03/07/2012 5:57PM

Tampa: Prospective draws rail in 12-horse field for Tampa Bay Derby

Michael Burns
Prospective, winning the Grade 3 Grey for 2-year-olds, got a much better draw for the Tampa Bay Derby than he did when stuck far outside in his first two starts of the season.

More than anybody, trainer Mark Casse was anxiously awaiting Wednesday’s post position draw for Saturday’s Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby. After all, his Prospective had been parked out wide in each of his previous two starts this winter at Tampa, including the Grade 3 Sam Davis, in which he finished second after racing very wide throughout.

When informed Prospective had drawn the rail in a full field of a dozen 3-year-olds entered for the 1 1/16-mile Tampa Bay Derby, all Casse could do was let out a little laugh.

“Well it’s a whole lot better than 12,” said Casse, who trains Prospective for owner John Oxley. “Actually I don’t really mind the one. There’s something about this horse, he’s been able to overcome so much adversity. I’m just worried he won’t know what it is to have a short trip. But we think he’s doing extremely well and although it looks like this is going to be a tougher race than the last one, I think any horse that has run over the track has a little advantage.”

The Tampa Bay Derby lured three of the first four finishers from the Sam Davis – Battle Hardened, Prospective, and Ravelo’s Boy. Among the new faces are trainer Todd Pletcher’s undefeated Spring Hill Farm, who will break from post 9, and Take Charge Indy, runner-up to El Padrino in an allowance race at Gulfstream Park earlier this winter, who drew post 10.

The remainder of the field includes Golden Ticket, Twin, Chief Energy, Tell All You Know, Cozzetti, Fox Rules, and Cajun Charlie.

Battle Hardened, well-drawn in the middle of the field from post 7, won his maiden in the Sam Davis, rallying from just off the pace to a 1 1/4-length decision over Prospective. Reveron finished third, a nose back, and was followed by Ravelo's Boy, another nose back in fourth after rallying four wide into the stretch. Fox Rules finished sixth in the Sam Davis after contesting the early pace.

Spring Hill Farm may prove the one to catch in the Tampa Bay Derby. A son of Smart Strike, Spring Hill Farm has led at every call in both previous starts, a seven- furlong maiden victory on Jan. 14 and a one-mile allowance win over a sloppy track on Feb. 11. Both his wins came at Gulfstream.


Tampa Bay Derby (G2), Post Time: 5:28 ET Saturday

Purse: $350,000; 1 1/16 mile





ML Odds



M. Casse

L. Contreras



Golden Ticket

K. McPeek

M. Cruz




P. Maestre

D. Centeno



Chief Energy

J. Toner

P. Lopez



Tell All You Know

C. Stewart

L. Goncalves




D. Romans

J. Lezcano



Battle Hardened

E. Kenneally

J. Leparoux



Ravelo's Boy

M. Azpurua

J. Sanchez



Spring Hill Farm

T. Pletcher

J. Castellano



Take Charge Indy

P. Byrne

C. Borel



Fox Rules

M. Ferraro

H. Villa-Gomez



Cajun Charlie

B. House

T. Hebert



Rob Beaudoin More than 1 year ago
I too think take charge Indy will run big in here.
Chris Jones More than 1 year ago
Cajun Charlie will duel with Spring Hill Farm & set this race up for Take Charge Indy
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
That is just how I picture this DERBY to unfold . A very hot pace in fact !
Rick Marciniak More than 1 year ago
Ugh... As long as the race doesn't unfold like it did last year with 2 bombers fighting for the win then I'll be content.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wowwww , could you believe your eyes what unfolded in last years race , omg , i had to go back and watch the replay 10 times to believe my eyes , that was just crazy , and just one of those days ................... last years derby though , i did mention that really no - one has really been showing lights out as far as work-outs , no really good gallop outs , so really - shame on me for not taking listening to myself and take that chance with longshots .............. this year , does not look to be too far fetched ! Good Luck with your picks and enjoy the Derby
YO*ELB More than 1 year ago
You'd better watch-out for Cozetti, he's been training like gangbusters.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
workouts are surprising in deed , but if you notice , his gallop outs are not as eye catching , so how much will be left in his tank when TAKE CHARGE INDY starts to kick it in full stride
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am some-what excited about seeing how this race unfolds . I get the feeling that TAKE CHARGE INDY just may be the hard charging colt thru - out the last 100 yards to the finish line . One thing is certain : IF my thoughts are correct , TAKE CHARGE INDY should be full of head of steam turning for home . . . I WILL PUT MY MONEY WHERE MY MOUTH IS 200.00 W I N 400.00 P L A C E 600.00 S H O W ! TAKE CHARGE INDY in my opinion should be getting more deserving Head-lines leading up to this TAMPA BAY DERBY than what shows . LOOKS VERY FIT During Morning Works and Has Gallop out strongly in each ! PROSPECTIVE is looking bright as well . But Not On My Derby List