Tuesday, June 19, 2018
Sports

Vinceremos aims for Tampa Bay Derby title, trip to Kentucky

OLDSMAR — He won the Sam F. Davis Stakes by a nose. One heady performance today could put him in the Kentucky Derby.

Vinceremos, the Kentucky-bred colt named after a Florida therapeutic riding center, is the main attraction in the Grade II $350,000 Tampa Bay Derby (Race 11, 5:25 p.m.), the marquee event on Festival Day at Tampa Bay Downs.

The 12-race card includes the Grade III $150,000 Hills­borough Stakes (Race 9, 4:25) and Grade III $200,000 Florida Oaks (Race 10, 4:55). First post is 12:25.

Never before has the Tampa Bay Derby, now in its 34th year, been so spicy. It is the Downs' only Kentucky Derby points qualifying race with the winner virtually ensured a stall in the Run for the Roses on May 3 at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky. Fifty points go to the winner with the next three finishers awarded points on a 20-10-5 scale.

The Tampa Bay Derby received a boost when Downs vice president and general manager Peter Berube announced the 1�-mile event was being linked for the first time to a double-bonus payout if a 3-year-old could win the Sam F. Davis, Tampa Bay Derby and Kentucky Derby.

Vinceremos' owners — WinStar Farm and Twin Creeks Racing Stables, both from Versailles, Ky. — remain alive for the $1 million prize. And track patron Ben Wheelock of Hudson, whose name was randomly drawn after the Sam F. Davis, is eligible for $100,000.

Vinceremos, the son of 2009 Kentucky Derby runnerup Pioneerof the Nile and out of the More Than Ready mare Kettle's Sister, faces a stern test for six-time Eclipse Award winning trainer Todd Pletcher. The lightly raced sophomore faces nine rivals, and he has been a work in progress thus far. Hall of Fame jockey Edgar Prado, who gave Vinceremos a perfect rail trip in the Sam F. Davis, has the return call from Post 6.

"(Vinceremos) has really been very green in all three of his starts," said Elliott Walden, WinStar Farm's president, CEO and racing manager. "What I like about him is that he gets headed and he competes. In some ways, I wish that he would go ahead and leave his competition because he looks like he has more ability than (other horses)."

In his past two starts, the Sam F. Davis on Feb. 1 and a maiden special weight race Jan. 4 at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Vinceremos had 1½-length leads in the stretch. He won by only a nose and a head, respectively.

"He looked like he was well on his way to victory … and greenly quits running and likes to get into that head-to-head battle," Walden said.

"You just wonder if some horse is going to come get him where he doesn't see him. So I would hope on each race he builds upon his own experience and improves that running style."

Vinceremos was a $340,000 purchase in April at the Keeneland 2-year-old sale in Lexington, Ky. He spent the summer at WinStar Farm.

"He's really done very well," Walden said. "He came up with a little setback that we had to deal with then got him started (running) and down to Todd (in Florida)."

Since the Sam F. Davis, Vinceremos has worked out three times at Palm Meadows Training Center in Boynton Beach.

His name is derived from Vinceremos Therapeutic Riding Center in Loxahatchee, 30 miles west of West Palm Beach.

"Vinceremos is Latin for 'to overcome or to conquer,' " Walden said. "I like both connotations of that."

Comments
Norris Trophy could be good consolation for Lightning’s Victor Hedman

Norris Trophy could be good consolation for Lightning’s Victor Hedman

Victor Hedman is talking from a hotel room in Las Vegas and admits he's a little jet-lagged."Actually, very jet-lagged," Hedman says.That's what happens when you take a flight from Sweden to the party capital of the world.But he knows exactly what he...
Updated: 8 minutes ago
For starters: Rays at Astros, with Kiermaier back and an ace-high matchup

For starters: Rays at Astros, with Kiermaier back and an ace-high matchup

UPDATE, 4:49: Kiermaier is batting leadoff and playing center as expected, while Willy Adames is on the bench so Adeiny Hechavarria can play short in potentially a showcase for teams the Rays may hope to interest in a trade.Here is the Rays lineup:Ki...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Big Ten reaps recruiting bounty in Tampa Bay

Big Ten reaps recruiting bounty in Tampa Bay

Largo High defensive back Solomon Brown had plenty of college options with offers from 20 Division I-A schools. Still, the three-star recruit did not need to go through a prolonged process to figure out where he wanted to go.Two weeks ago, Brown comm...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Zero Bucs players on NFL top 100 list for 2018

Zero Bucs players on NFL top 100 list for 2018

Just to preface this, the NFL Network's annual countdown of the league's top 100 players is a made-for-TV deal, good for summer offseason conversation but not carrying any huge amount of real significance.Having said that, it's worth noting that for ...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Skyway 10K returning in March 2019, renewed for 5 more years

Skyway 10K returning in March 2019, renewed for 5 more years

ST. PETERSBURG — After raising $560,000 for its inaugural run on March 4, St Petersburg’s Skyway 10K will be returning in 2019 and will have the support of governmental agencies for years to come, run organizers said Tuesday.The run, which had around...
Updated: 5 hours ago
So, how exactly did the Rays end up losing Monday?

So, how exactly did the Rays end up losing Monday?

The Rays lost Monday's game when Sergio Romo failed them in the ninth inning.Called on to protect what was whittled to a one-run lead from 4-0, Romo got off to a bad start, walking the first batter on four pitches and then allowing a single to the se...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Mike Hoffman traded twice in wake of harassment, cyberbullying claims

Mike Hoffman traded twice in wake of harassment, cyberbullying claims

The Ottawa Senators traded winger Mike Hoffman on Tuesday, hoping to solve an ugly off-ice issue involving star defenseman Erik Karlsson and his wife. The Senators sent Hoffman to the San Jose Sharks, who then dealt him to the Florida Panthers. All t...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Salary-cap increase makes for ‘more fun’ NHL offseason

Salary-cap increase makes for ‘more fun’ NHL offseason

Thanks, Vegas. That’s what NHL general managers are saying this offseason after the Stanley Cup Final run of the expansion Golden Knights contributed to what’s expected to be a healthy increase for the salary cap. With elite center John Tavares, No. ...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Tampa Bay Times’ all-Tampa Bay boys soccer players of the year

Tampa Bay Times’ all-Tampa Bay boys soccer players of the year

Hillsborough player of the year: F Eric Ugarte, Sr., Plant CityThe numbers: Ugarte scored 21 goals and added 11 assists to lead the Raiders to their first state title in soccer. He scored 71 goals in his career.Something about Eric: The skilled ...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Rays continue to struggle in close games

Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Rays continue to struggle in close games

The Rays blow a four-run lead in Houston and lose on a walkoff hit to the Astros in the opener of their three-game series. It's the 19th one-run loss for the Rays this season as they continue to struggle in close games. Fortunately, reinforcements ar...
Updated: 8 hours ago