03/10/2010 12:00AM

Super Saver heads Tampa Derby field

Barbara D. Livingston
Super Saver is one of several Derby hopefuls owned by WinStar Farm.

WinStar Farm has had considerable success over the years using the major 3-year-old races at Tampa Bay Downs as preps on the road to the Kentucky Derby. Earlier this winter, WinStar won the with Rule and on Saturday they'll return with another of their top Derby prospects, Super Saver, who will head a field of seven in the $300,000 Tampa Bay Derby.

The Grade 3 Tampa Bay Derby highlights Tampa Bay Downs's traditional Festival Day program, which this year has also lured an Eclipse Award winner, She Be Wild. The 2009 2-year-old filly champion will be heavily favored to defeat nine other 3-year-old fillies in the $175,000 Florida Oaks, a Grade 3 race which, like the main event, will be decided at 1 1/16 miles.

Super Saver drew post 6 for his first start since posting a wire-to-wire, five-length victory over William's Kitten in Churchill Downs's . Ramon Dominguez, who guided Super Saver to his maiden win last fall at Belmont Park, will be back aboard the son of Maria's Mon for trainer Todd Pletcher.

The horse to beat may be Odysseus, who will break outside the favorite from post 7. Odysseus is perfect in two starts at 3, including an easy 15-length win in an on Feb. 17.

Schoolyard Dreams and Uptowncharlybrown, second and third behind Rule in the Sam Davis, will return for the Tampa Bay Derby. They'll be joined by Tuvia's Force, Gleam of Hope, and Slammy Boy.

She Be Wild is looking to bounce back from her disappointing fifth-place finish when making her 3-year-old debut in Gulfstream Park's Grade 2 Forward Gal on Jan. 31. The well-traveled She Be Wild captured 4 of her 5 starts at 2, including the , with each of those outings coming over artificial surfaces in Illinois, Kentucky, and California.

Diva Delite is the hot horse coming into the Oaks, having won her last four starts including both the Gasparilla and earlier this winter at Tampa.

Cuff Me will ship up from Gulfstream for trainer Tony Dutrow, hoping to improve on her fourth-place finish as the even-money favorite in the Grade 3 Old Hat on Jan. 9.