03/12/2011 6:53PM

Watch Me Go takes Tampa Bay Derby; odds-on choice Brethren third

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Longshot Watch Me Go beat Crimson Knight, an even longer shot, by about a head to win the Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby, both horses checking in several lengths in front of heavily favored Brethren, who finished third.

Trained by Kathleen O’Connell for owner-breeder Gilbert Campbell, Watch Me Go never had won an open stakes race or a race around two turns, and had finished third by five lengths to Brethren last out in the Sam Davis Stakes at Tampa. Watch Me Go, tipped three wide into the stretch after stalking and pressing the pace, had just enough kick to get up over Crimson Knight, a horse claimed out of his most recent start for a mere $16,000. The winner paid $89.40, the exacta $2,194.20.

Both bombers attacked and got past Brethren in upper stretch. The 1-2 favorite after his Sam Davis win, Brethren was hustled out of the gate after breaking from post 9, eventually making the lead after pushing past Moonhanger, who delayed the start when he flipped in the gate. Brethren went the opening quarter-mile in 23.73 seconds, raced in front down the backstretch while going his opening half in 48.20, and was joined on the front end by Crimson Knight, who challenged him around the far turn. On this day, it was the favorite who gave way.