Friday, April 13 2012


LONG-SHOT BETTORS REAP BIG REWARDS


Long-shot players had plenty of reasons to rejoice at Tampa Bay Downs on a Friday the 13th card that proved mighty unlucky for favorites.

A steady string of misfortune for the bettors’ choices reached a high – or low – point in the seventh race, when even-money favorite and apparent winner Gallop Girl was disqualified for interference shortly after the break.





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Wednesday, April 11 2012


TAMPA BAY DERBY WINNER PROSPECTIVE SET FOR BLUE GRASS STAKES


Mark Casse says the subject of 2007 Kentucky Derby winner Street Sense came up more than once when discussing the next step for Grade II Tampa Bay Derby winner Prospective.

In 2007, Street Sense beat Any Given Saturday by a nose in the Tampa Bay Derby, setting a still-standing stakes record of 1:43.11 for the mile-and-a-sixteenth.





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Sunday, April 08 2012


IT’S ME MOM’S RECORD-BREAKING EFFORT HIGHLIGHTS THRILL-PACKED FLORIDA CUP


The 10th annual Florida Cup at Tampa Bay Downs on Saturday produced enough thrills to satisfy any fan of Thoroughbred racing. The action built to a crescendo that reached its apex when popular 4-year-old filly It’s Me Mom, bred and owned by Jean and Thomas Bosch of Holiday, Fla., won the $75,000 Hilton Garden Inn Sprint against males and set a track record of 1:08.67 for the six-furlong distance.

Here is a race-by-race recap of the six stakes for registered Florida-breds, each worth $75,000:





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Saturday, April 07 2012


Yara on Target for Start in Kentucky Oaks


MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (April 6, 2012) – Following her fifth-place finish in the last week’s Gulfstream Park Oaks, trainer Jose Garoffalo has indicated that Peras International’s Grade 2 winning filly Yara is on target for a start in this year’s running of the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks.

“That was the initial plan before her last race and we’re going to stick to it,” Garoffalo said Friday morning. “We’re looking forward to running her in the Oaks; for now that’s the plan.”





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SPIETH HITS 4,000, WASTES NO TIME TO GET NO. 4,001


Scott Spieth isn’t the type of person to get overly emotional. So it was difficult to gauge his feelings when most of his fellow riders joined the winner’s-circle celebration after he notched career victory No. 4,000 Friday at Tampa Bay Downs.

The 45-year-old Spieth, a consummate professional, eloquently put into words how he felt following his 5 ¼-length victory aboard Reid Nagle’s 4-year-old filly Ula in the seventh race, a $20,500 maiden special weight at five furlongs for fillies and mares.





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LAST DAY FOR GONCALVES; FLORIDA CUP PROGRAM SET


When Leandro Goncalves leaves Tampa Bay Downs after Saturday’s lucrative Florida Cup Day card, the race for leading jockey will be out of his control.

The 29-year-old Brazilian is heading to Kentucky to ride at Keeneland and will also compete at Indiana Downs, where he has been leading jockey the past two seasons, when that meet starts April 16.





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Thursday, April 05 2012


STAKES WINNERS GALORE FOR FLORIDA CUP; SPIETH ON VERGE OF 4,000


Roman Tiger, who won the Grade III, $150,000 Tampa Bay Stakes on Feb. 25, and sprint sensation It’s Me Mom highlight the entries for Saturday’s 10th annual Florida Cup Day at Tampa Bay Downs.

The slate of six Florida Cup Day stakes for registered Florida-breds includes three on dirt and three on the turf course, with three races for 3-year-olds and three for horses 4-and-up. Each race offers purse money of $75,000. Tampa Bay Downs will distribute more than $500,000 in purses over the 12-race card.





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Monday, April 02 2012


NESS SETS NEW TRAINING MARK IN STYLE; CENTENO WINS FOUR AGAIN


When it came time for trainer Jamie Ness to break his own record for victories in a season at Tampa Bay Downs, it seemed appropriate Daniel Centeno would be in the saddle.

“He has probably won more races for me than any jockey,” Ness said after Centeno powered 6-year-old gelding Tapis Magique to a ¾-length victory from Fleeter in Sunday’s eighth race, a six-furlong allowance optional claiming event for older horses. “He is a really strong rider for finishing. Every time you think he is beat, he comes to finishing.”





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Sunday, April 01 2012


SLUGGERS HIGHLIGHT BUSY SATURDAY CARD AT TAMPA BAY DOWNS


With baseball season about to begin, it made sense that doubles were the order of the day at Tampa Bay Downs.

Trainer Ian Wilkes actually gets credited with a triple. Not only did he send out two winners at Tampa Bay Downs on Saturday, Wilkes saddled 12-1 shot Fort Larned to win the Grade III Skip Away Stakes at Gulfstream Park on the Florida Derby card.





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Thursday, March 29 2012


GRIFFITH’S TRAINER OF THE MONTH HONOR A GOOD SIGN


If you’re Greg Griffith’s age, you might remember the 1971 hit single Signs by the Canadian rock group Five Man Electrical Band.

Sign, sign, everywhere a sign

Blockin’ out the scenery, breakin’ my mind





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Monday, March 26 2012


FLORIDA CUP DAY NOMINATIONS LIST PROMISES MEMORABLE 10TH RENEWAL


Nominations for the 10th annual Florida Cup Day, a celebration of the state’s excellence in breeding and raising Thoroughbreds, closed Saturday with 118 registered Florida-breds eligible for six stakes races on April 7 at Tampa Bay Downs.

The slate of Florida Cup Day races includes three on dirt and three on the turf course, with three events for 3-year-olds and three for horses 4-and-up. Each race offers purse money of $75,000 for a total in stakes purses that day of $450,000.





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Sunday, March 25 2012


GOLD BREW, ANOTHER SMOKEY CAPTURE TAMPA TURF TESTS


Wayne Scanlan’s 8-year-old gelding Gold Brew, last of the 10 runners for the first mile, charged past the leaders in the stretch and rolled to a 1 ¾-length victory under jockey Dean Butler in Saturday’s $27,000 Tampa Turf Test Male Division, his fourth consecutive victory at the current Tampa Bay Downs meeting.

In the $27,000 Filly and Mare Division of the Tampa Turf Test, 5-year-old gray mare Another Smokey rallied from mid-pack under Daniel Centeno to score an emotional victory for owner-trainer Joyce Kielty, whose late husband Donald picked out the Florida-bred at an Ocala yearling sale in 2008. The couple paid $2,500 for her.





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