In the $27,000 Filly and Mare Division of the Tampa Turf Test, 5-year-old gray mare Another Smokey rallied from mid-pack under Daniel Centeno to score an emotional victory for owner-trainer Joyce Kielty, whose late husband Donald picked out the Florida-bred at an Ocala yearling sale in 2008. The couple paid $2,500 for her.
With 63 victories from 136 starters at Tampa Bay Downs, Ness is five away from his track record of 68 victories set during the 2007-08 season and is a lock for a sixth consecutive training title.
Centeno, a four-time leading jockey at Tampa Bay Downs who recently moved his tack back to Oldsmar from Gulfstream, rode four winners on the card.
In addition to scoring on Another Smokey, he won the first race for Midwest and Ness on Brave Yank; the 10th, a maiden claiming event on the turf, aboard 4-year-old filly Sweet Little Lion for owner RJM Stables LLC and trainer Gregory Griffith; and came right back in the 11th on 9-year-old gelding Wild ‘n’ Waki Guy for owner Nina Ubide and trainer Max Ubide.
Even though Gold Brew is 8 and has no stud value, doubtless Scanlan and trainer Bernell Rhone feel lucky the Kentucky-bred son of Touch Gold went unclaimed when running for a $5,000 tag Jan. 26 and $8,000 on Feb. 18. His time for the about 1 3/8-mile distance under jockey Dean Butler was 2:18.23, less than a second off Galic Boy’s turf track record.
Let It Rock, who had won the two previous legs of the Male Division of the Turf Test, finished second as the 9-5 favorite, a length-and-a-quarter ahead of Sette E Mezzo.
“He’s always been a decent horse,” said Rhone, who claimed Gold Brew last June at Canterbury Park for $5,000 from his second start after almost a two-year layoff to recuperate from injury. “His former owners had made him into a riding horse before he came back, but he has found his niche and is pretty healthy right now.
“I thought he might be too far back early, but the pace was fairly honest. If they’re going fast enough up front, he will catch them.”
Rhone and Butler said adding blinkers recently has led to significant improvement for Gold Brew.
“They keep him a little more focused,” Butler said. “The first time we put them on him, he made a huge move around the turn, but the fence was dead and he came up empty. I don’t know if it was because it was his first time wearing blinkers, but since then he has gotten better and better.”
Gold Brew paid $11.20 as the third betting choice.
Another Smokey won the Filly and Mare Division by a length under Centeno from 52-1 shot Rollbaby, with Doe Run third and favorite Lucky Lass ninth. It was only the fourth career victory in 32 starts for Another Smokey, but she had finished second or third in her four previous starts, all at the current meeting.
The daughter of Heckle-Spiritual Sword paid $14.80 after completing the distance in 2:21.64.
“It was a really tough race, but I felt I had the best jockey,” said Joyce Kielty, who trains six of her own horses and seven for outside clients. Donald Kielty had trained horses for 40 years.
“It seems she wants to go longer and longer,” Joyce said. “She’s had a lot of tough luck – somebody would come over on her, and things like that – but I knew one day, everything was going to go her way.”
Centeno always sensed he was sitting on a live horse. “Past the 5/8-mile pole, I couldn’t take hold of her any more, so I let her run,” he said. “She took off again at the eighth pole and had a good kick at the end.”
Ness continued his relentless march toward his own record from the outset Saturday. In the first race, Ness saddled the 4-year-old gelding Brave Yank – who he had claimed from owner David Walters and trainer Anthony Granitz from his previous race, a runner-up effort, for $5,000 – for an 8 ¼-length victory from 5-year-old gelding Nervous Marvin, his conqueror in their previous meeting.
Interestingly, Nervous Marvin had been claimed from Ness out of that last race by trainer Gerald Bennett for owner Winning Stables, Inc.
Brave Yank sped the six-and-a-half furlongs Saturday in 1:15.86, .39 seconds off Action Andy’s track record. Brave Yank was ridden by Centeno.
Both the winner and the runner-up in Saturday’s first race were claimed for $5,000 and will be running for new outfits next time. Brave Yank was claimed by trainer Barbara McBride for owner Neal Allread, while Nervous Marvin was claimed by owner-trainer Ida Paquette.
Midwest and Ness won the third race, the $21,900, seven-furlong Oldsmar Cup Purse, with 5-year-old gelding My Charming Clyde. Top Tampa Bay Downs jockey Leandro Goncalves was aboard. My Charming Clyde raced the distance in 1:22.54, .41 seconds off Manicero’s track mark.
My Charming Clyde drew off in the stretch for a 4 ¼-length victory from Capitol Appeal. The 19-10 favorite, Thank U Philippe, finished fourth.
Presenting the race trophy were Oldsmar City Council member Janice Miller; Tom Roe, the great-grandson of city founder R.E. Olds; Sandy Roe, Tom’s wife; and several members of the Oldsmar Historical Society.
Midwest and Ness also won the seventh race with 5-year-old mare Reigning Livia, ridden by Goncalves.
Holiday Inn Express & Suites Jockey of the Month Dean Butler – who won a race Wednesday on his 41st birthday – went one better Saturday, winning the fifth race on daughter Kendall’s first birthday to go with his victory on Gold Brew.
Butler scored in the seven-furlong, maiden claiming fifth race aboard McKayla’s Wish, a 4-year-old gelding, for owner Steven H. Bush and trainer Robert R. O’Connor, II. The victory came right after Butler accepted his Jockey of the Month plaque with his proud family – wife LeAnn, 5-year-old daughter Kayleigh and Kendall – in attendance.
Live racing at Tampa Bay Downs resumes Sunday with a first-race post time of 12:25 p.m. The track has entered the spring portion of its schedule, with live racing on Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through May 6 (with the exception of Easter Sunday, April 8, and May 2.
Next Saturday, March 31, Tampa Bay Downs will simulcast five races from the Dubai World Cup card beginning at 11 a.m., culminating in the $10-million Dubai World Cup at 1:40 p.m.
Included in the simulcast schedule is the Dubai Golden Shaheen, in which Tampa Bay Downs jockey Willie Martinez will ride Giant Ryan. The Dubai Golden Shaheen will be simulcast at about 11:35 a.m.
Tampa Bay Downs is open every day except Easter Sunday, April 8, for simulcast wagering, no-limits poker action in The Silks Poker Room and golf fun and instruction at the Downs Golf Practice Facility.