HorseracingFLA Staff Report
Jamie Ness has taken his accustomed top spot in the trainers’ standings at Tampa Bay Downs.
Ness saddled two winners on Sunday, giving him ten after 15 days of the Oldsmar track’s 2015-2016 meet.
The wins moved Ness ahead of Gerald Bennett, who has nine after going winless on Sunday.
Kathleen O’Connell, Dennis Ward and Dale Bennett (Gerald’s son) each have six wins and are tied for third place. Ness leads in purses won with $153,587. Gerald Bennett is second with $124,303, followed by O’Connell with $102,060.
Tampa Bay Downs will resume racing on Wednesday with ten races and first post of 12:25 p.m.
Gerald Bennett has horses entered in four races and Ness has horses entered in three races.
Ness has led or tied in most trainer wins each of the last nine seasons at Tampa Bay.
In 2014-2015 he had 46 wins, followed by Gerald Bennett with 43 and O’Connell with 39.
O’Connell, partly through her success in stakes races, led in purses won with $648,271. Gerald Bennett was second with $641,939 and Ness was third with $549,498.
In a tandem that results in numerous low-odds winners Ness often teams with Antonio Gallardo, Tampa Bay’s leader in jockey victories each of the last two years.
On Sunday, Gallardo had for winners including the two saddled by Ness. The Ness winners were the 4-year-old colt Tree Fire in the second race and the 5-year-old mare Indy Breeze in the third race.
Gallardo leads the jockey standings with 30 victories. Jose Ferrer is second with 12 and Daniel Centeno is third with 11 victories.
Midwest Thoroughbreds, one of Ness’s regular clients, leads the Tampa Bay owners’ standings with five wins. Jagger Inc., Ness’s stable, has four wins and is among several stables tied for second place.
Ness, who is 41, also trains in Maryland. He was leading trainer at Pimlico this spring and he has horses stabled this winter at Laurel Park.
“I usually start off a little slow here (Tampa Bay) because a lot of my horses are up north,” Ness said. “We get better as time goes on, so I think it (December) was an unusually good month for our stable.”
Turf Dash Nominees
Mongolian Saturday, the winner of this year’s Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (Grade 1), heads an impressive list of 29 nominees for the $100,000, five-furlong Turf Dash that will be run at Tampa Bay Downs on Jan. 9.
The 5-year-old gelding is owned by Mongolian Stable and trained by Enebish Ganbat.
Mongolian Saturday won the Breeders’ Cup race on Oct. 31 at Keeneland in Lexington, Ky. It was his 11th consecutive finish of third or better.
However, on Dec. 13 he finished fifth in the Longines Hong Kong Sprint at Sha Tin.
Other top Turf Dash nominees include:
* Bold Thunder, winner of the 2015 Turf Dash when he set the Tampa Bay Downs course record of 54.63
* Ancil, winner of the 2014 Turf Dash
* Fast Flying Rumor, winner of the Turf Dash Prep on Dec. 11
* Richies Sweetheart, the 4-year-old filly who won the Lightning City Stakes on Dec. 19. That 5-furlong turf stakes was restricted to fillies and mares 3-years-old and up.