Tampa Bay Saturday: Two Sprint Stakes Top Saturday Race Card

HorseracingFLA Staff Report

A pair of six-furlong dirt stakes are Saturday’s feature races at Tampa Bay Downs,

First post is 12:25 p.m. for the 11-race card. The main track is listed as fast and the turf course is listed as firm.

We will have coverage on our blog.

The $100,000 Pelican Stakes is for males 4-years-old and up. It is the eighth race with scheduled post of 3:55 p.m.

There is a field of nine headed by the graded-stakes winning shipper Barbados and local favorite Fast Flying Rumor.

The $50,000 Minaret Stakes is for fillies and mares 4-years-old and up. It is the ninth race at 4:25 p.m.

You Bought Her, winner of last year’s Minaret, is back for trainer David Hinsley and will be ridden by Fernando De La Cruz.

The ten-horse field also has stakes winners R Sassy Lass and Legal Laura and graded stakes placed No Fault of Mine.

In the Pelican, Barbados is the morning line favorite at 9-5.

Barbados won last year’s seven-furlong Hutcheson (Grade 3) at Gulfstream Park and finished third in the 6 ½ furlong Amsterdam (Grade 2) at Saratoga.  The Pelican will be his first race since Oct. 31 when he finished 12th in the six-furlong Breeders’ Cup Sprint (Grade 1)at Keeneland.P1050622

Fast Flying Rumor, a 4-year-old gelding, won the five-furlong Turf Dash on Jan. 9 while earning a 108 Beyer Speed Figure, the highest in Tampa Bay Downs history.

Gerald Bennett, the trainer of Fast Flying Rumor, said on Friday that the Florida-bred speedster is training well leading to the Pelican.

He switched the horse to the main dirt track for his most recent start on Feb. 5, which resulted in a five-and-a-quarter length victory in 1:09.83 for six furlongs.

Ronnie Allen Jr. is the jockey for Fast Flying Rumor, owned by the Winning Stables of Bennett’s wife Mary Bennett in partnership with the Midnight Rider stable of Matt Ferris.

Gerald Bennett has won the Pelican Stakes three times as a trainer, most recently with Blind River Fox in 2009.

Fast Flying Rumor has post 7, outside the other expected early speed of Tiger Tank and Normandy Crossing. Barbados likely will be tracking the pace.