Tampa Bay Derby and San Felipe Stakes are today

Tampa Bay Downs

The Championship Series on the “Road to the Kentucky Derby” continues today with the Tampa Bay Derby at Tampa Bay Downs and the San Felipe Stakes at Santa Anita Park. The top 4 finishers in the Tampa Bay Derby and the San Felipe Stakes will be awarded points on a 50-20-10-5 scale.

The nine horse field for the Tampa Bay Derby is headlined by Verrazano, who was the individual favorite in the first two pools of the 2013 Kentucky Derby Future Wager after winning his first two races by a combined 24 lengths. Despite the fact that he has not earned any 2013 Kentucky Derby points yet, a victory in the Tampa Bay Derby would vault Verrazano into the Top 5 and all but guarantee him a spot in the “Run for the Roses.”

The group that will line up to face Verrazano includes Falling Sky, Dynamic Sky, Honorable Dillon and undefeated stakes winner Purple Egg.

The Tampa Bay Derby has produced two Kentucky Derby winners: Street Sense in 2007 and Super Saver in 2010.

The field of eight entered in the San Felipe, a race that has produced 11 Kentucky Derby winners, is topped by Flashback and Goldencents. Like the Tampa Bay Derby, the winner in the San Felipe would garner 50 points and all but guarantee him a spot in the 2013 Kentucky Derby.

Goldencents is co-owned by University of Louisville men’s basketball coach Rick Pitino. He has won three of his four career starts with his lone loss coming in the Champagne Stakes to eventual juvenile champion Shanghai Bobby. Goldencents is trained by 2012 Kentucky Derby winner Doug O’Neill. The last trainer to saddle back-to-back Derby winners was Bob Baffert, who won with Silver Charm in 1997 and Real Quiet in 1998.

You can see the races on HRTV and TVG with the Tampa Bay Derby scheduled as Race 10 at Tampa Bay Downs at 5:15 PM, and the San Felipe going off as Race 7 at Santa Anita at 6:35 p.m. (all times are Eastern Time Zone)

Kentucky Derby Tours participants will be watching to see who will with them at Churchill Downs on the first Saturday in May. Who will be looking for the coveted 2013 Kentucky Derby tickets?