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.
BARBARO’S FULL BROTHER TO COMPETE AT TAMPA BAY DOWNS
Lentenor, a 4-year-old full brother to 2006 Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro, is scheduled to make his Tampa Bay Downs racing debut in Friday’s seventh race, an allowance/optional claiming event at a mile-and-a-sixteenth on the turf for 3-year-olds and up.
Sired by Dynaformer and out of the mare La Ville Rouge (by Carson City), Lentenor turned in a sharp five-furlong workout of 1:02.60 breezing on Dec. 16. Lentenor is 2-for-11 lifetime, with two seconds and three thirds. His most recent victory came July 31 in a mile-and-70-yard turf race at PARX Racing in Philadelphia. As a 3-year-old in 2010, Lentenor finished fourth in the Florida Derby at Gulfstream.
Wednesday, December 14 2011
SCOTT HORSES QUICK TO SHED MAIDEN TAG; QUIZ WHIZ ACES PELICAN PREP
Only five days into the 2011-12 Tampa Bay Downs Thoroughbred racing season, it seems like more than coincidence that seven horses from the Joan Scott Racing Stable were the first arrivals when the track backside opened last month for training.
Scott has already posted five victories from six starters, her only setback a second-place finish. Scott was a perfect 3-for-3 Wednesday, scoring with Alifyfe Racing’s 3-year-old gelding Like a Dream in the third race; Nae Problem, a 4-year-old filly owned by Alifyfe, in the fifth race on the turf via disqualification; and Ron and Steve Ballou and Wine N Equine Racing’s 3-year-old filly Vertical Lift in the 10th on grass.
Saturday, December 10 2011
IT’S ME MOM KEEPS SCHOOLING HER ELDERS
When It’s Me Mom won Wednesday’s $30,000 Minaret Prep at Tampa Bay Downs, it marked the fourth consecutive time the 3-year-old filly has raced against older horses. She won for the third time in those four races, sprinting clear to an 8¼-length victory in a speedy time of 1:10 flat for the six furlongs.
What made It’s Me Mom’s performance doubly impressive was that jockey Willie Martinez geared her down a notch in the final yards. The Florida-bred daughter of Put It Back-She Too, owned by Jean and Thomas Bosch and trained by Lynne Scace, has won seven of 12 career starts, including a pair of $100,000 stakes at Presque Isle Downs in Pennsylvania and a $100,000 stakes at Suffolk in Boston.
Thursday, December 08 2011
LUKE OF YORK HEADLINES COTILLION FESTIVAL DAY
Luke of York, who was considered a top candidate for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Sprint after his eye-popping victory in the Keeneland 75th Anniversary Stakes, makes his dirt track debut Saturday at Tampa Bay Downs in the 27th running of the six-furlong Inaugural Stakes, one of two $75,000-guaranteed events on the 10-race card. Post time for the first race is 12:27 p.m.
The Inaugural and the 33rd annual Sandpiper Stakes for fillies are the centerpieces of the track’s fifth annual Cotillion Festival Day Presented by Lambholm South, celebrating an entire afternoon of 2-year-old racing. “The majority of these youngsters were bred in Florida and represent the hopes and aspirations of their breeders, owners and trainers,” said Tampa Bay Downs Vice President and General Manager Peter Berube.
Wednesday, December 07 2011
HOMEISTER’S RETURN TO TAMPA BAY DOWNS MERITS HONORS
Winning the $75,000 Lightning City Stakes aboard 4-year-old filly Jenny’s So Great on Opening Day at Tampa Bay Downs was a magical moment for jockey Rosemary Homeister Jr. But it couldn’t compare to giving birth to her first child Aug. 21.
While baby daughter Victoria Rose was being cared for at home by the mom of Homeister’s fiancé and fellow jockey, Irwin Rosendo, Homeister guided Jenny’s So Great through a narrow opening in deep stretch to win the five-furlong turf race for owners Vicki and Bill Poston and trainer Jason Servis. It was one of two Opening Day victories for Homeister, who has 2,441 in her career.
Sunday, December 04 2011
ROSEMARY, JENNY’S SO GREAT TEAM FOR LIGHTNING CITY TRIUMPH
Despite having ridden more than 2,400 winners in her career, jockey Rosemary Homeister Jr. felt she had something to prove on Opening Day at Tampa Bay Downs.
Her mount in the $75,000-guaranteed Lightning City Stakes, Jenny’s So Great, ran as if she felt the same way.
Friday, December 02 2011
DEEP STAKES FIELD HIGHLIGHTS OPENING DAY
Defending champion Suzzona and Grade III-winner Jenny’s So Great headline an accomplished field of 12 fillies and mares entered in Saturday’s $75,000-guaranteed Lightning City Stakes, the feature event on Tampa Bay Downs’ 11-race Opening Day card.
Post time for the first race is 12:27 p.m. The Lightning City, slated as the eighth race, will be run on the turf at a distance of five furlongs.