US RACING: King Guillermo a 45-1 upset winner of the Tampa Bay Derby

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King Guillermo

King Guillermo tied for the biggest upset yet on the 2020 Kentucky Derby trail when crossing the wire a 45-1 winner of Saturday’s Grade 2, US$400,000 Tampa Bay Derby.

And he looked much the best after sitting close to another longshot, pace-setting Relentless Dancer, before going by for a decisive score at Tampa Bay Downs.
For trainer Juan Carlos Avila and under jockey Samy Camacho, the son of Uncle Mo finished up in 1:42.63, well in front of the rallying, last-out Sam F. Davis (G3) hero Sole Volante.

Texas Swing ran third with Relentless Dancer fourth in the field of 12. Chance It, the second choice in betting behind Sole Volante, ran fifth.

“I’m so excited and happy,” said Camacho, a local rider in his first Tampa Bay Derby who added, “I want to keep doing my job and realizing my dreams.

“From the 3/8-mile pole I had a lot of horse and I was worried a little about Chance It and Sole Volante, but I had a lot of confidence in my horse because he was doing really well in the mornings. I hope he is going to the Kentucky Derby.”

With 50 qualifying points for the 2020 Kentucky Derby to King Guillermo, this upset likely sends to Churchill Downs a Gulfstream Park West’s maiden winner who hadn’t run since Nov. 30 when he was third in Gulfstream Park’s Pulpit Stakes on turf.
King Guillermo hit the wire at just as high of a price as Storm the Court when he upset the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile last November. Overall, Victoria’s Ranch’s King Guillermo improved to 2-0-1 in his four starts.
That’s the stable name of Victor Martinez, a former major league baseball catcher and designated hitter who last appeared for the Detroit Tigers in 2018.
“His workouts have been great and he didn’t do well at 5 ½ furlongs in his first start, so we decided to put him on turf,” Martinez said, “but we still believed in him and his dirt workouts were really amazing. We had nothing to lose so we decided to give him one more shot on dirt and see what happens. This is absolutely something else.”

Avila, a former leading trainer in Venezuela, remains in his early U.S. days as a conditioner having saddled his first winner on March 23, 2018, at Gulfstream. Earlier on the Tampa Bay Downs card he registered a graded win when Trophy Chaser upset King for a Day in the Challenger Stakes (G3).