Monday, March 09, 2009


OLDSMAR, Fla. (March 8, 2009) Horses thought to be preparing for Saturday’s Festival Day, which includes the Grade III $300,000 Tampa Bay Derby, the Grade III $200,000 Florida Oaks, the Grade III $175,000 Hillsborough Stakes and the $75,000 Turf Dash, have put in their final works before the big day.

General Quarters, who captured the Grade III Sam F. Davis Stakes here last month, worked five furlongs in 1:01 for trainer/owner Thomas McCarthy on Saturday morning. The Sky Mesa colt was the fastest of 12 works for that distance. Musket Man, who was third in the Sam F. Davis Stakes, worked five furlongs in a minute flat on Sunday morning for last year’s Tampa Bay Derby winning owner Eric Fein.

Sumo, who was runner-up in the Sam F. Davis Stakes, trained five furlongs on Saturday at Palm Meadows in 1:02. The Fusaichi Pegasus colt was ranked 18 of 31 horses working that distance on Saturday and is under the care of trainer Graham Motion for owner Arthur B. Hancock, III. Bear’s Rocket from the stable of Reade Baker posted a 1:02.2 five-eighths workout at Gulfstream Park; the Lion Heart colt was 12 of 19 at that distance for the morning of March 8. Hello Broadway breezed three-quarters of a mile on March 4 in 1:14.3; the Broken Vow colt also posted a bullet work on February 26, going 5 furlongs in :59.1, the fastest of eighteen horses that morning.

Grade III $200,000 Florida Oaks nominee and last month’s Suncoast Stakes winner Rock Candy put in a bullet work on March 3, travelling five furlongs in 1:01.3, the best of 16 horses that morning. Ameribelle was fourth of twelve horses breezing five furlongs at Calder on March 2. The Medaglia D’Oro filly was second in last month’s Suncoast Stakes for owners Trilogy Stable and Laurie Plesa and trainer Eddie Plesa. Brinca, a Macho Uno filly owned by World Thoroughbred Racing, Inc. and Chad Stewart, posted a bullet workout on February 28 at Hunter Farm Training Center in Ocala, going five furlongs in 1:04.4. Don’t Forget Gil, third by just half a length in the Suncoast Stakes, worked 5 furlongs at Palm Meadows on March 7 in 1:02, the fastest work of the day at that distance.

Grade III Hillsborough Stakes nominee and Grade III Endeavour Stakes winner Ballymore Lady worked four furlongs at Palm Meadows on March 7 in :51.5, the eighth fastest time of the day of thirteen horses. Elusive Lady, runner-up in the Endeavour, breezed a half mile in :54 on the Gulfstream turf on Sunday morning for trainer John C. Kimmell. Backseat Rhythm, also nominated to the Hillsborough, recorded a :49.2 workout at Gulfstream Park on March 3; she was the sixth fastest time of 22 horses working four furlongs that morning. Drop a Line, who finished third by 1 ¼ lengths in the Grade III Sewanee River Stakes in her last start, ran five furlongs on the Palm Meadows turf 1:01 as the sixth fastest work at the distance of the day from sixteen horses.

Finish Lines… Tampa’s second leading rider Rosemary Homeister, Jr. booted home three winners on the afternoon’s program, giving her 58 wins for the current race meeting. Homeister scored her first victory aboard Earl Begley’s trainee Been Awhile; the three-year-old Polish Minor gelding took home his first career victory over the Tampa turf for owner Melissa Begley.

Homeister struck again with Time for Truth. The Is it True gelding was bred in Florida by Rene McCullern and is under the care of Kathleen O’Connell for owner Star Racing Stable. Homeister rounded out her hat trick with Gold Pageantry. The Precise End gelding was saddled by second-leading Tampa conditioner Kirk Ziadie and carries the colors of owner Snookum Farms.

Please note that Tampa Bay Downs will switch its dark days from Wednesdays to Thursdays mid-month beginning on March 19th; Mondays at the Oldsmar oval will also be open for only poker, golf and simulcast racing throughout the month.

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