©2016 Calvin L. Carter. All rights reserved.
The Road to the Kentucky Derby takes us to Tampa Bay Downs, Saturday, where Brody’s Cause has been tagged as the 5-2 morning line favorite in the 36th running of the $350,000 Lambholm South Tampa Bay Derby (G2). Post time for the race is 5:24 p.m. ET.
Brody’s Cause and Destin (9-2), who’s also entered in this race, are two colts I liked last fall and I wrote about them in my 2016 Kentucky Derby Outlook. Brody’s Cause was ranked first on my top ten list of Derby qualifiers while Destin was fifth on my top ten of horses yet to qualify.
With an A+ Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile®, Brody’s Cause is the best-bred colt in this herd and he comes into this race with a 2-0-1 record in four starts, including a one-length win in the Breeders’ Futurity Stakes (G1) and a third-place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Stakes (G1) at Keeneland last October. Here’s the video and chart call of that race:
BRODY'S CAUSE was unhurried early, fanned into the five path in the far turn, rallied in the stretch run and was gaining late to no avail.
Brody’s Cause is a sire-line descendant of the Northern Dancer Ancestral Herd. His sire, Giant’s Causeway, was undefeated in three starts as a 2-year-old, including wins in the Group 3 Futurity Stakes and the Group 1 Prix de la Salamandre Stakes, all at 7-furlongs.
As a three year old, Giant’s Causeway raced 10 times and won five Group One races including the Irish Champion Stakes, International Stakes, Sussex Stakes, St. James’s Palace Stakes, Eclipse Stakes and he won the Group 3 Gladness Stakes. He also finished second in four races: Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, 2,000 Guineas Stakes, Irish 2,000 Guineas and he finished second by a narrow neck to Tiznow in the 2000 Breeders’ Cup Classic.
Overall, Giant’s Causeway compiled a 9-4-0 record in 13 starts, winning from 7- to 10-furlongs, and he was the 2000 Cartier Racing Awards European Horse of the Year.
It remains to be seen if trainer Dale Romans will have Brody’s Cause primed for the win off of a four month layoff. However, he’s been training well and regular jockey Corey Lanerie returns to the irons.
I look for Brody’s Cause to run a good race.
To date, Destin has compiled a 2-1-0 record in four starts for trainer Todd Pletcher. He’s a full brother to Creative Cause who finished fifth in the 2012 Kentucky Derby (G1). That Derby was one of my best as I picked the top five finishers that year.
Destin made his debut as a three year old with a fourth-place finish in the Le Comte Stakes (G3) and followed that with a win the Sam F. Davis Stakes (G3). Here’s a look at the video and chart call his last race:
DESTIN settled nicely outside a rival, moved up three wide entering the far turn, bid between rivals at the quarter pole, responded in mid-stretch and drew clear, driving.
The time of 1:37.40 for the mile and finish time of 1:43.67 is slower than what I like to see a young colt run. However, that time makes Destin competitive with most of the horses on the trail. Mohaymen is the only colt, so far, to fair better with a 1:36.06 mile and final time of 1:42.84 in the Fountain of Youth Stakes (G2).
Destin has an A Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile® and, like Brody’s Cause, he was sired by Giant’s Causeway.
Destin ran with blinkers in his last two races and Pletcher appears to be experimenting with the young colt as the blinkers come off in this race.
Jockey Javier Castellano, who’s ridden Destin in two previous starts, picks up the mount and I look for the pair to run a good race.
Tale of S’vall (12-1) is an interesting long shot I like in this race. With an A Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile®, he’s yet to live up to his breeding and he comes into this race for trainer Barclay Tagg with a 1-0-0 record in two starts, including a fifth-place finish in the Champagne Stakes (G1). Here’s the video and chart call of the race:
TALE OF S'AVALL gained a slight advantage after the start, was pulling on the bit while being guided over to the inside, cut the pace, kept at a slight distance from off the rail, and facing pressure from two others, parked out in paths two and three respectively, came under assault from the second place finisher as three-quarters was being reached, yielded soon afterwards and steadily backed away.
