Thursday, February 19, 2009


OLDSMAR, Fla. (February 18, 2009) Trainer Michael Zwiesler has had an outstanding Tampa Bay Downs season thus far, including back-to-back stakes victories with Rock Candy. The three-year-old Mineshaft filly is undefeated over the Tampa Bay Downs surface, breaking her maiden here as a two-year-old on December 27, then capturing January’s Gasparilla Stakes as well as the $75,000 Suncoast Stakes on Festival Preview Day Presented by Lambholm South on February 14.

Michael Zwiesler said of Rock Candy’s performance, “Carlos Montalvo rode a great race. I think having a couple of trips over the race track definitely helped her. It was a very competitive field, and she’s just progressing. She showed her determination today. She ran hard. We’ll definitely nominate her for the Florida Oaks here on March 14. We’ll see how she comes out of this and I’ll talk to her owner Mr. Farish. I’m really proud of her, and she’s really seemed to come around.”

Michael Zwiesler got his love of horses from his father, who owned horses in the 1970s. “I always went to the races with him,” he recalls. Zwiesler acted as assistant trainer to Neil Howard for twenty years, and took out his own trainer’s license in 1999. His major clients were Bayard Sharp and William S. Farish, and Zwiesler still trains for Mr. Farish today. He had his first winner with a horse called Rocket Launch at Delaware Park, and later had his first career stakes win there with a filly called Shag. “The girls all used to laugh at the filly’s name,” Zwiesler recalls.

Zwiesler now spends his time between Tampa Bay Downs and Delaware Park. His family includes wife Susan, whom Zwiesler describes as, “My backbone. I move around a lot, and she’s always been so understanding and supportive.” His daughter Katherine has inherited her father’s love of horses, and is currently attending college in Tampa as well as galloping her father’s trainees in the morning. Zwiesler explains that when he’s not conditioning horses, “I fish and play golf- but I’m terrible at golf!”

Racing resumes tomorrow, February 19 with a ten race card; there is a High 5 carryover of $4,089.75. The Silks Poker Room is open daily from 12:30 PM through 12:30 AM, and The Downs Golf Practice Facility is open on Mondays from 10:00 AM through 10:00 PM and on Tuesdays through Sundays from 8:30 AM through 10:00 PM.

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