Pletcher Seeks Fourth Straight Win in Tampa Bay Derby

A field of nine line up in Saturday’s $400,000 Tampa Bay Derby (G2) at Tampa Bay Downs (Photo credit:

Trainer Todd Pletcher has dominated the $400,000 Tampa Bay Derby (G2) at Tampa Bay Downs in recent years and seeks to win the race for the fourth time in a row when he saddles Vino Rosso on Saturday.

A field of 11 was entered in the marquee event of the Tampa Bay Downs meeting and the race is a Road to the Kentucky Derby points race. A field of nine will go to the post with Free Drop Billy and Enticed scratching and heading to New York for this afternoon’s Gotham (G3) at Aqueduct.

Also on tap today is the $400,000 San Felipe (G2) at Santa Anita. Bolt d’Oro, who is the 9-2 betting favorite in Kentucky Derby wagering at USRacing is the headliner.

Pletcher has won four of the last editions of the Tampa Bay Derby and has a good shot at another one with Vino Rosso (4-1), who was third in the Sam F. Davis (G3) in his last start. Pletcher last two winners of this race, Destin in 2016 and Tapwrit last year competed in the Davis.

Flameaway, the Davis winner is the 3-1 morning line favorite. The Mark Casse trainee took the field gate to wire to score the upset at 10-1.

Graham Motion sends out Untamed Domain (6-1), who ran second in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) last fall and makes his debut on dirt.

There is plenty of speed signed up led by World of Trouble (5-1) who took the field gate to wire to win the seven-furlong Pasco by 13 ¾ lengths.

I will have selections and analysis for all of the major stakes in Saturday’s Best Plays Report.

For the latest Kentucky Derby future odds go to US Racing.

Let’s head out to Tampa for Saturday’s featured race of the day:

Tampa Bay Derby Race 11 The Tampa Bay Derby (G2) Post time 5:20 ET

9 Untamed Domain   6-1

3 Vino Rosso   4-1

8 World of Trouble   5-1

5 Flameaway   3-1

Untamed Domain makes his first start on dirt here for the Graham Motion barn. The colt won the Summer (G2) at Woodbine and rallied for the runner up spot in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1). His three-year-old debut came in the Dania Beach (G3) over good ground where he finished evenly in a third-place finish. He should take to dirt, by Animal Kingdom, who Motion saddled to win the Kentucky Derby and is out of the turf stakes winner Ciao ($292,718) who has dropped three other winners, two that have won on turf and one over the fake stuff. The barn is 22% winners moving runners from turf to dirt. The colt has a couple of works over the main track here and he should get a good trip sitting behind what should be a brisk pace.

Vino Rosso adds blinkers after making a mild late bid to finish third in the Sam F. Davis (G3) last out in his stakes debut. The Pletcher trainee won his first two career start and looks as if he still has plenty of upside. He was a $410,000 Keeneland purchase, by Curlin out of a Street Cry mare, her first foal to race. Pletcher has won this race the past three years and four of the last five editions. Johnny V. is in to ride. Pletcher is 29% winners when adding the hood for the first time.

World of Trouble ran huge winning the Pasco at seven furlongs in gate to wire fashion, drawing off to win by 13 ¾ lengths and earning the top last out speed fig. He was returning off a 4 ½ month break for the Servis barn. He broke his maiden by 14 lengths in his debut and then was second in the Florida Sire Affirmed. The winner of that race was Soutache, who came back to win another Florida Sire Series race on Sept. 30. The Servis trainee is a half to stakes winner Money Or Love ($191,030) who did her best work sprinting. The barn is 39% winners (with a +ROI) moving runners from sprint to route. He picks up Irad Ortiz Jr., his fourth jock in as many starts. The colt figures to be the pacesetter and he could be a danger if let loose early but there are a couple of runners in here that look capable of keeping things honest up front early.


WIN: #9 to win at 7-2 or better.

EXACTA: 3,9 / 3,5,8,9

TRIFECTA: 3,9 / 3,5,8,9 / 2,3,5,8,9


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