Displaying top form and an impeccable sense of timing, jockey Rosemary Homeister, Jr. rode four winners on Thursday’s 10-race card at Tampa Bay Downs, signaling her intention to compete for the track’s riding title a mere four months after giving birth to daughter Victoria Rose.
Homeister’s tour de force began in the second race, a $10,000 claiming event, aboard 4-year-old filly Arsenal for owner Lambholm Stable and trainer Roy S. Lerman. In the sixth, a maiden special weight test for 2-year-old fillies at a distance of seven furlongs, Homeister piloted the well-bred One Hot Hand to a four-length triumph for breeder-owner William M. Backer and trainer Jonathan E. Sheppard.
Homeister completed her four-bagger with victories in the eighth and ninth races. She teamed with trainer George “Rusty” Arnold II in the eighth with 3-year-old gelding Devil Train, who won the six-furlong allowance by 4 ¼ lengths for owners Michael Dahir and Sandra Bromagen.
The 39-year-old Homeister shifted her winning ways to the turf in the ninth race, cruising to an impressive score aboard 3-year-old colt The Waco Kid in the $50,000-$40,000, mile claiming race for owner 35th Street Stable and trainer Kathleen O’Connell.
Homeister, who won the Opening Day Lightning City Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs aboard Jenny’s So Great, has nine victories at the current meeting, three behind track leader Leandro Goncalves. She has ridden 2,448 winners in her career, second all-time among females to Hall of Fame jockey Julie Krone.
Stakes winners It’s Me Mom and Beso Grande head a field of 10 fillies and mares entered in Saturday’s 31st renewal of the $50,000-guaranteed Minaret Stakes, the feature race of Tampa Bay Downs’ New Year’s Eve Thoroughbred racing card. The Minaret will be contested at a distance of six furlongs.
It’s Me Mom, a 3-year-old Florida-bred daughter of Put It Back-She Too, bred and owned by Thomas and Jean Bosch and trained by Lynne Scace, was nothing short of sensational Dec. 7 at Tampa Bay Downs in the Minaret Prep. Under regular jockey Willie Martinez, she shot to a clear lead from the gate and romped by 8 ¼ lengths despite gearing down the final 100 yards.
Saturday also marks the return of the popular Morning Glory Club, which begins at 10 a.m. Early arrivals can enjoy free coffee and donuts while watching horses work out. When training hours end, track announcer and Morning Glory Club host Richard Grunder will interview TBD Vice President and General Manager Peter Berube, followed by a question-and-answer session.
First-race post time today and Saturday is 12:25 p.m. The 2012 Calendar Giveaway continues both days. In addition, patrons can receive a free copy of author/handicapper Peter Mallett’s book Betting 2011-12 Tampa Bay Downs: An Up-To-Date Guide For Bettors Handicapping The Oldsmar Oval.
Tampa Bay Downs is open each day for simulcast wagering, no-limits poker and golf fun and instruction.