Tale of S’avall is a sire-line descendant of the Northern Dancer Ancestral Herd. His sire, Tale of Ekati, was a versatile runner that won the one mile Jerome Handicap (G2) and the Cigar Mile Handicap (G1). He also won the 9-furlong Wood Memorial Stakes (G1) in route to a fourth-place finish in the 2008 Kentucky Derby.
One never knows if a young Thoroughbred, like Tale of S’avall, will live up to his breeding and there can be many factors that contribute to a horse not running to his Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile® – Effinex is a good example of that.
Tale of S’avall had been scheduled to end his season as a two year old with a run in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1). However, foot problems kept him from running in that race.
He’s been training well and he has the breeding to be competitive in the Tampa Bay Derby (G2). It remains to be seen if Tagg has Tale of S’avall ready off of the five month break.
Rafting (6-1) comes into this race for trainer Graham Motion with a 2-1-1 record in five starts including a second-place finish to Destin in the Sam F. Davis Stakes (G3). Here’s a look at the video and chart call his last race:
RAFTING was bumped at the start, settled off the rail, moved up three wide on the far turn, rallied three wide into the stretch and could not go with the winner.
Rafting has a B Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile® and he’ll need to pick up the pace in order to secure the win in this race.
Tapit, the sire of Rafting, was undefeated in two starts as a 2-year-old including a win in the Laurel Futurity (G3). As a 3-year-old, Tapit was troubled by a lung infection for much of the season but did win the nine-furlong Wood Memorial Stakes (G1) in route to a ninth-place finish in the 2004 Kentucky Derby.
Jockey Edgar Prado retains the mount on Rafting who has room to improve in his second start of the season. Another move forward could make Rafting competitive in the Tampa Bay Derby (G2).
Honorable mention goes to the Repole Stable’s Outwork (12-1) who won easily by 4¼-lengths in his last start. Here’s the video and chart of that race.
Undefeated in two starts, Outwork has yet to run in a route race and he’s stepping up in class for trainer Todd Pletcher. He’s one of several Uncle Mo colts trained by Pletcher and he has a low Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile® score. However, his Behavior Index and other Data Mining variables could, potentially, make him competitive.
Sometimes, horses with a low profile score can win races that are shorter than the classic 10 furlong distance. If Outwork can carry his speed to 8½ furlongs, he could, perhaps, be a factor in the Tampa Bay Derby (G2).
The winner of Tampa Bay Derby (G2) will receive 50 points, the second-place finisher will receive 20 points, the third-place finisher will receive 10 points and the fourth-place finisher will receive 5 points.
Halfway through the Championship series, beginning with the UAE Derby (G2) and Louisiana Derby (G2) on March 26, the points will increase to 100 points for the winner, 40 points for second place, 20 points for third and 10 points for fourth place.
Here’s a look at the current top twenty Derby qualifiers:
2016 KENTUCKY DERBY LEADERBOARD
Rank, Horse, Points, Trainer, Non-Restricted Stakes Earnings
1. Mohaymen, 70, Kiaran McLaughlin, $760,350
2. Gun Runner, 51, Steve Asmussen, $249,200
3. Shagaf, 50, Chad Brown, $240,000
4. Nyquist, 30, Doug O’Neill, $1,700,000
5. Mor Spirit, 24, Bob Baffert, $336,800
6. Sunny Ridge, 23, Jason Servis, $505,600
7. Mo Tom, 22, Tom Amoss $288,326
8. Laoban, 22, Eric Guillot, $92,000
9. Forevamo, 20, All Stall, Jr., $210,000
10. Zulu, 20, Todd Pletcher, $79,200
11. Exaggerator, 16, Keith Desormeaux, $980,000
12. Flexibility, 15, Chad Brown, $232,500
13. Brody’s Cause, 14, Dale Romans, $500,000
14. Greenpointcrusader, 14, Dominick Schettino, $369,300
15. Swipe, 12, Keith Desormeaux, $597,130
16. Fellowship, 12, Stanley Gold, $115,590
17. Adventist, 12, Leah Gyarmati, $65,000
18. Collected, 11, Bob Baffert, $105,000
19. Airoforce, 10, Mark Casse, $444,080
20. Suddenbreakingnews, 10, Donnie Von Hemel, $410,000