Thursday, January 19 2012
THREE-WAY JOCKEY RACE LOOMS; GUAM TYPHOON BEATS THE STORM
Jockeys Leandro Goncalves, Ronnie Allen, Jr. and Rosemary Homeister, Jr., have put some distance between themselves and their pursuers in the Tampa Bay Downs jockey standings through the first quarter of the 2011-12 Thoroughbred meeting.
Goncalves, who rode four winners on Sunday’s card, added one Wednesday in the fourth race aboard the Robert O’Connor II-trained colt Adaro to increase his meet-leading total to 28.
Monday, January 16 2012
MIDWEST SEEKS ECLIPSE AWARD MONDAY; GONCALVES BAGS FOUR
With two victories Sunday raising its total to 19 through the first 22 days of the 2011-12 Thoroughbred meeting, Midwest Thoroughbreds is well on its way to a third consecutive title as leading owner at Tampa Bay Downs.
But the outfit spearheaded by Midwest Store Fixtures founder Richard Papiese and trainer Jamie Ness is in search of much greater recognition at Monday night’s 41st annual Eclipse Awards dinner at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif.
Sunday, January 15 2012
PROSPECTIVE, SALAD GIRL VICTORIOUS IN $100,000 FEATURES
Trainer Mark Casse says he was baffled by Prospective’s 13th-place finish in last fall’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Churchill Downs.
But he was feeling a lot better about the Kentucky-bred colt’s long-term prospects after his stirring half-length victory from Wildcat Creek in Saturday’s $100,000, seven-furlong Pasco Stakes for 3-year-olds at Tampa Bay Downs.
Saturday, January 14 2012
Adirondack King Headlines Pasco
Thoroughbred trainer John Servis knows Triple Crown contenders aren’t made in January.
But based on what he’s seen thus far from his 3-year-old colt Adirondack King, Servis wants to give him every opportunity to prove he belongs in Louisville, Ky. on the first Saturday in May.
The Kentucky-bred son of Lawyer Ron-Jostle, a winner of his previous three races at Parx Racing in Philadelphia, will be challenged by nine other sophomores in Saturday’s $100,000 Pasco Stakes, the co-feature on the 11-race Skyway Festival Day card.
Thursday, January 12 2012
AGE IS JUST A NUMBER FOR ALLEN
After winning Wednesday’s second race at Tampa Bay Downs aboard 4-year-old gelding Dazzle Me Danny, veteran jockey Ronnie Allen, Jr. stressed the importance of experience when competing against riders roughly half his age.
That know-how proved essential in Allen’s third victory on the 10-race card, aboard the Ian Wilkes-trained 5-year-old mare Island Bound in the ninth race, a $21,200, seven-furlong allowance.
Monday, January 09 2012
PASCO, GASPARILLA ATTRACT POTENTIAL-LADEN NOMINEES
Promising 3-year-olds from the barns of such top-level conditioners as Kentucky Derby-winning trainers H. Graham Motion and Todd Pletcher, as well as Mark Casse, Derek Ryan, Edward Plesa Jr. and Wayne Catalano, are among a group of 47 horses nominated to Saturday’s $100,000 Pasco Stakes and $100,000 Gasparilla Stakes for fillies at Tampa Bay Downs.
Entries and post positions will be drawn Wednesday.
Sunday, January 08 2012
ACTION ANDY JUSTIFIES CONNECTIONS’ FAITH IN PELICAN STAKES
When Action Andy was 2, owner Robert Gerczak and trainer Carlos Garcia worried they might lose him because of Wobbler’s Syndrome.
“We almost put him down, he was so bad off,” said Gerczak after Action Andy’s dominant 3 ½-length victory in Saturday’s $60,000-guaranteed Pelican Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs. “Dr. (Allison) Faber did a bunch of chiropractic work and acupuncture treatments on him.”
Saturday, January 07 2012
Past Triple Crown Competitor Tries Tampa Turf
Tim Girten thinks 2012 could mark a new beginning in the racing career of 2008 Pennsylvania Derby winner Anak Nakal.
The 7-year-old son of 1998 Belmont Stakes winner Victory Gallop – who dead-heated for third himself in the 2008 Belmont under trainer Nick Zito – is scheduled to make his first start on the turf in Saturday’s fifth race at Tampa Bay Downs.
The $30,000, mile-and-a-sixteenth handicap for horses 4-years-old and up is one of 11 races on Saturday’s card, which includes the $60,000-guaranteed Pelican Stakes at six furlongs for 4-year-olds and up. Post time for the first race is 12:25 p.m.
Thursday, January 05 2012
PELICAN STAKES DRAWS ATTRACTIVE FIELD OF NINE OLDER RUNNERS
Tampa Bay Downs trainer Gerald Bennett has entered a dangerous one-two punch for Saturday’s $60,000-guaranteed Pelican Stakes, to be run at a distance of six furlongs on the main track. The 28th renewal of the Pelican is the eighth race on an 11-race card that begins at 12:27 a.m.
The uncoupled entry from the Bennett barn is headed by 4-year-old Gibson, a Florida-bred son of Gibson County owned by Sundance Thoroughbreds. Ronnie Allen, Jr. has the riding assignment. The confirmed front-runner Gibson won his previous start at Tampa Bay Downs on the grass, following his 6 ½-length score Nov. 12 in the $125,000 Jack Dudley Sprint Handicap at Calder at odds of 34-1.
Thursday, December 29 2011
HOMEISTER ENJOYS BANNER DAY IN THE SADDLE
Displaying top form and an impeccable sense of timing, jockey Rosemary Homeister, Jr. rode four winners on Thursday’s 10-race card at Tampa Bay Downs, signaling her intention to compete for the track’s riding title a mere four months after giving birth to daughter Victoria Rose.
Homeister’s tour de force began in the second race, a $10,000 claiming event, aboard 4-year-old filly Arsenal for owner Lambholm Stable and trainer Roy S. Lerman. In the sixth, a maiden special weight test for 2-year-old fillies at a distance of seven furlongs, Homeister piloted the well-bred One Hot Hand to a four-length triumph for breeder-owner William M. Backer and trainer Jonathan E. Sheppard.
Wednesday, December 28 2011
VICTORY NO. 1,000 HAS SPECIAL MEANING FOR GONCALVES
As he signed autographs on his return to the jockeys’ room after winning his 1,000th race in the United States at Tampa Bay Downs on Wednesday, Leandro Goncalves’ wide smile masked his emotions.
Thoughts of his father – whom Goncalves lost touch with soon after he began riding Quarter Horse races in Brazil when he was 10 – flooded his memory (six years later, 16-year-old Leandro found out his father had died shortly after they were separated).
Friday, December 23 2011
LENTENOR REKINDLES FOND MEMORIES; GONCALVES CLOSES IN ON 1,000
Based on his winning performance Friday at Tampa Bay Downs, Lentenor may be on the verge of stepping out from the huge shadow cast by his older full brother, ill-fated 2006 Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro.
Expertly guided by jockey Luis Garcia, 4-year-old Lentenor charged through the stretch to overtake 6-year-old Beckham Bend and post a one-and-a-half length victory in an impressive time of 1:40.95 for the mile-and-a-sixteenth race on the turf around the 22-foot temporary rail.