Political Attack May Start Next in Tampa Bay Derby

Brereton C. Jones' Political Attack will continue running on the main track for now, with the March 17 Tampa Bay Derby (gr. III) a likely next start for the son of Hawk Attack.

Political Attack earned his first career win on turf and then took an allowance race and the $100,000 Mecke Stakes on the same surface before switching to the main track when the Tropical Park Derby (gr. III) was forced off the turf. The John Hennig trainee won that 1 1/8-mile race on Jan. 1 before his fourth-place finish in the Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. I).

"There is so much opportunity for a 3-year-old on the dirt at this time of year," said Hennig of his decision to keep Political Attack on dirt for the time being.

One of those opportunities is the $1 million Florida Derby (gr. I) at Gulfstream Park on March 16, but Hennig said the 1 1/16-mile Tampa Bay Derby is a more likely option.

"We haven't ruled it (the Florida Derby) out completely," said Hennig. "However, right now we're leaning toward the Tampa Bay Derby."

Following his next race, Hennig said the Coolmore Lexington Stakes or the inaugural running of the 1 1/16-mile Aventura are under consideration for the colt's follow-up start.

Others possible for the $200,000 Tampa Bay Derby include Sam F. Davis Stakes winner Bunk N Ted and Hutcheson Stakes (gr. II) winner Showmeitall, who finished second as the favorite in the Inaugural Stakes on opening day of the current Tampa Bay Downs meet. Nominations for the race close Saturday.