OLDSMAR, Fla. (AP) The end came at the beginning for War Pass.
Restless in the gate, bumped at the start and perhaps bothered by a fever, War Pass never got untracked and shockingly finished last in the Tampa Bay Derby on Saturday, with Big Truck edging Atoned by a neck.
The loss was the first for War Pass after five front-running victories, and left trainer Nick Zito wondering how it all went so wrong for his leading Kentucky Derby contender.
"I saw him get squeezed back at the start; was that the race right there?" Zito asked.
The defeat took place before a record Tampa Bay Downs crowd of 12,746 fans, who cheered War Pass as he was led onto the track with Zito walking alongside his star 3-year-old.