OLDSMAR, FL—Leading jockey Samy Camacho may not duplicate his 114 local victories achieved last year at Tampa Bay Downs, but it seems he is well on his way to his fifth local title and fourth consecutive. (Daniel Centeno and former jockey Mike Manganello lead with six Tampa Bay Downs titles have each).

On a day when leading trainer Kathleen O’Connell likely cemented her third track training title (and first since 2009-2010) by saddling three winners, Camacho won once to boost his meet total to 76 winners, eight more than Antonio Gallardo, himself a five-time Tampa Bay Downs champion.

Camacho, who turns 36 on May 27, knows the only way to get there is by taking one race at a time.

“Obviously I want to win another title, but I’m just focusing on winning races and keeping my trainers and owners happy,” he said. “I believe a lot in God and I believe a lot in myself and I try to always stay positive. The only way I can get beat [for the title] is if I get hurt or if I get days from the stewards.”

Both, in fact, have happened multiple times this season. Although none of his injuries were serious.

But there is no looking back at this late stage, because a couple of three-win performances by Gallardo could change things in a hurry.

Camacho’s agent, Mike Moran, who was Gallardo’s agent for each of his Tampa Bay Downs titles, said Camacho must remain focused.

“This is a tough business and no one is promised anything,” said Moran, a former jockey who won a title here in 1978 when the track was called Florida Downs. “So every day you keep working. Samy wants to do the best he can for everybody he rides for, and I’m working my butt off to get him live mounts.

“Then, you just hope the horse shows up.”

Still, anything less than another crown will be a disappointment.

“[Tampa Bay Downs] is my house. This is the racetrack that gave me the opportunity to grow. I really appreciate that and all the trainers and people here who have been involved in my career,” he said.


No More Time Injured

No More Time – SV Photography

No More Time, who won the Grade 3 Sam F. Davis here on Feb. 10 and finished second to Domestic Product in the Grade 3 Lambholm South Tampa Bay Derby on March 9, was injured during a workout this morning at Palm Meadows Training Center and will miss the Kentucky Derby presented by Woodford Reserve on May 4.

After No More Time breezed five furlongs in 1:01.90, trainer Jose Francisco D’Angelo discovered a possible injury when the son of Not This Time returned to the barn. X-rays revealed a condylar fracture of the colt’s left front leg.

D’Angelo said he will undergo surgery at Ocala Equine Hospital and the prognosis is good for a full recovery.

The defection of No More Time, who was ranked at No. 19 on the Derby leaderboard with 45 points, pushes Florida-bred Hades to No. 24 with his 30 points.

After winning his first three career starts including the Holy Bull (G3) in February, Hades was a troubled fifth in the Curlin Florida Derby (G1) won by Fierceness on March 30. He was then a disappointing seventh Saturday in the Stonestreet Lexington won by Encino.

Return to the April 15 issue of Wire to Wire