With few standouts to emerge on the Kentucky Derby trail, a field of nine will be headed to Saturday's $500,000 Illinois Derby (gr. II) Hawthorne Park to see if they are the next to jump up and make a splash in the 3-year-old division.
Tracy Farmer's Sun King, sent off as the 1-20 wagering favorite in the $250,000 Tampa Bay Derby (gr. III) Saturday, showed some true grit while fending off a couple of challenges from the quarter pole to mid-stretch before pulling away to a 3 1/4-length victory.
The March 19 Tampa Bay Derby (gr. III) drew a field of eight, but the race for all intents and purposes comes down to Sun King vs. Sun King. The Nick Zito-trained colt is the class of the field, and the race his to lose. Only two others in the field have even been nominated to the Triple Crown.
Local hope Lord Robyn won his third straight race since switching to the turf at Calder Race Course, romping to a front-running victory in the $100,000 Tropical Park Derby (gr. IIIT) for just-turned 3-year-olds at 1 1/8 miles.
Newly-turned 3-year-olds get their first shot at graded glory right from the get-go Jan. 1 at Calder Race Course in the $100,000 Tropical Park Derby (gr. IIIT). A full field of 12 that includes four also-eligibles passed the entry box. The ones to beat are Exceptional Ride and Crown Point.
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