As we start the countdown to the Kentucky Derby, some major upsets occurred over the weekend adding some extra flavor to the Derby field. Here's our weekend stakes update.
$400,000 Tampa Bay Derby (G2)
RENTLESS DANCER set the pace with KING GUILLERMO following close by after ducked out after the break. The pair set fractions of :23.89 and :48.16 with KING GUILLERMO pressing the pace. SOLE VOLANTE broke slowly but gained ground through the first six furlongs and into the stretch. As the field turned for home, CHANCE IT shifted out but was caught up in the pack. RELENTLESS DANCER finally gave up the lead, allowing KING GUILLERMO to pull away. SOLE VOLANTE made a run at the leader but couldn't catch him, settling for second followed by TEXAS SWING.
KING GUILLERMO, the 49-1 upset paid $100,40, $38.20 and $17.80 on a $2 wager. He earned himself 50 points to the Kentucky Derby. He is not yet Triple Crown-nominated, meaning his connections will have to pay $6,000 by March 30th if they want to be at Churchill Downs on Derby day.
San Felipe Stakes (G2)
AUTHENTIC went to the lead, set the pace, and held on tight. The colt set moderate fractions of :22.84 and :46.71 and quickened as the field made the turn. THOUSAND WORDS had been chasing in third but gave up and STORM THE COURT who was chasing in second faded as well. HONOR A.P. rallied at the top of the stretch, but AUTHENTIC kicked on for the win two and a half lengths ahead with another three and a half lengths back to STORM THE COURT in third.
$300,000 Honeybee Stakes (G3)
SHEDARESTHEDEVIL settled off the pace behind RING LEADER who set fractions of :23 3/5 and :47 4/5 . Splitting horses late and surging to the lead in the final furlong, SHEDARESTHEDEVIL took the win by three quarters of a length over ALTA'S AWARD. MOTU finished third.
A newcomer to Brad Cox's barn, the filly earned 50 points on the Oaks trail and moved up to fifth place on the leaderboard.
$147,000 Hot Springs Stakes
MR. JAGERMEISTER went to the front to set fractions of :22.25 and :45.22. WHITMORE moved to the outside and accelerated to take the win with a final time of 1:08.54. MR. JAGERMEISTER held on for second with WENDELL FONG coming in third.
$601,000 Santa Anita Handicap (G1)
COMBATANT stalked the pacesetter BROWN STORM in fourth as the leader set fractions of :23.66 and :47.87. He stayed in that position through the second turn when he made his move. Going four wide, he took the lead midstretch and continued to rally for the win over MULTIPLIER and MIDCOURT, who finished second and third respectively. At 9-1, the five-year-old ridgling joined the ranks as a Grade 1 winner for Hronis Racing and trainer John Sadler.
$100,500 Santa Ysabel Stakes (G3)
DONNA VELOCE had a rough start as she bobbled out of the gates. She settled in fourth while GIDGETTA went to the lead to set fractions of :22.79 and :46.80. SPEECH moved up to take the lead, but with DONNA VELOCE moving three wide, it was a short lead for SPEECH. DONNA VELOCE took the win by four and quarter lengths followed by SPEECH and STORIE BLUE took third. With her victory, the filly has earned 62 points towards the Oaks so far.
$300,000 Gotham Stakes (G3)
MISCHEVIOUS ALEX was the only graded stakes winner in the field of 11 at Aqueduct for the Gotham Stakes. The 8-5 favorite broke well from the 6 post and stalked the pacesetter and longshot WAR STOPPER from fourth. WAR STOPPER posted a :23.54 opening quarter. MISCHEVIOUS ALEX moved up to second and then shifted from the four path to the two-path at the mile. UNTITLED made a late bid, but MISCHEVIOUS ALEX was able to hold on and take the win. UNTITLED finished second followed by ATTACHMENT RATE in third. The Gotham awarded those in the money with Derby qualifying points on a 20-10-5 scale. MISCHEVIOUS ALEX now sits third on the Kentucky Derby leaderboard.