Odysseus, a $250,000 2-year-old-in-training purchase last year, continued his emergence on the Triple Crown Trail when the son of Malibu Moon scored a facile 15-length win in ninth race, a 1-1/16 mile allowance, on Feb. 17 at Tampa Bay Downs. Click here for the race replay.
Sent off as the 1-2 favorite in a field of six, Odysseus stalked three wide around the first turn and down the backstretch, then made his move under jockey Rajiv Maragh as they entered the far turn. He easily reeled in the pacesetter Exhi, and then drew off in the stretch while eased up under the wire. Despite not being asked in the late stages, Odysseus stopped the timer in 1:44 1/5, only a second off Street Sense's track record. The outstanding effort garnered a 91 Beyer Speed Figure.
This was Odysseus' first try around two turns following a seven-furlong maiden win at Gulfstream last month and a runner-up effort at Aqueduct last Oct. 31. Trainer Tom Albertrani indicated after yesterday's race that a route race was something that he was looking forward to. "We wanted to get him some two-turn experience and try to give him an easy race where we could get him to settle and let him get into his own rhythm," Albertrani said. "We were hoping to see that and everything worked out accordingly."
With the win, the chestnut colt will be pointed to one of the key Triple Crown preps in the next month, with the Mar. 13 Tampa Bay Derby (G3) or the Mar. 20 Florida Derby (G1) the most likely objectives.
Owned by Padua Stables, Odysseus improved his lifetime record to 3-2-1-0, with earnings of $39,920.
Bred in Kentucky by Haymarket Farm & Lakemont Stable, Odysseus hails from the stakes-producing Conquistador Cielo mare Persimmon Hill.