Todd Pletcher trains two of the top contenders in Saturday’s Tampa Bay Derby at Tampa Bay Downs, a $350,000 Grade 2 race for 3-year-olds.
And that’s reason to pay attention. Pletcher won the Tampa Bay Derby with Destin last year, Carpe Diem in 2015 and Verrazano in 2013.
The 1 1/16-mile Kentucky Derby prep race will be televised live on TVG. Post time is 5:27 p.m. EST. The race is worth 50 Derby points to the winner.
Pletcher’s Tapwrit is the 3-1 favorite on the morning line in the field of 10. Tapwrit was runner-up to McCraken in his most recent outing, the Grade 3 Sam F. Davis Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs, on Feb. 11.
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Pletcher will also run Sonic Mule (6-1), who has already run eight races and won four of them. His most recent effort was a third-place run in the Grade 2 Swale Stakes at Gulfstream Park on Feb. 4.
In addition to his three recent winners, Pletcher ran eventual Kentucky Derby champion Super Saver in the 2010 Tampa Bay Derby.
“The most important thing is that we’ve sent good horses,” Pletcher said in a Tampa Bay Downs news release. “We’ve always felt that timing-wise, the race is in a good place, and the distance is a good fit for some of our horses at this time of year. Plus, it puts us in good position to come back in either the (Toyota) Blue Grass (at Keeneland), or the Wood Memorial (at Aqueduct), or, like in Super Saver’s case, the Arkansas Derby on the way to the (Kentucky) Derby.”
Tampa Bay Derby field with morning-line odds
Tale of Silence
The Money Monster
State of Honor