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.
Joining Fierce Wind in the Challenger lineup is Paradise Dancer, a nine-year-old son of Langfuhr under the care of trainer Kirk Ziadie for leading Tampa owner Richard Averill. Paradise Dancer has posted two bullet workouts over the Oldsmar oval and in his last start ran second in February 7’s Super Stakes. Wayzata Bay was second to Fierce Wind in his last start and has accrued lifetime earnings of $354,897, including multiple stakes wins and a victory in the Grade II Cornhusker Handicap. The seven-year-old son of Roar has finished in the money at the 1 1/16 miles distance in 26 of 20 attempts and posted two triple-digit Beyer numbers in 2008.
Finish Lines… Please note that Tampa Bay Downs will switch its dark days from Wednesdays to Thursdays mid-month beginning on March 19th; Mondays at the Oldsmar oval will also be open for only poker, golf and simulcast racing throughout the month.