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Breeders' Cup 2017

Odysseus Comes Again in Tampa Bay Derby

Odysseus nips Schoolyard Dreams by a nose on the wire in the 2010 Tampa Bay Derby
A crowd of 11,025 gathered at the Oldsmar oval today to witness Odysseus capture the 30th running of the Grade III $300,000 Tampa Bay Derby, defeating the remaining field of six to record his first graded stakes win.   Odysseus is a Kentucky-bred son of Malibu Moon who is conditioned by Tom Albertrani for owner Padua Stables; jockey Rajiv Maragh piloted the colt to victory. 
Odysseus stalked the pace set by eventual third-place finisher Super Saver throughout the opening quarters, then battled with second-place finisher Schoolyard Dreams Super Saver throughout the stretch drive to win by a nose.  This was not the first time that Satish Sanan, owner of Padua Stables, has waited out a photo finish in the Tampa Bay Derby; in 2007, his horse Any Given Saturday lost to Street Sense by a head bob in the Oldsmar oval’s signature race.
Padua Stable’s Satish Sanan was thrilled by the win.  “I honestly thought back to the Any Given Saturday – Street Sense; I thought we’d lost again. And Rajiv (Maragh, winning jockey) just told me that he thought he was beaten. He said he would have taken a dead heat! But the guys next to us, who are local, they told me right away, “You won.” They see it every single day, and sometimes you can’t really tell, especially because he was in between the two horses. It was very hard to see, but his nose was just right there.”
Sana continued, “You know, this is his fourth race. (Rajiv) thought he got a little intimidated when the five horse (second-place finisher Schoolyard Dreams) was on his outside.” As to the Malibu Moon colt’s next stop, Sanan said, “We’re going to leave it to Tommy (Albertrani, Odysseus’s trainer), we might look at the Wood Memorial, but now we don’t have to win that. If he decides that we go straight to the Derby, well, we’re going to leave it in this guy’s (Albertrani’s) hands.”
Trainer Thomas Albertrani on his feelings on winning: “I was ecstatic. I really believed that we might have just come short by a bob. I thought he needed another jump, but that’s the way it worked out.” He said of Odysseus’s ability, “I think the sky could be the limit with this horse. He showed how he’s got such determination to win. If I used my best judgment in his first race, I probably should have run him a little longer than three-quarters, and he’d still be undefeated. He’s just a very game horse, and he’s really got a will to win.”
Albertrani said of Odysseus and the Kentucky Derby: “That’s our target, to get this horse to the Derby. We think he’s certainly good enough to belong with that group, but we’ll see how he trains in the next two weeks and make some decisions. We’ll see if we need to run him back again or just sit and wait. It takes a lot of pressure off to have the graded earnings at this point. If he had been second, we’d be forced to run him run him back again and we don’t want to squeeze him too much for the Derby if that’s the case. He’s had three races pretty close to each other, so we have to decide after we see how he comes out of this race.
Winning jockey Rajiv Maragh said of the race, "Getting past the wire I said to Jeremy (Rose, jockey of runner-up Schoolyard Dreams) 'I think you won it Jeremy'. He thought so too. So it was a surprise when they put our number up. We got exactly the position I wanted early and like last time he relaxed for me. I wanted to wait with him and not hook anybody too soon so when we got to the far turn I asked him to move up and I thought we were in charge but suddenly a horse swept by us on the outside. I was surprised and so was the horse and he hesitated and were suddenly behind horses we might have been in front. But he showed his class and got running again. I wasn't sure we were going find a path and then it opened up just a few yards from the finish and like I said I didn't think we had won. He is just getting better and better!”
The twelve race card produced a co-mingled all-source Festival Day handle in excess of $10,807,264.71, the second largest amount ever recorded at the Oldsmar oval.  Vice President and General Manager Peter Berube commented, “It was a successful day all around right down to the wire on the biggest race day of our year. The weather turned in our favor, and although daylight saving forced us into a 12 race card opposed our usual 13 race Festival Day program, the afternoon proved to be a tremendous success.” 

Racing resumes tomorrow, March 14 with an eleven race card; there is a Pick 6 carryover of $8,963 and a High Five carryover of 6,438. The Silks Poker Room is open daily from 12:30 PM through 12:30 AM, and The Downs Golf Practice Facility is open on Mondays from 10:00 AM through 10:00 PM and on Tuesdays through Sundays from 8:30 AM through 10:00 PM.
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Older Comments about Odysseus Comes Again in Tampa Bay Derby...

arazi- don't forget that even though the track was labeled "fast" it got hammered with 2 inches of rain the day before. The turf was still yielding for the Hillsborough and the Turf Dash. Besides, give props to the Tampa Bay Downs staff for NOT packing the track so tight like their neighbors up at Gulfstream do for their big race....
How can you say its hard to see them coming back to do much? Street Sense won in 2007, Musket Man won it last year and General Quarters also ran. The Tampa Bay Derby is becoming a top derby prep and should receive Grade II status next year. If it doesn't then the whole grading system is a joke. '07 KY Derby winner, '09 Illinois Derby winner and 3rd place in both the Derby and Preakness, 09 Bluegrass Winner....What other proof do you need?
Oh-dee-sis? Hard to imagine these guys coming back to do much. But, you never know!
heartbreaking lose for schoolyar jeremey made a way to early lead but schoolyard proved hes top clas and i cant see him loding the illinois derby mark my words he will romp in it
Pretty amazing how Odysseus came back in this race to nip Schoolyard Dreams at the wire. Still, it looked like the top three all puked in the stretch - finishing the final 5/16 in :32 3/5 seconds.

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