The Hilton Garden Inn Sprint is a six furlong main track event that has attracted the nominations of horses such as Repenting, who captured the Ocala Breeders’ Sales Sophomore Stakes on last year’s Florida Cup Day. The Repent gelding is under the care of Tampa’s leading trainer Jamie Ness and has won three of his five starts at the Oldsmar oval. Roman Candles was the victor in last year’s edition of the Hilton Garden Inn Sprint and has amassed $201,309 in his lifetime for owner C. Robert Valeri and trainer Kathleen O’Connell. Ruby’s Red Socks was second by a neck in this year’s Pelican Stakes on January 10 and has never finished worse than second in his three starts in 2009; the Reparations gelding has further finished in the money in twelve of twenty of his starts at the ¾ miles distance.
The Dayton Andrews Dodge Sophomore Turf is a 1 1/16 miles test for three-year-olds run on the lawn; included among the nominees is Bunker Hill, who captured a pair of stakes over the summer for Tampa Bay Derby winning trainer Derek Ryan. The Trippi colt ran second in his last start in the Dover Stakes and looks for a return to form after a winter layoff. Adari has been competing in stakes company at Gulfstream Park in two of his last three starts, missing the $100,000 Dania Beach Stakes by only ¾ of a length and the $150,000 Hallandale Beach Handicap by 4 ¼ lengths. Sweetlandofliberty is a 8 ½ furlong specialist, having finished in the money at the distance in three of his five attempts. The Anasheed colt is coming out of the Grade III Palm Beach Stakes at Gulfstream and has hit the board in half of his 12 lifetime starts.
The L & D Farm Turf Distaff, a 1 1/16 miles turf test for fillies an mares four years old and upward, has attracted the notice of Scolara, who two starts ago won the $75,000 Marion County Stakes at Gulfstream. The Quiet American filly has run exclusively in stakes company in her last six starts, finishing in the money four times for conditioner Bill Mott. Azur joins the list of nominees to the L & D Farm Turf Distaff having never finished worse than second in four starts at Tampa Bay Downs; the Came Home filly is under the care of trainer Gerald Bennett and won in her last attempt going one mile on the turf here. Allnightdance captured the Summer Final Handicap in September of last year at Mountaineer and has amassed lifetime earnings of $196,243 for owner Robert Slack and trainer Derek Ryan. She’s six-for-eight for in-the-money finishes at Tampa Bay Downs and has come in the top three finishers in twelve of her seventeen turf starts.
The Ocala Breeders’ Sales Sophomore is a seven furlong main track event for three-year-olds; included among the nominees is Big Drama, who comes off of a victory in the $750,000 Grade III Delta Jackpot Stakes. The Montbrook colt has earned $860,250 through winning five of his six lifetime starts for owner Harold Queen and trainer Davis Fawkes. Bee Cee Cee has raced in exclusively in stakes company since breaking his maiden in April of 2008; the Songandaprayer colt has finished in the money in five of his career nine starts and counts a victory in the B L’s Sweep Stakes among his accomplishments. Anythingyouwant has been showing good form, winning in his last three starts in Starter Allowance company at Gulfstream Park. The Three Wonders colt has finished out of the money only once in his eight race career and has never lost at the seven furlong distance.
The $85,000 Stonehedge Farm South Sophomore Fillies is a 7/8 mile contest over the main track for three-year-old fillies; included in the nominees is R Brown Sugar, who has won her last three starts including the OBS Sprint at the Ocala Training Center last month. The Exchange Rate filly carries the colors of leading Tampa Bay Downs owner Rich Averill and has never lost at the Oldsmar oval. The undefeated Gatorette is a daughter of Distorted Humor who has won both of her career starts at Gulfstream Park by a combined 15 lengths and looks to make her first start in stakes company for owner Katherine Ball and trainer David Fawkes. Pretty Miss Trippi ran second to R Brown Sugar in the OBS Sprint and has finished in the money in six of her ten career starts. The Trippi filly was fourth in the $65,000 Sandpiper Stakes here in December by only 3 ¾ length and was second by only a length in her last start in allowance company at Gulfstream Park.
Finish Lines… Trainer Kathleen O’Connell teamed up with jockey Rosemary Homeister, Jr. to capture two wins on the card today; Homeister also booted home a third winner to give her 71 victories in 70 days of racing at Tampa Bay Downs. Homeister and O’Connell got their first win with Ryder Jax; the daughter of Smoke Glacken is owned by Tammy and Anthony Cabrera and was bred in Florida by Clover Leaf Farms II. Homeister and O’Connell struck again with Asgoodasshelooks, this time for owner Gilbert G. Campbell. Homeister took her third trip to the Winner’s Circle aboard Honor America. The five-year-old Florida-bred son of Honor and Glory is conditioned by Bruce Alexander for owner C S Racing Stable LLC.
Racing resumes Tuesday, March 24 with a ten race card; there is a Pick 6 carryover of $8,093.83 and a High 5 carryover is $3,356.84. 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.