Saturday, March 14 2009
FESTIVAL DAY STAKES DRAW FOUR STONG FIELDS
OLDSMAR, Fla. (March 13, 2009) 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, is the premiere day of racing in the Tampa Bay area; the four stakes card has drawn competitive fields for each race and offers a commemorative souvenir beach towel to the first 7,500 paid entries.
Headlining the Grade III $300,000 Tampa Bay Derby, a 1 1/16 miles main track test for three-year-olds, is General Quarters, who captured last month’s Grade III Sam F. Davis Stakes here. General Quarters has shown great aptitude for the Tampa surface and posted a bullet work here on March 7, going 5 furlongs in 1:01, the best of 12 horses training that morning. The son of Sky Mesa has never finished worse than second over the Oldsmar oval, and his victory in the Sam F. Davis Stakes was only 1/5 of a second off of the track record set here by Street Sense in 2007.
Thursday, March 12 2009
CARLOS CRUZ NAMED HITLON GARDEN INN JOCKEY OF THE MONTH
OLDSMAR, Fla. (March 12, 2009) Carlos M. Cruz was born on October 14, 1962 in Toa Baja, Puerto Rico. He attended jockey school there before coming to the United States to ride. He won his first race in 2001 at the Finger Lakes Race Track, and has since ridden at venues such as Philadelphia Park and Monmouth Park in New Jersey.
This is Cruz’s first year riding at Tampa Bay Downs, and the reinsman has already made an impact on the riding colony here. In the week of March 3—March 8, Cruz booted home 3 winners, 2 seconds and 2 third-place finishers from only 12 mounts at average odds of 7.28-1. Through the current meet, Cruz has won 15 races, come in second 15 times and third 10 times as of March 11, 2009; he also has $163,218 in purse earnings through 61 days of racing.
Wednesday, March 11 2009
RONNIE ALLEN, JR. TAKES FOUR TRIPS TO THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
OLDSMAR (March 10, 2009) Jockey Ronnie Allen, Jr. booted home four winners on the afternoon’s card today, giving the reinsman 59 wins through 61 days of racing at the Oldsmar oval. Allen, who got back in the saddle in February of last year after an extended break, is currently the third leading rider at Tampa Bay Downs.
Allen got his first win aboard Tax and Spend, a four-year-old Adonis gelding bred in Florida by Raymond Sapp. Tax and Spend is owned by Judson Van Worp and was conditioned to victory by Richard Hollett. Allen struck again with Meredith, this time for trainer- owner Christos Gatis. The four-year-old Full Mandate filly was bred in Florida by Robert C. Roffey, Jr.
Monday, March 09 2009
FESTIVAL DAY PROBABLE STARTERS POST FINAL WORKOUTS
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.
Saturday, March 07 2009
FIERCE WIND BLOWS AWAY CHALLENGER COMPETITION
OLDSMAR, Fla. (March 7, 2009) Fierce Wind, victor of the 2008 running of the Sam F. Davis Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs, captured the 18th rendition of the $65,000 Challenger Stakes today, running the 1 1/16 miles over the main track in 1:45.01. Fierce Wind is owned by Halsey Minor’s Minor Stable, is trained by William Phipps and was ridden to victory by Tampa’s leading rider Daniel Centeno.
Fierce Wind broke alertly, settled behind early leaders Fearless Vision and Paradise Dancer, and swept to the lead in final strides to win by a neck. Fearless Vision was second and Paradise Dancer rounded out the trifecta, which yielded $47.40 from a $2 wager.
MIKE STRAIGHT GETS FIRST WIN IN FIRST START
OLDSMAR, Fla. (March 6, 2009) Apprentice jockey Mike Straight got his first win from his first career ride today in the sixth race aboard Ready Ruler for trainer Michael Thomas and owner Leighton Evans. Straight, who is a graduate of Chris McCarron’s North American Racing Academy, is the twin brother of Maryland jockey Matthew Straight. Born and raised outside of Saratoga Springs, New York, Straight was exposed to horse racing at an early age and said that his parents encouraged his love of horses and riding since his childhood. “I’ve always been interested in riding; I’ve always gone to the races and I’ve always wanted to be a jockey. My parents were all for it - when I was about nine, they bought my brother and me an Equicizer to practice on. It’s taken years of dedication and practice and watching races to get here, and I really have to thank Chris McCarron and the school (the North American Racing Academy) and my parents and brother for helping me out.”
