If you did not see the Tampa Bay Derby last Saturday, March 17 (St. Patty’s Day), you missed what could be a preview of a Kentucky Derby match-up. In my article on Street Sense, I said that one of the keys is how Street Sense will do after a four-month layoff from his only real test: The Breeders Cup. I'll say it now: Street Sense is not a fluke.
Lost in this is the fact that Any Given Saturday was beaten by a nose. The reality is that Any Given Saturday refused to give up when it would have been easy to do so. Especially when you consider that Any Given Saturday came from third on the outside and Street Sense came from fourth on the inside on the last turn and both just rocked past the pack on the strait away with Street Sense extending for the win.
Any Given Saturday is owned by Winstar Farms, Trained by Todd Pletcher and ridden by John R. Velazquez. Pletcher, well known in 2006 as the number two trainer in the number of wins and number one in earnings at over $26 million dollars. He broke his mentor, D. Wayne Lucas' record of 92 stakes victories on October 5, 2006 and this year is almost guaranteed to exceed his earnings record in 2007.
Any Given Saturday has the genes to back his pedigree. Like Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Funny Cide, he is the son of Distorted Humor. On the other side of the blood line is Weekend in Indy who was begotten from 1992 horse of the year and Belmont Stakes winner A.P. Indy. Just for good measure, A.P. Indy traces his bloodline to Seattle Slew as his sire and Secretariat through Weekend Surprise on the Dame side.
Yes it would have been nice if Any Given Saturday would have won the Tampa Bay Derby, but I would not count him out by any given stretch. In fact, this year's derby may turn out to be one of the strongest fields in a long time.