Tampa Bay’s Turf Dash is a Bennett Family Affair

By Monique Welch

The Bennett family trio of Gerald and Mary and their son Dale account for four of the horses in the ninth and feature $100,000 Turf Dash at Tampa Bay Downs on Saturday.

The first post of the 10-race card is 12:25 p.m.  The scheduled post for the five-furlong Turf Dash is 4:25 p.m.

The race is for 3-year olds and upward. There were twelve entrants, four of which are trained by a Bennett clan member. The Bennett family’s Winning Stables owns or co-owns three of those horses.

The field is down to eleven following  the morning scratch of Summation Time, who  would have been among the favorites.

Gerald Bennett trains two horses in the race. They are Fast Flying Rumor, a 4-year old gelding that Ronald Allen Jr. will ride, and Bill’s Passion, a 3-year old gelding that will be ridden by Daniel Centeno. 

Fast Flying Rumor should be one of the favorites among bettors, having won the Turf Dash last season in 55.03 seconds.

He has a strong history of running very well under Allen at Tampa Bay Downs.  Last season at Tampa Bay, they teamed for three victories and a second place finish in five starts.

(The photo on the home page is Fast Flying Rumor winning the Turf Dash on Jan. 9, 2016).

Winning Stables, owned by the husband-wife team of Gerald and Mary Bennett, and  Midnight Rider are  co-owners of Fast Flying Rumor. 

Look out for Bill’s Passion, as well.  He  is coming in off a  win in 57.23  seconds over five furlongs in the Turf Dash prep on Dec. 7, under Centeno.  Winning  Stables and Harold Queen are co-owners of Bill’s Passion.

On Dec. 7, Bill’s Passion won by neck over One  Lucky Step who is trained by  Mary Bennett and owned by Winning Stables..

Since then, One Lucky Step has had two very fast   workouts at Tampa By Downs. Edwin Gonzalez will ride the 4-year old gelding.

Dale Bennett trains Incensed. Wilmer Garcia will ride the 3-year-old gelding who has finished either first or second in his last seven races. Six were at five furlongs on turf, with three in less than 57 seconds.  He is making his Tampa debut.

Outside of the Bennett circle there are two  formidable contenders in Power Alert and Super Spender, who both should be rallying from off the pace.

Power Alert was the runner up by 4 3/4 lengths in last season’s  Turf Dash.  He is the 5-2 morning  line favorite.

Since his loss to Fast Flying Rumor last year,  Power Alert won two non-graded stakes at Gulfstream Park and finished third and second in Grade 3 stakes outside Florida,  All of those races were  five furlongs on turf.

Albin Jimenez will ride Power Alert, a 6-year-old gelding who is trained  by  Brian Lynch.

Super Spender is coming to the Oldsmar track with back-to-back wins.  The  latest was on Dec. 3 at five furlongs on turf in the  Canterbury  on Claiming Crown day at Gulfstream.

For updated coverage throughout the day, follow our blog.