Racing News

Bond Holder to Tampa Bay Derby

  • Bond Holder doesn't like plane travel (Benoit Photo)

Bond Holder will now point for the Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby on March 8, connections reported via social media Sunday.

The California-based sophomore was scratched from Saturday's Grade 2 Risen Star at Fair Grounds after experiencing a rough plane ride to New Orleans, and additional flight woes were cited as the reason for his unexpected redirection to Tampa.

"I didn't like flying, landed in FL," the colt said on his Twitter page.

"Bond Holder was not happy flying and was routed to Florida," according to a post on the Doug O'Neill stable's Facebook page. "Luckily, we had nominated him to the Tampa Bay Derby and so we will keep him in Florida to run there on March 8.

"Audible called, but that is horse racing!"

When a commenter suggested that Bond Holder seemed a bit "squirrely," Team O'Neill rose to the colt's defense.

"He isn't squirrely at all," the response read. "He has had an experience that he isn't forgetting. He has always been a cool and calm horse in our barn."

Bond Holder, who broke his maiden in the September 28 FrontRunner at Santa Anita, concluded 2013 with fourth-place finishes in the November 2 Breeders' Cup Juvenile and December 14 CashCall Futurity. The Risen Star was supposed to mark his three-year-old debut.

Owned by Reddam Racing, the Virginia-bred son of Mineshaft has compiled a record of 7-1-1-2, $366,000.