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By Jarrod Horak

The Tampa Bay Derby was the latest road to Kentucky Derby 2024 points race at Tampa Bay Downs on Saturday, March 9. In this article, I will look back at that event and update my “Exceptional 11” Kentucky Derby contenders. There are no points races on the docket for March 16, and preps worth 100 points to the winner start on March 23 with the Jeff Ruby Steaks and Louisiana Derby.

In other Derby news, Locked is off the Triple Crown trail. He missed two intended starts this year and was recently diagnosed with a minor ligament injury in his left knee. No surgery will be required. A fall campaign is not out of the question if his injury heals quickly.

Tampa Bay Derby – March 9 (Tampa Bay Downs)

Fractions: 25.25, 51.14, 1:16.21, 1:39.36, 1:45.47

Top 5 Finishers: Domestic Product, No More Time, Grand Mo the First, Good Money, Heartened

This Derby points race got off to a rocky start. There was a long tote delay and it was unable to be fixed, so this race was run as a non-wagering event. The pace was slow to develop and second timer Good Money was the default leader. He was quickly joined by No More Time, and Everdoit, Grand Mo the First, and Domestic Product were also forwardly placed. There was a tight pack due to the slow fractions and it turned into a sprint for home. Four horses were close together at the wire and Domestic Product stuck his neck out to prevail. No More Time was a head better than Grand Mo the First for the runner-up spot, and Good Money was another half-length back in fourth. Todd Pletcher’s recent maiden winner Heartened rallied mildly to finish a clear 5th. Domestic Product is yet another graded stakes winner from last year’s Remsen (G2), and he was exiting a solid runner-up finish in the Holy Bull (G3). It is hard to gauge the overall strength of this race due to the race flow. Going in, I thought Domestic Product was more of a Preakness horse , and I feel the same way now. He has enough points to run in the Kentucky Derby if they decide to go in that direction. He will go next in the Blue Grass or Wood Memorial on April 6. No More Time will train up to the Kentucky Derby.

Read more at Today’s Racing Digest

Jarrod Horak

Jarrod Horak posts stakes recaps from Del Mar and Santa Anita Park, along with full card recaps and free stakes picks from Southern and/or Northern California.