When It’s Me Mom won Wednesday’s $30,000 Minaret Prep at Tampa Bay Downs, it marked the fourth consecutive time the 3-year-old filly has raced against older horses. She won for the third time in those four races, sprinting clear to an 8¼-length victory in a speedy time of 1:10 flat for the six furlongs.
What made It’s Me Mom’s performance doubly impressive was that jockey Willie Martinez geared her down a notch in the final yards. The Florida-bred daughter of Put It Back-She Too, owned by Jean and Thomas Bosch and trained by Lynne Scace, has won seven of 12 career starts, including a pair of $100,000 stakes at Presque Isle Downs in Pennsylvania and a $100,000 stakes at Suffolk in Boston.
According to one veteran observer, her race in the Robert M. O’Malley Stakes at Suffolk on Oct. 22 had to be seen to be believed. After setting fractions of 21.17 and 43.63 for the first two quarters, It’s Me Mom lost the lead but fought back courageously for a nose victory from Nicole H. under Martinez. If all goes according to plan, It’s Me Mom should return in the Minaret Stakes on Dec. 31. And if she runs her race, the fireworks might rival anything that happens later that night.
Cotillion Festival Day on tap. Some of Tampa Bay Downs’ top 2-year-olds will be on display Saturday during the fifth annual Cotillion Festival Day Presented by Lambholm South, featuring a full 10-race card devoted to juveniles.
Two $75,000, six-furlong stakes highlight the action. The 27th Inaugural Stakes, the sixth race, for colts and geldings, marks the dirt-track debut of Luke of York, who is 2-for-2 in his career, including a victory in the $125,000 Keeneland 75th Anniversary Stakes. The fillies are in the spotlight in the ninth race, the 33rd annual Sandpiper. The 11-horse field includes Red Hot Doll, a two-time stakes winner at Fort Erie in Canada who will be ridden by Rosemary Homeister Jr. Post time for the first race is 12:27 p.m.
All for one. … Rosemary Homeister Jr. has gotten plenty of attention for her successful return to race-riding after delivering a daughter, Victoria Rose, in August, and rightfully so. But Homeister’s fiancée and Victoria Rose’s father, jockey Irwin Rosendo, is doing his part to keep baby warm, happy and well-fed.
Rosendo won two races Friday, raising his total for the fledgling meeting to three victories. He won the first race on 9-2 shot Importuno for owner Roger Urbina and trainer Manuel Azpurua. In the sixth race, Rosendo scored on 23-1 shot Extra Fuse for owner-trainer Lloyd Lockhart, the second time already this meeting the pair has combined for a triumph. Homeister kept pace in the eighth race Friday, winning aboard Chickabunny for trainer Eric Reed – who happens to be Victoria Rose’s godfather.
Live Thoroughbred racing is scheduled Saturday and there will be three days of live racing next week: Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. Tampa Bay Downs is open every day for simulcasting, as well as no-limits poker in the Silks Poker Room and golf fun and instruction at the Downs Golf Practice Facility.