The Tampa Bay Derby is an American Gr 3 race for three-year-old
thoroughbreds run in the middle of March each over 1 1/6 miles at
Tampa Bay Downs in Tampa, Florida. Contested over dirt, the race
offers a generous $300,000 purse and is an official prep race for
the coveted Kentucky Derby in May.
Inaugurated in 1981, the Tampa Bay Derby has yielded many impressive
winners, the most notable of which is 2007 winner Street Sense, who
went on to win the 2007 Kentucky Derby. In fact, Street Sense
entered the record books as the first-ever Tampa Bay Derby contender
to win the Kentucky Derby.
As an important prep race for the Kentucky Derby, the Tampa Bay
Derby has increased in popularity over the last few years and, as
such, has attracted many of America's top trainers including Barclay
Tagg, Tom Albertrani, Nick Zito, Todd Pletcher, Christophe Clement,
John C. Kimmel, Bill Mott and Woody Stephens.
The same can be said for jockeys, with top-class riders such as
Calvin Borel, Edgar Prado, Pat Day, Ramon Dominguez, Richard
Migliore, Jerry D. Bailey and many more proving victorious in the
race. Interestingly, the Florida Oaks and the Tampa Bay Derby have
been raced on the same day since 1995.
With a time 1:43.11, 2007 winner Steet Sense holds the record for
the fastest time, which was also a new 1 1/16 mile stakes and track
record. Trainer Richard Migliore has won the race a record two times
- in 2000 and 2001.