HorseracingFLA Staff Report
Tampa Bay Downs today has three Grade 3 stakes races, all with some current or potential stars.
The most notable entrant is Tepin, the winner of an Eclipse Award and a Breeders’ Cup race last year. She will be favored in the $150,000 Endeavour Stakes at 1 1/16 miles on turf on turf for fillies and mares 4-years-old and up.
Several horses that are prospects on the Triple Crown trail will run in the $250,000 Sam F. Davis at 1 1/16 miles on dirt for 3-year-old males.
The $150,000 Tampa Bay Stakes is 1 1/16 miles on turf for males 4-years-old and up. Among the 12 entrants is Old Time Hockey, who finished second in the race last year.
The Festival Preview Day also has the ungraded $100,000 Suncoast Stakes, at one mile and 40 yards on dirt for 3-year-old fillies.
First post is 12:15 p.m. for the 12-race card.
We will have race coverage this afternoon on our blog.
It will be the first race of 2016 for Tepin, now a 5-year-old.
Last year, she won the Breeders’ Cup Mile (Grade 1) on the turf at Keeneland against a field of males on Oct. 31.
Tepin nailed down an Eclipse Award as 2015 Champion Grass Female with that effort, to go with three other graded-stakes victories, including the Just a Game (Grade 1) at Belmont and the First Lady (Grade 1) at Keeneland.
Her trainer, Mark Casse, is making no secret of his desire to put Tepin in position for a run at another Breeders’ Cup triumph and back-to-back Eclipse Awards. He is tentatively planning to point her to the Grade I Maker’s Mark Mile against males at Keeneland on April 15.
“We feel she is training super,” Casse said. “She is the same Tepin we saw last year, and we’re expecting big things from her again.”
Julien Leparoux, who rode Tepin in each of her seven 2015 starts, has the mount today. Robert Masterson owns Tepin.
The Endeavour also has Lexie Lou, trained by Casse and owned by Gary Barber, In 2014 Lexie Lou won the $1 million Queen’s Plate, the premier race for Canadian-bred 3-year-olds. She beat a field that included males at Woodbine in Etobicoke, Ont.
Antonio Gallardo has the mount on Lexie Lou today.
The Endeavour is the eighth race with scheduled post of 3:45 p.m.
Sam F. Davis
The seven-horse field has recent stakes winners Morning Fire, Whatawondrfulworld, Rafting and Awesome Slate.
The race also has the Todd Pletcher trained duo of Gettysburg and Destin. No More Chillin rounds out the field.
Prior to the race, we will have a preview on our blog.
The Davis is the fifth race with scheduled post of 2:15 p.m. It is a prep race for the Tampa Bay Derby (Grade 2) to be run at Tampa Bay Downs on March 12.
In addition to Old Time Hockey, the Casse-trained Sky Captain and the Christophe Clement-trained War Correspondent are among top contenders.
It is the tenth race with scheduled post of 4:45 p.m.