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April 21, 2018


by Mike Henry
Andina Del Sur could be candidate for $1-million Belmont Oaks Invitational in July; Siggie debut in Lambholm South Race of Week on turf is something to behold; Kathleen O'Connell, Gerald Bennett tied atop trainer standings with 45 victories apiece.

Trainer Tom Albertrani said his Grade III Florida Oaks winner, Andina Del Sur, will return to the turf after her fourth-place finish two weeks ago in the Grade I Central Bank Ashland Stakes on the dirt at Keeneland.

The 3-year-old filly is back at the conditioner’s base at Belmont Park in New York, with tentative plans calling for her to tackle an overnight turf stakes as preparation for the Grade I, $1-million Belmont Oaks Invitational on July 7.

“At the three-eighths pole (in the Central Bank Ashland), Julien (Leparoux, the jockey) felt like he had a lot of horse,” Albertrani said. “Then the last quarter of a mile, she kind of let herself down and didn’t really try, so she ran like a typical turf horse that day.”

After saddling Godolphin homebred 3-year-old colt Final Frontier to win Friday’s eighth race at Tampa Bay Downs, Albertrani settled for two seconds today. The trainer of such outstanding horses as Bernardini, Gozzip Girl, Brilliant Speed, Twilight Eclipse, Zo Impressive, Better Lucky and Sadler’s Joy has enjoyed a fruitful relationship with Tampa Bay Downs over the years, winning the Tampa Bay Derby in 2006 with Deputy Glitters and in 2010 with Odysseus.

Albertrani has six victories from 19 starters at the current meeting.

“What’s really made a difference here is the turf course,” Albertrani said. “It’s a lot better (than most). Some horses prefer it, and it’s helped me with some of mine, too.”

Albertrani hoped to watch Proud Native, a 3-year-old colt he trains for breeder-owner Woodslane Farm, break his maiden in today’s sixth race, the Lambholm South Race of the Week at a mile on the turf.

But although Proud Native ran well, he was not the equal of first-time starter Siggie, who set an uncontested pace and turned back Proud Native’s stretch challenge to post a length-and-a-quarter victory.

Ridden by Charles C. Lopez, 3-year-old gelding Siggie paid $47 to win. Bred in New York by Lambholm and Ella Felcher and owned by Lambholm Stable, Siggie is trained by Lambholm South owner Roy S. Lerman.

The victory was a birthday present for Lerman’s wife, Shirley, who was also at Tampa Bay Downs.

Lerman may have been surprised by Siggie’s performance, but not too much. “He’s worked head and head with Clearly (a 4-year-old Lambholm Stable gelding who broke his maiden here on Jan. 24), who we think is a nice horse,” Lerman said.

Around the oval. The Oldsmar oval’s training race continues to percolate, with Kathleen O’Connell and Gerald Bennett tied at 45 victories apiece after O’Connell sent out two winners today to Bennett’s one.

O’Connell, who has two Tampa Bay Downs training titles, won the seventh race with David Deliver’s, a 3-year-old Florida-bred gelding owned by Keith Philip O’Neill. Antonio Gallardo was the rider. The conditioner added the ninth race on the turf with Street Heiress, a 5-year-old mare owned by Vina Del Mar Thoroughbreds and ridden by Jose A. Bracho.

Bennett, who has won the last two Tampa Bay Downs training titles and three overall, won the fourth race with 3-year-old Florida-bred filly Haley’s Thunder, owned by his Winning Stables and Midnight Rider and ridden by Samy Camacho.

Gallardo and Camacho both won two races. Camacho’s other victory came in the second race on Kathy’s Clown, a 3-year-old filly owned by Linda Shanahan and trained by Patrick Biancone.

Gallardo won the first race aboard Petrocelli, an 8-year-old gelding owned and trained by M. Anthony Ferraro.

Thoroughbred racing continues Sunday with a nine-race card beginning at 12:25 p.m. The feature event is the fifth race, a $23,500 allowance/optional claiming race for horses 4-years-old-and-upward at a mile on the turf. Eight are entered.

Tampa Bay Downs conducts racing each Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday through May 6, with the exception of May 2.

On Saturday, May 5, the Oldsmar oval will simulcast the 144th edition of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve. Currently, four horses that have competed at Tampa Bay Downs this season are expected to be part of a 20-horse field of 3-year-olds for the mile-and-a-quarter classic, the first leg of the Triple Crown.

That quartet includes Grade II Lambholm South Tampa Bay Derby winner Quip; Grade III Sam F. Davis Stakes winner and Lambholm South Tampa Bay Derby runner-up Flameaway; unbeaten Magnum Moon, who won an allowance/optional claiming race here on Feb. 15 and has since won the Grade II Rebel Stakes and Grade I Arkansas Derby; and Vino Rosso, who won an allowance-optional claiming race here on Dec. 22 and finished third in the Sam F. Davis and fourth in the Lambholm South Tampa Bay Derby before winning the Grade II Wood Memorial Stakes presented by NYRA Bets at Aqueduct.

Available reserved seating on Kentucky Derby Day at the Oldsmar oval is limited to Grandstand seats at $10 each. All other seating is available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Fans may reserve seats by visiting on the Internet and clicking the “PREMIER DAY TICKETS” icon.

Mint juleps will be sold in commemorative Kentucky Derby glasses.

Tampa Bay Downs will also present a full card of Thoroughbred action leading to the mile-and-a-quarter classic on May 5, highlighted by two first-year stakes races: the $100,000 Florida Thoroughbred Breeders’ and Owners’ Association Silver Charm Florida Sire Stakes for 3-year-old colts and geldings and the $100,000 FTBOA Ivanavinalot Florida Sire Stakes for 3-year-old fillies.

Both races, which are for FTBOA-registered Florida-bred sophomores sired by FTBOA-registered stallions which are FSS-eligible, will be contested at a distance of a mile-and-40-yards on the main track.

Call (813) 855-4401 for additional details on the Kentucky Derby Day celebration at the Oldsmar oval.

Sunday, May 6 is Fan Appreciation Day at Tampa Bay Downs, with free parking and free Grandstand admission and discounted prices on draft beers, sodas and Nathan’s Hot Dogs from 11 a.m.-3 p.m.

Thoroughbred racing will return to the Oldsmar oval on June 30 and July 1, dates which make up the track’s annual “Summer Festival of Racing.” The June 30 card is the official final day of the 2017-2018 meeting, while the July 1 program is the first day of the 2018-2019 season, expected to then resume in late November.

Tampa Bay Downs is open every day for simulcast wagering, no-limits poker action and tournament play in The Silks Poker Room and golf fun and instruction at The Downs Golf Practice Facility.