OLDSMAR, Fla. (January 2, 2009) Dream Rush, who won her last start on Opening Day at Tampa Bay Downs, will make her way postward with nine other fillies and mares in the 28th edition of the Minaret Stakes on Saturday. The Minaret Stakes is a $65,000 test for fillies and mares four years old and up run over 6 furlongs on the main track. Dream Rush is the winner of $749,364 in her career, which has included victories in the Grade I Prioress Stakes and the Grade I Test Stakes. The five-year-old Wild Rush mare will retain the services of Daniel Centeno for owner Minor Stable and trainer William Phipps.

Joining Dream Rush on the Minaret roster is Rising Fever, a five-year-old Put It Back Brazilian-bred mare who will make her first start Stateside after a five race winning streak on her native soil; four of those victories came in stakes races. Luis Gonzalez will have the call to ride for owner David Soifer and trainer Christophe Clement. Star Operator is a Woodbine invader who has been working very well over the Tampa Bay Downs surface for past leading Tampa trainer Kirk Ziadie; the five-year-old Quaker Ridge mare put in a bullet work on December 8, besting 39 other horses by going four furlongs in 40.20. Star Operator comes into the Minaret Stakes having earned a bankroll of $242,109 for owner Robert L. Pastor and will have current second leading Tampa Bay Downs rider jockey Rosemary Homeister, Jr. aboard.

Finish Lines… Holiday Inn Jockey of the Month Daniel Centeno added three more wins to his tally for the 2008-2009 Tampa Bay Downs meet; he now has 17 wins to his credit in 11 days of racing. Centeno took his first trip to the Winner’s Circle on Wink Anda Blessing, t three-year-old Gimmeawink gelding bred in Florida by Kathleen Paul, trained by Rick Slomkowski and owned by Frank C. Calabrese. Centeno scored again with Song of Greatness, a homebred of George Steinbrenner’s Kinsman Farm who was conditioned to victory by Greg Griffith. Centeno booted home Star Emerald for his third win; the four-year-old Pulpit filly is under the care of Michael Matz for owner Ellen Dixon Miller.

Jockey Ron Allen, Jr. also took home three wins today, getting his first victory aboard Darby Lee, a six-year-old Out of Place mare owned by Web’s Gems Stable and conditioned by last year’s leading trainer Jamie Ness. Allen next took a trip to the Winner’s Circle with Forest Kaelin’s trainee Lear’s Love for owner Betty Kaelin. Allen rounded out his hat trick on Thalian Hall. The six-year-old Theatrical gelding was saddled by Tom Proctor and is owned by Dogwood Plantation.

Racing resumes tomorrow, January 3 with an eleven race card; the Pick 6 carryover is $2930.86. 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.