Verrazano, the individual betting favorite in the last Kentucky Future Wager pool (and second choice to "The Field"), makes his stakes and two-turn debut in Saturday's $350,000 Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby at Tampa Bay Downs (Post time: 5:15 pm Eastern; TV: TVG). The Tampa Bay Derby is part of the official Road to the Kentucky Derby series and will award 50, 20, 10 and 5 points to the top four finishers.
After winning the first two races of his career by a combined 24 lengths (both at Gulfstream Park), Verrazano takes a van ride to Tampa Bay to face stakes company for the first time in his career. A son of More Than Ready out of a Giant's Causeway mare (you can read TFTribe's pedigree profile here), Verrazano will likely be the overwhelming favorite on Saturday afternoon.
Among the horses joining Verrazano in the Tampa Bay Derby are:
Purple Egg: Undefeated in three lifetime starts but yet to run longer than six furlongs. This Lion Heart gelding hasn't raced since Dec. 1.
Honorable Dillion: Won the G2-Hutcheson at seven panels back on Feb. 2 and, like Purple Egg, will run two turns for the first time. He's a son of Tapit out of the Shy tom mare, Shy Greeting (ARG). Several of his siblings raced in South America and Europe, while his two North American siblings won at two turns and/or on turf. Just by a quick glance of the pedigree, it's doesn't seem crazy to think this colt would like more ground.
Dynamic Sky: Second by a neck to Falling Sky in the G3-Sam F. Davis back on Feb. 2.
Park City: Yet another colt stretching out to two turns after a pristine start to his career in sprints. He's a half brother to Three in the Bag, a gelding that won 15 times while routing. Another half-brother, Archon, picked up a pair of two turn wins in his career.
Falling Sky: The aforementioned winner of the Sam F. Davis and a solid 3-for-4 in his brief career.
Below are the entries and post positions for the Tampa Bay Derby.
Morning line odds will be added when released.
|1||Eton Blue||J. Bravo||N. Zito||20/1|
|2||Purple Egg||E. Trujillo||J. Cibelli||10/1|
|3||Honorable Dillon||C. Lanerie||E. Kenneally||6/1|
|4||Java's War||W. Martinez||K. McPeek||12/1|
|5||Dynamic Sky||J. Rosario||M. Casse||4/1|
|6||Verrazano||J. Velazquez||T. Pletcher||4/5|
|7||Offlee Fast||J. Santana||R. Pellegrini||30/1|
|8||Park City||E. Prado||T. Pletcher||12/1|
|9||Falling Sky||J. Espinoza||J. Terranova||10/1|