Samy Camacho is the 12th jockey in track history to ride five or more winners on a single card.
With his 30th birthday next month, jockey Samy Camacho has discovered new levels of ability and maturity that are enabling him to excel on a day-in, day-out basis.
The Venezuela native rode five winners on today’s card, giving him nine victories over the last three racing days. With 66 victories during the meeting, Camacho trails only three-time Tampa Bay Downs champion Antonio Gallardo (96) and six-time champion Daniel Centeno (78) in the standings.
Camacho, who rode four winners here on Kentucky Derby Day last year, is the 12th jockey to ride five or more winners on a single card at Tampa Bay Downs. Gallardo has ridden five winners here three times and Hall of Fame jockey Javier Castellano achieved the feat on the March 25 Florida Cup Day card.
Richard DePass set the track record in 1980, going 7-for-7 on a single card. Camacho rode all 10 races today and had a second and a third.
Camacho scored his fifth victory in the 10th and final race on the turf on favorite Whiskey Train, a 4-year-old gelding owned by New World Thoroughbreds and Road Trip Racing Enterprises and trained by Laura Cazares.
Jockey Samy Camacho, right, celebrates his fifth winner on the card with valet Kevin Velez (courtesy SV Photography)
“I’m really excited to ride five winners for the first time in my career,” Camacho said. “I’m happy for my family and my fans, and I’m thankful to the owners and trainers who put me on their horses.
“My agent, Steve Elzey, works hard to get me good mounts, and right now I’m feeling confidence like a monster,” said Camacho, whose father, Samuel Camacho, Sr., won more than 900 races in Venezuela and whose brother, Samuel Camacho, Jr., is riding at Keeneland. “I wasn’t really nervous before the last race. My horse warmed up good, I was able to stay close early and the race played out like it went in my imagination.”
Camacho’s most impressive victory of the day may have come in the eighth race, the Lambholm South Race of the Week. After securing inside position on 4-year-old colt Contormar in the 1-mile turf contest, Camacho bided his time until the “real” running started, then urged the 9-1 shot to a five-and-a-quarter length victory from Golden Diamond.
Camacho launched his big day in the third race with a victory aboard 9-2 shot Grand Primpi, a 4-year-old colt, for owner Grupo 7C Racing Stable and trainer Gerard Ochoa. He came back in the fourth on the turf to help 3-year-old Florida-bred colt Ed’s Dog break his maiden for owners Mario Lorito (also the trainer) and Cristino Dominguez.
Camacho’s third triumph came in the seventh race on even-money favorite J B Quick, a 6-year-old Florida-bred gelding owned by G.L.A. Stable and trained by Victor Carrasco, Jr.
Both Grand Primpi and J B Quick were claimed from their victories by trainer Gary L. Johnson for new owner Infront Racing.
Tampa Bay Downs celebrates its long, fruitful relationship with its neighbors Sunday with the annual running of the Oldsmar Cup, which will be the sixth race on a nine-race program. The approximate post time for the Oldsmar Cup is 3:43 p.m.
Oldsmar residents will be admitted to the track free of charge with proof of residency.
The race is an allowance/optional claiming contest at a distance of a mile-and-40-yards for horses 4-years-old-and-upward. Seven horses are entered, with Chicory Blue, from the barn of trainer and co-owner Anthony Granitz, the 2-1 morning-line favorite. Gallardo has been named to ride the 6-year-old gelding.
The City of Oldsmar was founded in 1916, 10 years before the opening of Tampa Bay Downs (originally known as Tampa Downs). R.E. Olds, the inventor of the Oldsmobile and REO cars, purchased 37,541 acres on the northern tip of Tampa Bay with designs on turning the land into a thriving community for working people to pursue their slice of the American dream.
While Oldsmar grew to accommodate its natural surroundings and residents – surviving a 1921 hurricane in which large pines were uprooted and water levels rose 14 feet above normal – Thoroughbred racing made its debut on Feb. 18, 1926, under the leadership of Kentucky Colonel Matt J. Winn, promoter of the Kentucky Derby.
On today’s card, Kathleen O’Connell edged ahead of Gerald Bennett in the trainers’ race, 41-40, by saddling 4-year-old Florida-bred filly Queen of the Party to win the sixth race on the turf. Gallardo rode the winner, who is owned by O’Connell and Betty Hamilton.
Gallardo also won the ninth race on Sunset Empire, a 3-year-old Florida-bred filly owned by Kathleen Amaya and Raffaele Centofanti and trained by Efren Loza, Jr. The conditioner has eight victories from only 14 starters at the meeting.
Sunset Empire was claimed from the race by trainer Gerald Bennett for new owner Ray Rech.
Tampa Bay Downs races each Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday through May 6, with the exception of May 2. The track is open every day for simulcasting, no-limits poker action and tournament play in The Silks Poker Room and golf fun and instruction at The Downs Golf Practice Facility.