Weekend Preview: Stakes Races at Both Tracks

HorseracingFLA Staff Report

Tampa Bay Downs and Gulfstream Park are heading into a major weekend of stakes racing.

First they will have today’s cards, without stakes races but with deep fields that should be attractive to bettors.

At each track, the dirt is listed as fast and the turf is listed as firm.

First post is 12:35 p.m. at Gulfstream Park.  Six races are on the turf.

Tampa Bay has ten races today, with first post of 12:42 p.m.

Here’s what to look for this weekend.

Tampa Bay Downs

After a dark day on Thursday, veteran jockeys Ronnie Allen Jr. and Daniel Centeno head into today’s card on hot streaks.

On Wednesday, Allen rode four winners and Centeno rode three winners.  Both are previous holders of riding titles at Tampa Bay.

Two-time defending champ Antonio Gallardo leads this season’s standings with 69 victories.  Allen is second with 42.  Centeno and Fernando De La Cruz each have 35.

The battle for second place should be heated for the remainder of the meet that ends May 8.

On today’s card, Gallardo and De La Cruz each have seven mounts. Centeno has six.  Allen has two, in a  rare  slow day for him.

Tampa Bay has four stakes races on its Saturday card:

* Sam F. Davis (Grade 3) — $250,000, 1 1/16 miles dirt, 3-YO
* Endeavor (Grade 3) — $150,000, 1 1/16 miles turf, fillies and mares  4-YO and up
*Tampa Bay (Grade 3) — $150,000, 1 1/16 miles turf, 4-YO and up

*Suncoast — $100,000, one mile and 40 yards dirt, 3-YO fillies

We will have previews this evening.

Gulfstream ParkGP_Wed-Monday_300x250-banner

*On Thursday, Cay Dancer led the entire route and held on to beat Walk Close by a neck in the $65,000 Savannah Jane Stakes. Achnaha finished third in the six-horse field.

Cay Dancer, the 6-5 favorite, won the 1 ½ mile turf race in 2:26.02 on the course listed as firm.  Javier Castellano rode Cay Dancer for trainer Chad Brown.

It was the fourth win in 16 career starts for Cay Dancer, who began her career in Great Britain, and her first in five U.S. starts.

Gulfstream Park, Feb. 11, 2016—eighth race

6 -CAY DANCER-GB             4.60  2.80  2.60

3 -WALK CLOSE                              3.80  2.80

2 -ACHNAHA-IRE                                     3.00

$2 EXACTA 6-3 PAID $15.60; $1 TRIFECTA 6-3-2 PAID $26.40; 10 CENT SUPERFECTA 6-3-2-5  PAID $3.83

*On Saturday, Gulfstream will have the $200,000  Royal Delta Stakes (Grade 2) at 1 1/16 miles on dirt for fillies and mares 4-years-old and up.

Sandiva, a winner of three graded turf stakes at Gulfstream, will make her first dirt start. Joel Rosario will ride for trainer Todd Pletcher.

On Sunday, the lone Gulfstream stakes is the $65,000  Miami Shores at 6 ½ furlongs on dirt for fillies and mares 4-years-old and up.  Recent stakes winners Flutterby, Mom’s Laugh and Dogwood Trail are among the  ten entrants.

Gulfstream, usually dark on Mondays, will host a Presidents’ Day card this coming Monday Feb. 15.  It will have 12 stakes races with purses of $50,000 or $60,000.