The Lambholm South Tampa Bay Derby has in recent years become a very important Kentucky Derby prep race, serving as a springboard to victory on the first Saturday in May for Street Sense, who won the 2007 Tampa Bay Derby, and Super Saver, who was third in this prep in 2010. The race has also produced Tapwrit, who prevailed in the 2017 Belmont Stakes.
This year’s field has plenty of depth with 11 starters. As for quality, we’ll find out down the road.
Grade 2 Lambholm South Tampa Bay Derby
Racetrack: Tampa Bay Downs in Oldsmar, Fla.
Date: March 9
Distance: 1 1/16 miles
Post Time: 5:25 p.m. ET
Notable winners: Belmont Stakes winner Tapwrit (2017), Belmont Stakes runner-up Destin (2016), Kentucky Derby winner Street Sense (2007)
First held: 1981
Kentucky Derby points: 50-20-10-5 to top four finishers, respectively
1. Admire (12-1): Didn’t fire in the Withers, in which he finished fifth. Some nice workouts leading up to this race bode well for an improved effort, but there are others with better chances.
JOCKEY: Robby Albarado; TRAINER: Dale Romans
2. Sir Winston (12-1): He was fourth in the Withers, but was never really a threat. Considering his best races were on synthetic tracks, he’s probably better suited for the Jeff Ruby Steaks than here.
JOCKEY: Julien Leparoux; TRAINER: Mark Casse
3. Lord Dragon (30-1): He worked hard to break his maiden in his sixth start, winning by a head. This seems like a rather ambitious jump off that effort, wouldn’t you say?
JOCKEY: Jose Bracho; TRAINER: Jordan Blair
4. Dream Maker (4-1): Looked great in his 3-year-old debut at Fair Grounds, romping by 8 ½ lengths in an allowance race. He appears to be getting better at the right time and finds a spot where he fits in very nicely.
JOCKEY: Florent Geroux; TRAINER: Mark Casse
5. Well Defined (7-2): Has homecourt advantage after winning the Sam F. Davis Stakes on this track. Led from start to finish that day and figures to receive more pressure on the front end, yet that stellar win on this track is hard to look past.
JOCKEY: Pablo Morales; TRAINER: Kathleen O’Connell
6. Outshine (8-1): Of Saturday’s three Derby preps, he’s the only starter trained by Todd Pletcher. With that in mind, he can’t be ignored off a nice allowance win at Gulfstream Park in his first start in eight months.
JOCKEY: Joel Rosario; TRAINER: Todd Pletcher
7. Win Win Win (5-2): Lived up to his name with an impressive victory here in the Pasco Stakes at seven furlongs as he breezed to a 7 1/4-length score in blazing fast time. His running style indicates he should handle two turns, but wagering on the favorite while he’s doing something new is definitely risky business. Having Irad Ortiz Jr. in the saddle, however, is a huge plus.
JOCKEY: Irad Ortiz Jr.; TRAINER: Michael Trombetta
8. The Right Path (15-1): Was moved up to second after a rough trip last time in his 3-year-old debut at Gulfstream Park. He’s also tackling two turns for the first time and he’s slower than Win Win Win, but at least the morning-line odds are intriguing.
JOCKEY: Joe Bravo; TRAINER: Jorge Duarte Jr.
9. Dunph (20-1): He was taken up and lost all chance in the Grade 2 Risen Star Stakes presented by Lamarque Ford at Fair Grounds. Beyond that, his three races on a fast track are encouraging and he seems capable of finding a place in the superfecta with a good trip, but carrying 123 pounds does not help his cause.
JOCKEY: Daniel Centeno; TRAINER: Mike Maker
10. Tacticus (12-1): Things didn’t work out so well last week for Bill Mott and Juddmonte Farms with a horse who jumped from a debut win to a Grade 2 stakes. Here they are trying it with a horse who broke his maiden in his second try. This one is not as good as Hidden Scroll, but this field is not as salty as the Fountain of Youth. Jose Ortiz sticks with him and at these odds, the Tapit colt is worth a look.
JOCKEY: Jose Ortiz; TRAINER: Bill Mott
11. Zenden (8-1): He’s done very little wrong in his career and was a game second in the seven-furlong Swale Stakes last time. Not only is he trying two turns for the first time but he drew a brutal post, from which he will have to motor leaving the starting gate or risk getting carried wide on the first turn. Can see this one having the talent to win a graded stakes, but not here.
JOCKEY: Samy Camacho; TRAINER: Victor Barboza Jr.
THE PICK: Dream Maker
LIVE LONGSHOT: Outshine