Derby Contenders

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Date Race Grade Distance Finish Chart Replay
Mar 8 2014 Tampa Bay Derby Tampa Bay II 1 1/16 Miles 2 REPLAY

Connections

Todd Pletcher

Trainer

Pletcher won the 2010 Kentucky Derby with Super Saver and trained Rags to Riches to win the Kentucky Oaks in 2007 and Princess of Sylmar for win the 2013 Kentucky Oaks. He won four straight Eclipse Awards as top trainer from 2004-2007 and again in 2010. He has trained multiple Eclipse champions including Uncle Mo, Ashado, English Channel, Speighstown, Fleet Indian, Wait a While, Lawyer Ron, and Left Bank.

Joe Rocco Jr.

Jockey

Joe Rocco, Jr. is a third generation horsemen.  Rococo's father, also Joe, was a jockey, and his grandfather was a trainer.  Rococo got his start in horse racing working on the farm with his grandfather, and then galloping horses as a teenager for trainer Sam Cronk.  Rococo always wanted to be a jockey and raced for the first time in 1999.  Rococo spends most of his time racing in Kentucky, Florida and New York.  He has two sons - Brodie and Luke - with his wife, Jamie.

WinStar Farm LLC and Twin Creeks Racing

Owner

In 2010, WinStar experienced its first victory in the Kentucky Derby with Super Saver. That same year Drosselmeyer, was the surprise winner of the Belmont Stakes and would go on to capture the Breeders Cup Classic in 2011. Their first Derby starter came in 2006 with a second place finish by Bluegrass Cat. In 2008 both Colonel John and Court Vision made a Run for the Roses, as did Mr. Hot Stuff in 2009. They were represented in 2009 as well with homebred Well Armed winning the $6 million Dubai World Cup.Bill Casner (founded Excel Communications) and Kenny Troutt (developed B&R Equipment) partnered in early 2000 and bought the 1,450-acre Prestonwood Farm property near Versailles, Kentucky, and named it WinStar. Bill Casner stepped down from his role and Mr. Troutt now remains as the owner of WinStar LLC. Steve Davison races under the name Twin Creeks Stable with several partners. He is from Louisiana and has raced horses for over 20 years including Louisiana Derby winner and Kentucky Derby starter Mission Impazible.

Pedigree

Vinceremos descends from a male line rich in recent Kentucky Derby history.  While his great-grandsire Unbridled won the Run for the Roses in 1990, his grandsire Empire Maker (2003) and sire Pioneerof the Nile (2009) were each runner-up in the Kentucky Derby.

Pioneerof the Nile was the West Coast's top contender going into the 2009 Derby, having swept the CashCall Futurity, Robert B. Lewis, San Felipe and Santa Anita Derby. Turning for home in the slop at Churchill Downs, he looked ready to give Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert his fourth Kentucky Derby trophy, only to be stunned by the 50-1 shot Mine That Bird.

Pioneerof the Nile's first foals are now three, and at one point, he had as many as three potential Derby contenders. The most accomplished was Cairo Prince, hero of the Nashua and Holy Bull, who has been sidelined by injury. The flashiest is Social Inclusion, a Gulfstream Park track record-setter who was third in the Wood Memorial. 

Other useful members of his first crop include River Dancer, the second-place finisher in last summer's With Anticipation on the turf at Saratoga; smashing debut winner Ari the Adventurer; and Jojo Warrior, runner-up in the April 12 Instant Racing in her second career start.

Vinceremos comes from a sprint-oriented family. His dam, Kettle's Sister, was unplaced in her two outings, both at six furlongs. She is a half-sister to Grade 3-placed sprinter Cognac Kisses, and as her name implies, she is also a half-sister to Grade 3-placed Kettle One. Although Kettle One won over as far as 1 1/8 miles on turf, he was by 1993 Belmont Stakes winner Colonial Affair, who added considerable stamina to his pedigree. In contrast, Kettle's Sister is by the speedy More Than Ready, who figures to accentuate the family's propensity toward shorter distances.

More Than Ready was an outstanding juvenile. The winner of four straight stakes during that 1999 campaign, capped by the Sanford at Saratoga, he couldn't maintain his streak once the distances began to increase to a mile or beyond. Yet More Than Ready still came within a head of winning the 2000 Blue Grass, placed second in the Louisiana Derby, and finished an honorable fourth in the Kentucky Derby.  Reverting to sprints in the latter part of the year, he scored a major win in the seven-furlong King's Bishop at Saratoga.

More Than Ready has had exceptional success at stud, especially in Australia, where his leading offspring include champion two-year-olds Sebring and Phelan Ready and champion mare More Joyous.

Among his North American headliners are Verrazano, last year's Haskell and Wood Memorial winner who was 14th in the Kentucky Derby; Regally Ready, hero of the 2011 Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint; 2010 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf star Pluck; and More Than Real, winner of the 2010 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf.

Kettle's Sister was produced by Safe at the Plate, who placed in seven stakes over the course of her career.

Safe at the Plate is a half-sister to two high-profile sprinters: champion Safely Kept, victorious over the shadow-jumping Dayjur in the 1990 Breeders' Cup Sprint, and Grade 2-winning sire Partner's Hero. Safely Kept went on to produce a pair of stakes-winning sprinters in Peace Chant and Contrast, and both of them placed at the graded level as well.

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