Prospective proves best in G2 Tampa Bay Derby
Three-year-old Prospective, by Malibu Moon and bred by Spendthrift Farm, fought off a very stubborn foe to take the $350,000 Tampa Bay Derby (G2) by three-quarters of a length. The 1 1/16 mile feature on the March 10 card put the son of Malibu Moon squarely on the road to the Kentucky Derby (G1).
Prospective's win will put Malibu Moon near the top of the 2012 General Sire list. The 15-year-old stallion finished 2011 ranked fifth in the nation.
Breaking from the rail Prospective was in sixth, some seven lengths back, after a quarter mile in :22.69. Taken off the rail down the backstretch by jockey Luis Contreras Prospective steadily advanced to poke his head in front after six furlongs. Golden Ticket came from far back to move to the front at the furlong marker, by Prospective surged again to finish the distance in 1:43.35 for the mile-and-a-sixteenth at Tampa Bay Downs, the second-fastest time in the race’s 32-year history.
“I rode him pretty hard,” winning trainer Mark Casse said jokingly. “Was I worried? Well, I wish he could have won by five. But was I worried? You know, he’s a fighter, and I didn’t really think anybody would beat him once he made the lead.”
Prospective is owned by John C. Oxley, who underwent hip surgery recently and was unable to attend the race.
“He (Oxley) is doing very well and I’m sure he’s very happy and he’ll be fine for the next one,” said Casse, who indicated Prospective may be pointed toward the Grade 1 Wood Memorial at Aqueduct April 7.
Prospective is now 4-2-0 in seven starts, with earnings of $441,317. He won the Grade 3 Grey Cup last year at Woodbine, where Casse is based for the majority of the year.