CHALLENGER DRAWS COMPETITIVE FIELD OF TEN
OLDSMAR, Fla. (March 6, 2009) The $65,000 Challenger Stakes for four-year-olds and upwards going 1 1/16 miles on the main track has garnered ten entries for the seventh and featured race. Headlining the filed is Fierce Wind, last year’s victor in the Sam F. Davis Stakes. The four-year-old son of Dixie Union captured an overnight handicap here on January 16 and has recorded a bullet workout at Payson Park on February 18, running four furlongs in :48.2 for trainer William Phipps.
Thursday, March 05 2009
ASHLEE BRNJAS NAMED COURTSIDE GRILLE II TRAINER OF THE MONTH
OLDSMAR, Fla. (March 5, 2009) Trainer Ashlee Brnjas only began training three years ago in Toronto, Ontario, but has become one of Woodbine’s premiere trainers in that short time. The Toronto, Ontario native moved her string to Tampa Bay Downs for the first time this year and has found great success at the Oldsmar oval. “I’m having a great time here,” says Brnjas. “The horses are loving it. They love the racetrack. It’s minus thirty-two in Canada now!”
Wednesday, March 04 2009
MARCH SCHEDULE ACTION-PACKED AT TAMPA BAY DOWNS
OLDSMAR, Fla. (March 3, 2009) Sun Coast racing fans have much to anticipate in the month of March with live Thoroughbred excitement highlighted by on-track activities taking place five days a week at the Oldsmar oval.
Saturday, March 7 is the 18th edition of the $65,000 Challenger Stakes for four-year-olds and upward running 1 1/16 miles over the main track. March 7th also features Blues and Bar-B-Que, a day of Blues music and bar-b-qued ribs in the Picnic Area. The Blues and Bar-B-Que Festival will begin at noon with food, music and fun for the whole family. Sunday, March 8 is Family Fiesta Day in the Tampa Bay Downs Backyard. The family-friendly afternoon is hosted by Univision Television and will feature free Latin-themed entertainment and personalities, pony rides, games and more from noon until 3:00 PM.
Saturday, February 28 2009
STRIKING TOMISUE VICTORIOUS IN WAYWARD LASS
OLDSMAR, Fla. (February 28, 2009) Striking Tomisue captured the 25th running of the $65,000 1 1/16 miles Wayward Lass Stakes today for owners Tomisue Hilbert and John R. Menard and trainer Nicholas P. Zito. Jockey Jermaine Bridgmohan had the call to ride the five-year-old daughter of Smart Strike to her fifth career victory.
Striking Tomisue broke alertly, settled behind early leaders Amazing and Boudoir throughout opening fractions, and moved to the lead at the sixteenth pole to win by one length in 1:45.50. Moon Catcher was second and Boudoir was third, yielding a trifecta payout of $184.40 for a $2 wager.
Friday, February 27 2009
MOON CATCHER TOPS STRONG FIELD OF EIGHT IN WAYWARD LASS
OLDSMAR, Fla. (February 27, 2009) The $65,0000 Wayward Lass Stakes has attracted the entries of eight older fillies and mares who will cover 1 1/16 miles on the main track at Tampa Bay Downs in Saturday’s eighth race. Highlighting the field is Moon Catcher, a five-year-old Malibu Moon mare under the care of top national trainer Christophe Clement. Moon Catcher has earned $704,450 in her career, which includes victories in the Grade II Delaware Oaks, the $180,000 Susan’s Girl Breeders’ Cup, the Maryland Millions Oaks and the Emergency Nurse Stakes. The mare has won at the 1 1/16 miles distance three times from five attempts, and will have the services of Tampa Bay Downs’s leading rider Daniel Centeno.
RON ALLEN, JR. NAMED HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS JOCKEY OF THE MONTH
OLDMSAR, Fla. (February 26, 2009) On Valentine’s Day, 2008 jockey Ron Allen, Jr. rode in a race for the first time in four years. The 42-year-old was mounted on his father’s trainee Tricks of Glory, and the two swept the lead to win the third race by three lengths. "It was a great feeling," said Allen, a three-time leading rider at Tampa Bay Downs who in his career has won over 2,100 races and amassed mount earnings of more than $15 million. "There's just no feeling like riding in a race. I really missed it." He continued, “This is where I love to be, with the excitement and action.”