OLDSMAR, Fla. (April 15, 2009) The Courtside Grille II Trainer of the Month for April is Dale Bennett, who in the week of April 4 through April 11 has conditioned four winners and one third place finisher form ten starters at average odds of 4-1.

Dale Bennett, whose father is Tampa Bay Downs trainer Gerald Bennett, was born in Toronto in 1972 and grew up on a farm in Campbellville, Ontario, Canada. He was raised around horses, and began working with them at a very early age. As time went by, Bennett began to progress through the ranks of the backside, starting out hot-walking for his father, then as a groom and an exercise rider, all the while finding time to graduate from Geulph Collegiate in 1991. In 1998, Bennett earned his trainer’s license and began his career with three horses in his barn; one of whom, Spirit of Austin, gave him his first win at Detroit Race Course. Since then, Dale Bennett has excelled at any track where he keeps a stable.

Bennett says his father has had the biggest influence on his career. He grew up working in his barn, and says that his father taught him the art of communicating with horses, as well as the need to treat and train the horses as individuals. Bennett’s most memorable horse is Marley’s Revenge, who gave Bennett his first stakes win. Marley’s Revenge covered the five and a half furlongs on the turf at Arlington Park in 1:02.44, shattering a twenty-two-year-old stakes record there.

Fourteen years ago, Bennett met his wife Denise at Tampa Bay Downs, where she rode for the Gerald Bennett stable. The two got married in 2000, and Denise, who is now a trainer in her own right, laughingly points out that meeting her was Dale Bennett’s most memorable event at Tampa Bay Downs.

Finish Lines… Please note that Tampa Bay Downs has switched over to its new April schedule.