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Racing News

Published Apr 20, 2024
by Mike Henry
domestic product
Domestic Product (center) showed the grit and courage a 3-year-old needs to win the Kentucky Derby in his Tampa Bay Derby victory, but has he gotten any faster? (courtesy SV Photography)

If you’re a fan of Domestic Product, who won the Grade III Lambholm South Tampa Bay Derby on March 9 after computer issues caused wagering on the race to be scrapped, you might believe the racing gods owe you one.

And if you really like him – maybe thinking he matured immensely from winning a three-way battle here against No More Time and Grand Mo the First, and because Irad Ortiz, Jr. (the world’s best jockey, that’s for sure, unless you count some of the Europeans) – is supposed to ride him, the May 4 Kentucky Derby presented by Woodford Reserve can’t get here soon enough.

You know what else makes you feel good? The naysayers who don’t even have Domestic Product in their Derby top-10, for cryin’ out loud. Because even though you have no idea how they got such a cushy job, their opinions are likely to drive your odds up even higher.

Normally, journalistic integrity mandates we credit the work of others, but why embarrass them when it’s so clear to you and a select few that Domestic Product is coming to the race as well as anyone? So, we’ll let the critics’ opinions stand anonymously, since they’re already voicing what so many others think anyway.

“Modest figs earned in dubious preps, will enter Derby off two-month layoff and low-rated win.”

“Has encountered extremely slow paces in both preps; doing enough to keep himself in the mix.”

“This late finisher is a better horse than his modest speed figures suggest” (hold on a minute, we don’t want a bunch of bettors getting the wrong idea).

We hasten to apologize for such sarcasm because these guys definitely are not making this up. In fact, Domestic Product’s winning Lambholm South Tampa Bay Derby time of 1:45.47 for the mile-and-a-sixteenth was the slowest for the race in 30 years, although perhaps due in part to everyone including the horses being worn to a frazzle before the race went off.

Anyway, you’ve been here before, and even though your record picking Kentucky Derby winners is not all that great, you’re a better handicapper than your modest profit figures suggest.

And as good as Sierra Leone, the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes winner, looked in a half-mile workout today at Keeneland in 48 4/5 seconds, and as much as you like his jockey Tyler Gaffalione, you know something a lot of fans who never read past the headline don’t: While Sierra Leone hogged the spotlight, Domestic Product was going about his business this morning, working a half at Payson Park Training Center in Indiantown in 48 2/5.

Chad Brown, the trainer of both colts, has never trained a Kentucky Derby winner, and the sport’s fly-by media is certain to focus on Sierra Leone as his best shot while Domestic Product – if he’s mentioned at all – will be the horse that beat very little at Tampa Bay Downs and hasn’t raced since.

In two weeks, we’ll discover what Domestic Product has learned and forgotten, and whether he is one of those 21st-century Thoroughbred rarities who actually doesn’t mind going a mile-and-a-quarter. Brown had the decency to address the Klaravich Stables homebred’s effort this morning at Keeneland after praising Sierra Leone.

“My assistants down there were both raving about the work,” Brown said. “He worked 48 and change and went out pretty solid for Payson Park in 1:13 (for 6 furlongs). I’m happy I decided not to run him after the Tampa Bay Derby. He keeps getting stronger and really refilled his tank, so to speak. Fresh horses run well for me.”

If you’re already on board with Domestic Product and hoping for 20-1 or higher, hide this report from your wagering compadres.

Around the oval. Six-time Oldsmar riding champion Daniel Centeno scored three victories today, all on the turf. He teamed with trainer Arnaud Delacour twice, starting with the third race and 3-year-old colt Class Photo, who broke his maiden in his second career start. Class Photo is a homebred racing for owner Stella F. Thayer.

Delacour and Centeno also won the seventh race with 5-year-old gelding Bassanio, who held off longshot Swing Low by a nose. Bassanio is owned by West Point Thoroughbreds. Centeno won the ninth and final race on Cindy’s Song, a 5-year-old Florida-bred mare owned by Laureles Racing and trained by Oscar M. Gonzalez.

Triple Crown nominee Whiskey N Soda took longer to get to the races than his connections probably hoped, but he began making up for lost time in today’s sixth race.

Purchased for $360,000 at the 2022 Keeneland September Yearling Sale by Repole Stable and St. Elias Stables, the son of 2019 Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Vino Rosso charged through the stretch to post a ¾-length victory from Arrow Speed. Todd Pletcher trains Whiskey N Soda, who was ridden by Samy Camacho. The time for the mile-and-40-yard distance was 1:40.58.

Antonio Gallardo rode two winners. He captured the fifth race on Charlotte the Brit, an 8-year-old mare owned by Gumpster Stable and trained by Darien Rodriguez. Charlotte the Brit was claimed from the race for $10,000 by trainer Michael Simone for new owner Paterpop Racing.

Gallardo also won the eighth aboard Girvin’s Princess, a 3-year-old filly owned by Campbell Stables and trained by Kathleen O’Connell. The track’s leading conditioner, “K.O.” also won the second race with Sir Saffer, a 5-year-old Florida-bred gelding owned by DiBello Racing and ridden by Jose Ferrer.

Thoroughbred racing continues Sunday with a nine-race card beginning at 12:18 p.m. Tampa Bay Downs is open every day for simulcast wagering, no-limits action and tournament play in The Silks Poker Room and golf fun and instruction at The Downs Golf Practice Facility.


domestic product
Domestic Product (center) showed the grit and courage a 3-year-old needs to win the Kentucky Derby in his Tampa Bay Derby victory, but has he gotten any faster? (courtesy SV Photography)

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