HorseracingFLA Staff Report
A turf allowance/allowance optional claimer with fillies from the barns of Bill Mott and John Terranova and two maiden special weight races will highlight Saturday’s 11-race program at Tampa Bay Downs program.
Post time for the first race is 12:25 p.m.
The feature turf allowance is the ninth race, at 1 1/16 miles for fillies and mares 4-years-old and up. It has $24,000 purse with an optional claiming price of $32,000.
Terranova’s entrant, the 4-year-old filly Greywalls, found stakes company in New York last year daunting, but she managed to win a one-mile allowance/optional claiming turf allowance last August at Saratoga in gate-to-wire fashion despite breaking from the No. 11 post. Tampa Bay Downs leading jockey Antonio Gallardo is named to ride Greywalls, owned by Long Lake Stable.
Greywalls finished fourth in her seasonal debut, a seven-furlong main-track contest on Jan. 20 at Tamp Bay Downs. Since then she has posted three workouts, including a five-furlong breeze of 1:00 1/5 on Feb. 14 that was the fastest of 28 that day at the distance.
Mott’s charge, 4-year-old filly Gigi’s Kitten, broke her maiden last July at Belmont and won an allowance/optional claiming race on Nov. 5 at Aqueduct, rallying from last place to grab the upset victory. She has finished off the board in two starts at Gulfstream this winter.
The first of Saturday’s maiden special weight races is the seventh, for 3-year-old fillies at a mile-and-a-sixteenth on the turf.
The 5-2 morning-line favorite in the nine-horse field is the H. Graham Motion-trained Majestic Smile, to be ridden by Scott Spieth.
The eighth race is a five-and-a-half furlong, main-track contest for 3-year-olds. The gelding Splash Rules, trained by John Vinson and to be ridden by Manoel Cruz, has been established at 2-1 after his respectable fourth-place finish in his career debut here going six furlongs on Jan. 30.
Saturday’s fifth, seventh, ninth and 11th races are scheduled for the turf course.
A pair of Friday’s winners found a switch in surfaces to their liking.
In the third race, 3-year-old filly Sunshine Life, a beaten favorite four times, broke her maiden in her 10th start in a six-furlong maiden claiming event on the main dirt track. Each of her previous eight starts, including the last four at Tampa Bay Downs, were on the turf, the last five around two turns.
Ridden by Dean Butler, Sunshine Life ran the distance in 1:13.21, defeating Red Hot n’ Boom by four-and-a-quarter lengths. The winner is owned by Empire Racing and trained by Bernell Rhone.
In the fourth race, another maiden claiming affair, 3-year-old colt Flower Punch finally got a chance to run on the grass after his first three career starts had been switched from the turf to the main track. Flower Punch scored a gate-to-wire victory under Daniel Centeno at odds of 13-1, winning by a length from Silent Waters in 1:43.83 for the mile-and-a-sixteenth.
Flower Punch is owned by Patrick H. Hoppel and trained by Sandino R. Hernandez, Jr.