Pletcher Has Solid Duo In Quest For Sixth Tampa Bay Derby Triumph – Horse Racing News

Tapit 3-year-old Tapit Trice scores by eight lengths in a Gulfstream allowance-optional claiming race

Hall of Fame trainer Todd Pletcher is set to seek his sixth victory in the Grade 3, $400,000 Lambholm South Tampa Bay Derby on Saturday in the 43rd edition of the 3-year-old showcase at Tampa Bay Downs in Oldsmar, Fla.

Pletcher, who last won the race in 2017 with Tapwrit, has entered two horses in the 1 1/16-mile Road to the Kentucky Derby prep race: Tapit Trice, a gray colt owned by Whisper Hill Farm, and Gainesway Stable, and Shesterkin, a dark bay owned by Robert V. LaPenta.

Tapit Trice and Shesterkin are part of a 12-horse field for the Tampa Bay Derby, which is the 11th race on a 12-race card. The Lambholm South Tampa Bay Derby should go off around 5:15 p.m. ET. Post time for Saturday’s first race is 11:55 a.m.

The Lambholm South Tampa Bay Derby is one of five stakes worth a combined $1-million in purse money Saturday. Also on tap are the 25th running of the G2, $225,000 Hillsborough Stakes, for fillies and mares 4-years-old-and-upward at 1 1/8 miles on the turf course; the 40th edition of the G3, $200,000 Florida Oaks, for 3-year-old fillies going 1 1/16 miles on the turf; the 32nd running of the G3, $100,000 Michelob Ultra Challenger Stakes, for horses 4-and-upward at 1 1/16 miles on the main track; and the 17th running of the $75,000 Columbia Stakes, for 3-year-olds racing a mile on the turf.

The five stakes races comprise an additional 50-cent Pick 5 wagering opportunity on the seventh through 11th races..

The Lambholm South Tampa Bay Derby awards 50 Kentucky Derby qualifying points to the winner and 20, 15, 10 and 5 to the next four finishers.

Tapit Trice, who drew the No. 6 post position for the Lambholm South Tampa Bay Derby, and Shesterkin, who drew the No. 9 post, finished 1-2 in an allowance/optional claiming race on Feb. 4 at Gulfstream Park, with Tapit Trice drawing off for an eight-length victory from his stablemate. Both horses worked out Saturday at Pletcher’s Palm Beach Downs base in Delray Beach, with Tapit Trice breezing 4 furlongs in 49.34 seconds and Shesterkin being timed in a more leisurely 51.68.

Luis Saez again will ride Tapit Trice, while Edgard Zayas has been named on Shesterkin.

Here is the field for the Lambholm South Tampa Bay Derby in post position order, with horse, trainer and jockey listed:

1. Lord Miles, Saffie A. Joseph, Jr., Paco Lopez

2. Classic Car Wash, Mark Casse, Emisael Jaramillo

3. Classic Legacy, Bill Mott, Irad Ortiz, Jr.

4. Groveland, Eoin Harty, Daniel Centeno

5. Mikey Bananas, Tim Hamm, Pablo Morales

6. Tapit Trice, Todd Pletcher, Luis Saez

7. Freedom Road, Gregg Sacco, Hector Rafael Diaz, Jr.

8. Dreaming of Kona, Aldana Spieth, Scott Spieth

9. Shesterkin, Todd Pletcher, Edgard Zayas

10. Champions Dream, Mark Casse, Antonio Gallardo

11. Zydeceaux, Ramon Minguet, Samuel Marin

12. Prairie Hawk, Saffie A. Joseph, Jr., Samy Camacho

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