Multiple Canadian champion Starship Jubilee will look to stay hot in Saturday’s $225,000 Hillsborough (G2), the most lucrative of the undercard stakes on a terrific Tampa Bay Derby program.
The 7-year-old has never been better with four wins in her past five starts. Winner of the Canadian (G2) and E.P. Taylor (G1) last fall, Starship Jubilee was next run down in the Cardinal (G3) over a very testing turf at Churchill Downs, but has rebounded with back-to-back wins at Gulfstream. The most recent was a 4 1/4-length romp in the Suwannee River (G3).
Second as the even-money favorite in the Suwannee River was Magic Star, who had previously captured the Marshua’s River (G3) in only her third lifetime outing for Chad Brown. The multiple Eclipse Award-winning conditioner also relies on last-out Endeavour (G3) runner-up Altea and the stakes-winning Beautiful Lover in the nine-furlong Hillsborough.
Looking for another upset is Jehozacat, who led wire-to-wire in the Endeavour at odds of 16-1. The most significant also-ran that day was multiple Grade 1 winner Got Stormy.
King for a Day, who upset an unlucky Maximum Security in the Pegasus S. at Monmouth Park last summer, makes his first start since July in the $100,000 Challenger (G3) over 1 1/16 miles. The Uncle Mo colt was last seen finishing fifth to Maximum Security in the Haskell Invitational (G1), which was conducted in oppressive heat. Also in the entries is recent Tampa Bay (G3) upsetter Admiralty Pier, who pulled off a 21-1 upset of the Feb. 8 turf stakes by a nose following an allowance win on Tampa’s main track in late December.
The Tampa Bay Derby card also features a contentious field of 3-year-old fillies in the $200,000 Florida Oaks (G3) over 1 1/16 miles on the turf, as well as the $75,000 Columbia for straight 3-year-olds at 1 mile on the turf. Point of Honor, winner of the Black-Eyed Susan (G2) and runner-up in the Coaching Club American Oaks (G1) and Alabama (G1) last season, returns to action in a 7-furlong, $40,000 overnight handicap early on Saturday’s card.