Marty McGee Jan 13, 2020
Todd Pletcher has used Tampa Bay Downs as a critical testing ground in recent years for some promising young horses. Shipping across the Florida peninsula from his winter base of Palm Beach Downs in Delray Beach, Pletcher won maiden or first-level allowances the past three years with four horses that wound up running a few months later in the Kentucky Derby – Always Dreaming (the 2017 winner), Vino Rosso, Magnum Moon, and Spinoff.
No one is putting Farmington Road in the starting gate for the 146th Derby on May 2 just yet, but the Quality Road colt signaled he’s ready for more demanding tests Sunday by winning a two-turn maiden race at Tampa for Pletcher in his third start.
“We’ve very methodically developed him to this point,” said Aron Wellman, who heads the Eclipse Thoroughbred partnership that co-owns Farmington Road with Chrysalis Stables. “He’s a very raw colt, and there’s no doubt that the more distance he has to work with, the stronger he gets. If he emerges from this race in good order and continues to train well, we’ll definitely put some Kentucky Derby prep races under consideration.”
Farmington Road earned a second straight 74 Beyer Speed Figure in winning the mile and 40-yard race by 1 3/4 lengths under Daniel Centeno.