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Mar 19, 2010

Odysseus rallies to win Tampa Bay Derby


Oldsmar, FL (Sports Network) - Odysseus, ridden by Rajiv Maragh, rallied down the stretch to win Saturday's $300,000 Tampa Bay Derby at Tampa Bay Downs.

In recent years, the event has become an important prep for the Triple Crown races. Three years ago Street Sense won the Tampa Bay Derby before capturing the Run for the Roses. Last year's race was won by Musket Man, who went on to win the Illinois Derby and finish third in both the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes.

Odysseus was racing in second behind Super Saver for most of the race until he lost ground on the final turn. While 3-2 favorite Super Saver was able to remain on the lead, Schoolyard Dreams had joined him as the field entered the far turn.

Coming off the turn for home, Schoolyard Dreams, Super Saver and Gleam of Hope were three across the track. Schoolyard Dreams took the lead inside the furlong pole and appeared to be safely in control.

Odysseus came charging down the stretch and was able to catch the leader just before the wire. Odysseus posted a nose victory over Schoolyard Dreams with Super Saver holding on for third and Gleam of Hope fourth in the seven horse field.

The time for the 1 1/16-miles was 1:44.31 on a fast track.

Rounding out the order of finish was Uptowncharlybrown, Slammy Boy and Tuvia's Force.

Odysseus is owned by Padua Stables and trained by Tom Albertrani. The chestnut colt has won his last three starts after finishing second in his career debut.

"I really believed that we might have just come short by a bob," Albertrani said. "I thought he needed another jump, but that's the way it worked out. I think the sky could be the limit with this horse. He showed how he's got such determination to win. If I used my best judgment in his first race, I probably should have run him a little longer than three-quarters, and he'd still be undefeated. He's just a very game horse, and he's really got a will to win."

The Tampa Bay win was worth $180,000 to bring the colt's bankroll to $219,920.

Odysseus, the 2-1 second choice, returned $6.00, $3.40 and $2.40. Schoolyard Dreams paid $5.00 and $2.80, and Super Saver paid $2.40 to show.

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