner's circle. Winning jockey Tyler Gaffalione said, "We were a little concerned he would be the only speed, but my horse was able to relax and let) Impacto go. Then he got into a great rhythm. Saffie brought him here ready to run. I'm not really sure what happened last time but he definitely rebounded today. We just didn't want to be too aggressive out of the gate the last two starts, I might have overdone it. Hopefully this gets him back to where we need to be."

Right: Skippylongstocking in the post parade. Winning trainer Saffie Joseph Jr. (by phone from Gulfstream Park) said, "It was great to get him back in the winner's circle, especially coming back from his last race (overheated and vanned off the track in the Pegasus). We had to go over him really good to make sure everything was proper and to be extra cautious. We covered every base. It was great today to see him come back and run a good race. There was a lot of pressure. This was an important race for him and an important race for us. We were concerned with the heat and high humidity at Tampa today."

horse racinghorse racingLeft: Second place finisher Sherlock's Jewel in the post parade. The Shug McGaughey trainee improved his record to 3 wins, 2 seconds, and 1 third in 10 starts, earning $164,439 for owner-breeder Wharton Connell Racing.

Right: Third place finisher Mbagnick in the post parade. The Amador Sanchez trainee improved his record to 4 wins, 0 seconds, and 2 thirds in 13 starts, earning $124,617 for owners Paola Stable and Stud Vendaval.


horse racing
The $75,000 Columbia Stakes featured a field of 9 three-year-olds going 1 mile on the turf. Jockey Tyler Gaffalione sent 30-1 Rose Collector to the lead first time by through fractions of 23.52, 46.97, and 1:10.87 while pressed by 139-1 longest shot El Principito and stalked by 4-1 third choice Full Nelson. Turning for home Rose Collector tired as Full Nelson took over and opened a 2 length lead through 7f in 1:23.09. Kept to task by Samy Camacho, Full Nelson cruised to a 1 3/4 lengthwin over late-running 7-1 Fulmineo in 1:35.42. It was a neck back to 5-2 second choice Move to Gold third, and 1 length more to 9-5 favorite In a Jam fourth.

Results Chart

horse racinghorse racingLeft: Full Nelson in the winner's circle. Winning jockey Samy Camacho said, "What makes this horse special is the trainer. (D'Angelo) has a great future and I'm grateful for this opportunity. (Full Nelson) surprised me because he was almost too relaxed, but when I asked him he gave me one great kick and drew away."

Right: Full Nelson returns after the race. Winning trainer Jose D'Angelo said, "He ran a big race. I told Samy I thought (Rose Collector) would be on the lead and to just wait and make his move when the time came. This horse was ready today, and he just keeps improving."

Photos courtesy of Amber Chalfin of Downthestretchphotos.com.

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