Tampa Bay Derby

Green Gets to the Derby His Way

One after another, the lights were turning red on the young Leonard Green. He had a bad stutter that made him an introvert in mixed company. Dyslexic, too. Couldn't keep numbers in his head: hardly, as such, an accountant in the making. Sure enough, he'd now been fired from a fourth job in a row. "I didn't even know what an entrepreneur was," Green recalls now. "But it turned out to be somebody who thought outside the box, and took calculated risks, and spotted opportunities. And--boom! I suddenly realized that...

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Hidden Stash Works for Derby

BBN Racing's Hidden Stash (Constitution) began preparations for a likely start in the GI Kentucky Derby by working a bullet half-mile in :47.80 Wednesday morning at Keeneland shortly after the track opened for training at 5:30 a.m. The work was the fastest of 23 at the distance for the morning. A well-beaten fourth in Keeneland's GII Toyota Blue Grass S., the GII Lambholm South Tampa Bay Derby runner-up currently ranks 21st on the Road to the Kentucky Derby leaderboard. A few horses ahead of Hidden Stash are considered not likely to...

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Tampa Announcer Richard Grunder to Retire

Richard Grunder, the track announcer at Tampa Bay Downs for the past 37 years, is hanging up his binoculars after the May 2 card. Citing health concerns, the 68-year-old has chosen to retire after a lifetime spent in the sport. He is believed to have called in the vicinity of 37,000 races at Tampa Bay Downs and is currently the longest-tenured announcer at any racetrack in the country. "My goal a few years back was to try to go until I was 70, but I've got a medical situation I...

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The Parting Gift of Don Bernardo

So just what are those Derby gods up to now? What seeds of comfort, of commemoration, did they sow in the grief of last summer? Bernardo Alvarez Calderon was not just patriarch of a large and loving family, but something of a godfather for the entire Thoroughbred racing and breeding community of Peru. Its esteem was palpable after his loss last August, aged 78, following a fall. The president of the national breeders' association described him as "a horseman par excellence, whose contribution to our breed will last forever; an...

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Connections Confirm Helium To Go Straight to Derby

Helium (Ironicus), an impressive winner of the Tampa Bay Derby Saturday, will not have another Kentucky Derby prep and will go straight to the race in Louisville the first Saturday in May, according to Jon Green, the general manager of DJ Stables, the owner of the colt. Green announced the news on the TDN Writers' Room podcast Wednesday. "I'm pleased to make the formal announcement on our podcast that I sat down with the owners, my parents and Mark Casse, who between them have a collective 80 years of experience...

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The TDN Derby Top 12 for March 9

This week's edition represents the most movement within the Top 12 all season. But brace yourself: the nine-furlong preps are next, and so are the juicier qualifying points opportunities. The GI Kentucky Derby forecast is for continued--but intriguing--volatility. 1) GREATEST HONOUR (c, Tapit--Tiffany's Honour, by Street Cry {Ire}) O/B-Courtlandt Farms (KY). T-Claude R. McGaughey III. Lifetime Record: MGSW, 6-3-1-2, $351,940. Last Start: 1st GII Fasig-Tipton Fountain of Youth S., GP, Feb. 27 Accomplishments: 1st GIII Holy Bull S. Next Start: GI Curlin Florida Derby, GP, Mar. 27 Equineline PPs. KY...

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Helium Returns Big 'Balloons' In Tampa Bay Derby Upset

D J Stable LLC's Helium (Ironicus) overcame an impossibly wide trip and gamely fended off a late charge from the well-backed Hidden Stash (Constitution) to upset Saturday's GII Lambholm South Tampa Bay Derby by three-quarters of a length while making his dirt and two-turn debuts. Perfect in two starts going seven furlongs over the Woodbine synthetic last year, including a 4 1/4-length success in the Display S. when last seen Oct. 18, the $55,000 Fasig-Tipton October yearling graduate's worktab included a bullet five furlongs in 1:00 2/5 (1/8) at Palm...

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Candy Man Rocket to Beat in Tampa Bay Derby

After recording a stalk-and-pounce victory in the GIII Sam F. Davis S. Feb. 6, Candy Man Rocket (Candy Ride {Arg}) will have 11 rivals standing in his way to double up in Saturday's GII Lambholm South Tampa Bay Derby. The Tampa Bay Derby carries 50-20-10-5 qualifying points on the road to the GI Kentucky Derby. The Frank Fletcher colorbearer previously romped by 9 1/4 lengths at second asking going six furlongs at Gulfstream Park Jan. 9. He received 85 Beyer Speed Figures in both efforts. The Sam Davis was Candy...

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Candy Ride Colt Tops Mott One-Two in Sam Davis

Candy Man Rocket (Candy Ride {Arg}), a blowout maiden winner at second asking at Gulfstream Jan. 9, led home a one-two finish for the Hall of Fame Bill Mott barn with a press-and-pounce, one-length score while making his two-turn debut in Saturday's GIII Sam F. Davis S. at Tampa Bay Downs. Pasco S. winner Nova Rags (Union Rags) followed home his stablemate and just edged out the somewhat green Hidden Stash (Constitution) for second. The Sam F. Davis carries 10-4-2-1 qualifying points on the Road to the GI Kentucky Derby....

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From the TDN Look: Keeping the Faith, Victor Martinez Believes in King Guillermo

Five-time MLB All-Star Victor Martinez is following a dream with King Guillermo-- already a graded stakes winner who, after a seven-month layoff, is set to return to Grade I company.  King Guillermo (Uncle Mo) will be in a tough spot when he starts in the GI Cigar Mile H.at Aqueduct. The 3-year-old colt hasn't raced since May 2 and has never faced older horses. That's fine by his owner, retired MLB All-Star Victor Martinez. "I'm not a big believer in favorites," he said. [tdn_vimeo_embed title="Victor Martinez Talks on King Guillermo"...

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King Guillermo Fires Bullet Ahead of Kentucky Derby

Victoria Ranch's King Guillermo (Uncle Mo) tuned up for the $3-million GI Kentucky Derby with a five-furlong drill that was clocked in :58.20 (see below), the quickest of 40 works at the distance. It was the second consecutive Churchill bullet for the strapping bay, who went the same distance in :59.40 (1/46) Aug. 15. With Miguel Mena in the irons, the GII Tampa Bay Derby upsetter broke off in :11.40 for the opening eighth of a mile, then was timed in subsequent splits of :23 (flat) (:11.60 interval), :34.80 (:11.80)...

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In Old-School Move, Biancone Using Gulfstream Allowance as Belmont Stakes Prep

While it seems that some trainers cannot have enough time off between races, Patrick Biancone will go against conventional wisdom Wednesday at Gulfstream. He has entered Sole Volante (Karakontie {Jpn}) in a $55,000 allowance race he will use as a prep for the GI Belmont S. run just 10 days later. "What, you never heard of Woody Stephens?" Biancone joked. Stephens was never shy about running horses back on short rest and in 1982 won the GI Metropolitan H. with Conquistador Cielo on a Monday and then the Belmont five...

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