By Monique Welch
The crowd of just over 4,000 found plenty of excitement at Tampa Bay Downs on Saturday, and several dozen of them were in and around the winner’s circle after the co-feature Gasparilla Stakes.
The even-money favorite R Angel Katelyn (photo on home page) had just crossed the finish line first, by 1 ¾ lengths over Jumby Bay, in the $100,000 stakes at seven furlongs on dirt for three-year-old fillies.
However, Jumby Bay’s jockey Jesus Castanon filed an objection against R Angel Katelyn and her jockey Edwin Gonzalez for alleged interference in the stretch. There also was a stewards inquiry.
The inquiry was due to R Angel Katelyn drifting out several times in the last furlong. But the stewards determined she did not prevent Jumby Bay from winning.
The owners of R Angel Katelyn, Rich Averill (Averill Racing), LLC, Clark Freeman (CCF Racing Stables), and Roger Smith (K Lauren Racing) had a crowd of their own of at least 40 people in attendance.
The inquiry had the group a little nervous about holding on to the victory, and they needed to wait five minutes for the decision.
It ended when the stewards upheld the win for R Angel Katelyn, Gonzalez and trainer Gerald Bennett.
Although Bennett showed no signs of worry during the inquiry, he must have been relieved to capture and hold on to the win by R Angel Katelyn. He had second place finishers in the earlier two stakes: Chance of Luck and Royal Jewely.
“She was winning easy,” Bennett said of R Angel Katelyn. (Jumby Bay) wasn’t going to get by her, anyway.”
After surviving the inquiry Bennett remarked on the incident: “She was going fast and I think last time when she won she kind of did the same looking at everything. We haven’t put blinkers on her yet, maybe blinkers will help her stay a little more focused.”
R Angel Katelyn won in 1:23.94 on the track listed as fast. This triumph was the third consecutive stakes score for the Florida-bred daughter of High Cotton. On Dec. 3 at Tampa Bay, she won the Sandpiper Stakes over the Todd Pletcher-trained Jumby Bay.
She is now four for five with one-second place finish. Finishing in third, five lengths after Jumby Bay, was Lirica and jockey Edgard Zayas.
Other Saturday Stakes
The Money Monster made an impressive late run and won the $100,000 Pasco Stakes by a half-length over the 7-5 favorite Chance of Luck.
Arrecife finished third, followed by Field Trip.
The Money Monster, at 7-2, was ridden by Edgard Zayas and won in 1:24.04.
The Money Monster, now 2-for-2 lifetime is a Kentucky-bred colt whose sire is Majestic Warrior.
Rohan Crichton trains The Money Monster and owns him in partnership with Cheryl Baker. The horse is stabled at Calder (Gulfstream Park West) in Miami Gardens.
Crichton said he might bring The Money Monster back to Tampa Bay Downs for the $250,000 Sam F. Davis Stakes (Grade 3) on Feb. 1.
The Sam F. Davis is at 1 1/16 miles. It awards “Road to the Kentucky Derby” qualifying points to the first four finishers (10-4-2-1).
The $50,000 Wayward Lass Stakes went to the veteran Daniel Centeno and No Fault of Mine who fought from behind at the start of the race, came in three wide on the far turn and drew clear late for a 2 ½ length victory over Royal Jewely.
“When it’s time to run make sure she’s outside she’s better outside,” Centeno said. “We were a little wide going into the last turn, but when she grabbed the bit she got a little response. As soon as she switched on the turn and kicked in, she was gone.”
No Fault of Mine clocked in at 1:44.63 for the 1 1/16 mile dirt race. Chris Block trains the 5-year old mare owned by Lothenbach Stables, Inc.
Also on Saturday, trainer Tom Proctor won with all three of his starters: Art Institute in the sixth race, Enchanteresse in the eighth race and Earring, the multiple graded-stakes placed 4-year old filly in the tenth race.
Centeno rode three winners and Ronald Allen rode two on Sunday’s nine-race card.
Through Sunday, the 29th day of the meet, Centeno leads in wins with 42 and Allen is second with 28. Pablo Morales is third with 24, followed by Gonzalez with 23.
Bennett leads trainers with 21 victories. But Jamie Ness is continuing to gain and is second with 14. Kathleen O’Connell is third with 11 wins, followed by Proctor with 10.
Jagger Inc., owned by Ness and his wife Mandy, leads owners with 11 wins. Rideljac Racing, owned by trainer Dennis Ward, is second with five wins.
Tampa Bay will resume live racing on Wednesday with ten races and first post of 12:25 p.m.
The Oldsmar track has racing on Wednesdays. Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through May 7.
It will have racing on three Thursdays next month—Feb. 9, Feb. 16 and Feb. 23.
–Photos courtesy of Tampa Bay Downs