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Racing News

Published Mar 10, 2024
by Mike Henry
domestic product
Domestic Product, center, and jockey Tyler Gaffalione give that little extra to defeat No More Time, inside, and Grand Mo the First (courtesy SV Photography)

After Unbridled won the 1990 Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park, a reporter asked Carl Nafzger about the colt’s time of 1:52, the slowest in the 1 1/8-mile race in 35 years.

“Time is only really important if you’re in jail,” Nafzger quipped.

Seven weeks later, Nafzger described Unbridled’s spine-tingling charge to victory in the Kentucky Derby to 92-year-old owner Frances Genter and a national television audience in one of Thoroughbred racing’s most iconic moments. The Florida-bred colt won the Breeders’ Cup Classic later that year at Belmont Park and has had an enduring impact as a sire.

The anecdote is mentioned in light of Domestic Product’s pedestrian winning time of 1:45.47 in Saturday’s Grade III, $400,000 Lambholm South Tampa Bay Derby, run at a distance of a mile-and-a-sixteenth on a fast track. It’s the slowest Tampa Bay Derby since the unheralded Prix de Crouton won the 1994 edition in 1:46 3/5.

Domestic Product’s connections, breeder-owner Seth Klarman’s Klaravich Stables and trainer Chad Brown, are used to traveling in fast company, building an enviable record of graded-stakes success. But both are still seeking a Kentucky Derby presented by Woodford Reserve victory, the combination finishing fifth in 2017 with Domestic Product’s sire, Practical Joke; Brown was second in 2018 with Good Magic and third in 2022 with Zandon.

Klaravich and Brown teamed to win the 2017 Preakness with Cloud Computing, who was co-owned by William H. Lawrence. Klaravich and Brown also won the 2022 Preakness with Early Voting.

On Saturday, beneath a sterling ride from Tyler Gaffalione, Domestic Product was good enough to overcome a long delay caused by a tote outage and brave enough to wrest victory from Grade III Sam F. Davis Stakes winner No More Time by a lunging neck.

The time was nothing to brag about, but Brown and Gaffalione were effusive in their praise of the winner afterward.

“He showed a lot of heart after getting bumped by (third-place finisher Grand Mo the First) and he showed a lot of perseverance,” Brown said.

“He’s still young and he’s still learning,” Gaffalione said. “But I was very proud when he got (No More Time) at the wire.”

For the top two finishers, the best news was earning 50 and 25 “Road to the Kentucky Derby” qualifying points to move up in the standings. Domestic Product is third with 60 points and No More Time is seventh with 45, all but guaranteeing both horses spots in the starting gate if they can stay in good form.

Brown and No More Time’s trainer, Jose Francisco D’Angelo, are likely to take different paths to Louisville for the May 4 Run for the Roses. Brown said he wants to race Domestic Product once more before the Kentucky Derby, while D’Angelo would prefer to train No More Time up to the race.

‘I don’t know that training a horse this far away from the Kentucky Derby gives you the best chance to win the race, and that’s what we want to do,” Brown said. “He’s got enough points to run in the race, but we really want to get him in with a chance to win.

“He has a pair of nice mile-and-a-sixteenth races now (including a second-place finish to unbeaten Hades on Feb. 3 in the Grade III Holy Bull at Gulfstream) where he was closing on a slow pace and he broke his maiden at a mile-and-an-eighth as a 2-year-old. This horse is looking like he can get a mile-and-a-quarter the way he’s been finishing.

“I’ve always thought that about him, so another race will serve him well.”

Brown isn’t sure when and where yet, but the most likely options are the Grade II Wood Memorial Presented by Resorts World Casino at Aqueduct and the Grade I Toyota Blue Grass at Keeneland, both on April 6.

D’Angelo, whose horse Jesus’ Team finished third in the 2020 Preakness, has yet to start a horse in the Kentucky Derby. His son of Not This Time, who is owned by Morplay Racing, is back at his base at Palm Meadows Training Center in Boynton Beach, feeling no worse the wear for his narrow defeat.

“He ran huge and he came back perfect, and that’s the most important thing,” said D’Angelo, who won Saturday’s Columbia Stakes on the turf with Full Nelson. “We have eight weeks before the Kentucky Derby, and I’d probably like to bring him into it fresh and arrive (at Churchill Downs) early.

“From his race today, it looks like he wants to go longer and that’s a very good thing. He’s not a big horse, so we have to be smart how we handle him.”

Grand Mo the First, who probably exceeded expectations Saturday with his third-place finish, earned his first “Road to the Kentucky Derby” points but still is in 26th place (the Kentucky Derby is limited to 20 starters) with 15. Brown’s fourth-place finisher Good Money is 35th with his 10 points earned and it seems unlikely he will stay on the Derby trail.

Around the oval. In today’s co-featured seventh race, an allowance/optional claiming event for horses 4-years-old-and-upward that was switched from the turf to the main track, longshot Love Me Not rallied past Happy Runner in the stretch for his fourth career victory. Jose Morelos rode Love Me Not, a 4-year-old colt owned by God’s Glory Stables and Matthew Ciamei and trained by Ciamei.

A race earlier, 3-year-old colt More Vino, a first-time starter, broke his maiden for owners St. Elias Stable and Repole Stable and trainer Todd Pletcher traveling the same mile-and-40-yard distance. Marcos Meneses was the jockey.

First-time starter Catch a Wave staged a whirlwind stretch rally to nip Noble Factor in the ninth race on the turf, a maiden special weight affair for 3-year-olds at a distance of a mile-and-a-sixteenth. Catch a Wave was ridden by Antonio Gallardo. The colt is owned by William H. Lawrence and Richard Schermerhorn and trained by Chad Brown, still sitting on top of the world a day later.

Thoroughbred racing continues Wednesday with a nine-race card beginning at 12:23 p.m. Tampa Bay Downs races on a Wednesday-Friday-Saturday-Sunday schedule and is open every day except Easter Sunday, March 31 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, and jockey Tyler Gaffalione give that little extra to defeat No More Time, inside, and Grand Mo the First (courtesy SV Photography)

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