03/04/2015 4:04PM

Tampa Derby: Carpe Diem tries to buck trend

Nikki Sherman
Carpe Diem will try to improve upon a string of three seconds and a third from four previous WinStar Farm starters in the Tampa Bay Derby.

If history is a fair gauge, Carpe Diem will run well Saturday in the Tampa Bay Derby – but won’t win.

Carpe Diem is co-owned by WinStar Farm and Stonestreet Stable. WinStar president Elliott Walden has had four notable Tampa Bay Derby starters as a trainer or stable representative: Menifee, second in 1999; Bluegrass Cat, second in 2006; Any Given Saturday, second in 2007; and Super Saver, the eventual Kentucky Derby winner, ran third in this race in 2010.

:: TAMPA BAY DERBY: Get PPs, watch Saturday’s Tampa Bay Downs card live

“Typically, we’ve supported this race, but you don’t have to win it to be a nice horse and to go forward,” said Walden. “Don’t get me wrong – we are trying to win it, and the colt has been training extremely well. One of the main reasons we like the race is it seems like a good place to get started. It’s an interesting dynamic; the race hasn’t been overly good to us, but it has been good in the long term.”

:: ROAD TO THE KENTUCKY DERBY: Prep races, point standings, replays

Todd Pletcher, the trainer of Carpe Diem, has won the race twice from 14 starts, both times with odds-on favorites: Limehouse ($3.80) in 2004 and Verrazano ($2.80) in 2013. Pletcher also has six seconds in the race, the most recent being Vinceremos last year.

◗ Entering this week, Antonio Gallardo has ridden 89 winners at a meet that began Nov. 29. That puts Gallardo, 27, a native of Spain, on a pace to narrowly eclipse the record for the most wins at a Tampa meet, which is 144, set by Daniel Centeno in 2007-08.

◗ This week marks the reduction of the Tampa racing schedule from five days a week to four, with Thursdays now dark.

Pauly Patane More than 1 year ago
Connections heading to Keenland for Bluegrass, then Derby. Like the route, he handled the Keenland surface already as a 2 year old. Giant Causeway colt is peaking at perfect time.
rahman Williams More than 1 year ago
He didn't beat nothin
John More than 1 year ago
Best race of the day is the Chemist Derby in the 2nd at Tampa. Who has the best juice? Ness, Woodard, or Navarro?
rahman Williams More than 1 year ago
Charles Sakach More than 1 year ago
Not going anywhere in this one. Betting against for sure.
Jeris More than 1 year ago
What do you see that says such? Maybe the layoff, that's the only knock I could see. He's the most accomplished and his only bad race he hung farther back then usual and had to angle out 6 wide to get a path and it was to late to catch Texas Red who he stayed even with in terms of lengths.
mike More than 1 year ago
Interesting each year Pletcher has a ton of high tier horses and always more than one in the gate come Derby day. How many has he won? Grand total-1 Too bad he ruins many,same story.
Kendall Daniels More than 1 year ago
So which trainer is "crushing" the Derby? Grand total-None. The Derby is too unique for any trainer to "dominate" it. Since the year 2000, Pletcher has won 1 Derby, ran 2nd twice, and ran 3rd twice. In that same span, the only trainers anywhere near that record are Bob Baffert (1 win and 2nds) and surprisingly Dallas Stewart (2 2nds). Don't be deceived by bad stats friend.
Meydan Rocks More than 1 year ago
I think he is referring to mathematical ratio of "number of quality bullets fired vs results". By comparison you can say Art Sherman is "crushing it" with his low number of Derby entrants vs wins.
mike More than 1 year ago
Exactly, nice point.
Ray Sousa More than 1 year ago
could drf comment on what happened at DELTA DOWNS last night Wednesday ..in the 4th race i hit the superfecta the exacta and trifecta. After the numbers where posted DELTA DOWNS announced a tote malfunction (something i have seen before many times).the difference here was that after 20 minutes or so they announced that they were refunding and declared the race a non race..so basically they screwed up and the bettors get screwed again.nothing unusual happened during the running and ive seen tote issues get resolved and the winners paid.so im wondering what happened here
Ray Sousa More than 1 year ago
they ran the next race and the tote was fine thereafter.
Mike Gentile More than 1 year ago
Classic fixed horse racing when are you going to learn this and that's what killed this sport
Billy Spathanas More than 1 year ago
I do believe after the Tampa Bay Derby, we all will be talking about the Eddie Plesa"s trainee Souper Colossal........
tommy More than 1 year ago
Nope!!! I was talking highly of him during the breeders cup since he ran decent at a mile and had the best workouts at Santa Anita going 5 F @ 57.00 I made a huge bet on him to only find out he was not fit to run 1 1/16. Unless he gets a new trainer, he won't go the distance!
Chris Lowe More than 1 year ago
He is scratched, anyway.
Billy Spathanas More than 1 year ago
Due to a Hi Temp....... He"ll be back.........
Billy Spathanas More than 1 year ago
Tommy , your wrong. You should stay on his wagon, do not jump. Horse in the BC was hooked up in a speed duel and just did not run his race. It happens. Stay on this horse....
Mark Oleary More than 1 year ago
I agree with slewof damascus in his take on this year's Derby . Nicely done. I love Baffert's duo, and as he said Pletcher has 2 loaded barrells too. In fact Pletcher has at least a half a dozen that could make noise on the first Saturday in May, and of them, Koshan is my personal choice, as he is coming along nicely and just needs a little more seasoning and could get it if he runs in the Florida Derby, which he should win. As we all know there are so many variables that conspire to derail these horses, ie. injury, bad weather/off tracks, and of course that one that we've all seen, racing luck. It takes a slew of minor miracles to make it into the gate on Derby Day, and even more miracles to weave through 19 other horse and run a daunting mile and a quarter. Oh, and one more thing, the crowd, the crowd of 150,000 screaming people crushing in to see a glimpse of any horse in the saddling paddock, and the tunnel on the way to the track. I've been there , once, and it was so exciting, a memory I will take with me for the rest of my life!
saratogajunkie More than 1 year ago
Great point about the 150k people...was at #139 and when the horses came out....what a roar....not to mention the whole way around. Awesome!
Joe Rockhold More than 1 year ago
So you don't even know how to spell the name of your current pick for the Derby? lol It's Khozan but you are right he's very talented and also my pick at the moment.
Jeris More than 1 year ago
My only knock on him is he wasn't raced as a 2 year old and while I don't tend to follow "history" there's a lot of it that suggests he won't win the derby.
slewof damascus More than 1 year ago
Unless there are major defections, the Kentucky Derby's 2015 showcase will be as deep as it is overfilled. I could name 6 colts right now who would not be surprises, at all, another 3 or 4 who have outside shots not to mention there will be one who jumps up and joins the fray whose name is on no ones lips at the moment. This is a deep class of 3yos. Obviously, the return to dirt at Santa Anita and Keenland have been good for the Classics. The top 6 right now include Baffert's top 2, Texas Red, Pletcher's top 2, and Upstart. Just below that are Itsaknockout, Firing Line (who has the highest Tomilson Figure for the Derby distance), Koshan, and Ocean Knight. This is going to be a Derby to remember, I dare say.
tommy More than 1 year ago
Let's hope the payouts are huge!!! Last kentucky derby was a huge rip off!
tommy More than 1 year ago
One of my favorite derby horses