Kentucky Derby 2020 Radar: Tampa Bay's 2-year-old to watch

November 30, 2019 10:45am

We’re used to waiting until after the new year for Kentucky Derby prospects to reveal themselves at Tampa Bay Downs, usually for big barns like that of Todd Pletcher.

However, veteran conditioner Gerald Bennett, who has won five Tampa Bay Downs training titles, noted a race missing on his resume Friday after No Getting Over Me rolled to a 9 3/4-length debut win in Oldsmar, Fla.

“I was a little worried about him going that long his first time out, but I wanted to get him running because I haven’t won a Tampa Bay Derby yet,” Bennett told Tampa Bay Downs’ publicity staff.

This son of He’s Had Enough has the March 7 meet feature as a goal after ranging up through the turn of a 1-mile, 40-yard maiden special weight event and galloping across the wire much the best under jockey Samy Camacho.

Florida-bred No Getting Over Me fetched just $17,000 at auction as a 2-year-old in training but should now get every chance to qualify for the 2020 Kentucky Derby. A win in the Tampa Bay Derby, which awards 50 points to its winner, would do it.

“This is a nice horse, a real nice horse,” said Bennett, who also owns the colt under his Winning Stables banner. “I’m really glad how he handled himself today. And he was so relaxed walking back. Sometimes after they run, they can get really worked up.”

RELATED: Meet others on the Kentucky Derby Radar

There will be a number of allowance options in the condition book before Tampa Bay Downs also hosts the 1 1/16-mile Sam F. Davis (G3) on Feb. 8. It awards 10 Derby qualifying points to the winner.

The Tampa Bay Derby, also at 1 1/16 miles, also leaves enough time on the calendar for a final prep should connections choose that route to Churchill Downs.

No Getting Over Me, a gelding, donned blinkers but ran plenty professionally at first asking. He sat patently behind as 8-5 favorite Arctic Rose set the pace, opening up in 46.62 seconds for the half mile.

Arctic Rose didn’t fade so much as No Getting Over Me shot by to his outside much the best. The effort had Camacho looking under his shoulder for some competition just before the wire, with the final time in 1:40.31, 1.45 seconds off the track record.

“That was a good race, so now we’ll take the next step,” said Bennett, who in 2011 saddled runner-up Crimson Knight in the Tampa Bay Derby. “If you don’t try to think positive. … well, that’s the way you have to go in this game. You have to carry that over to your horses and let them feel positive.

“…He was kind of mean at first, but we just babied him,” Bennet added of No Getting Over Me. “I’ve got him eating mints and everything. We just conned him.”


comments powered by Disqus
About the Derby Radar

Back for the 2020 Kentucky Derby trail, Horse Racing Nation's Derby Radar seeks to identify promising maiden, allowance and even stakes winners who could target points-paying preps down the line. We'll cover the buzz horses, of course, then using a systematic approach based on past years' Derby contenders identify other talented colts moving up the ladder.

Did we miss one? Email editor Jonathan Lintner ( if you know of a horse that should be on the radar.

Best of the Blogs

Top Stories