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December 05, 2018


by Mike Henry
Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint runner-up World of Trouble among Cotillion Festival Day nominees; "Tampa Bay Owners Club" contest is seventh race on Saturday (who doesn't want to own a racehorse?); jockey Daniel Centeno wins three consecutive races.

Four stakes races worth a combined $450,000 in purse money, the collective centerpiece of the track’s Dec. 15 Cotillion Festival Day card, have attracted 103 nominations. The announcement was made by Gerry Stanislawzyk, the Tampa Bay Downs Stakes Coordinator.

The annual Cotillion Festival Day card celebrates the state’s rich 2-year-old Thoroughbred racing heritage, with the addition last season of two $125,000 Florida Thoroughbred Breeders’ and Owners’ Association Florida Sire Stakes for FTBOA-registered 3-year-olds sired by an FTBOA-registered Florida stallion recognizing Florida’s tradition of state-bred champions.

Also on the Dec. 15 slate is the Touch Vodka Brunch at the Downs, which begins at 9 a.m. under the Trackside Picnic Pavilion Tent. The cost for a country-style buffet breakfast is $8, which includes free Grandstand admission and a Tampa Bay Downs program, and fans can watch the morning workouts and converse with trainers and riders.

The 34th edition of the $100,000 Inaugural Stakes, a 6-furlong sprint for 2-year-olds, closed with 31 nominations, including a pair of Breeders’ Cup participants: the gelding Big Drink of Water (Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint), a three-time stakes winner owned by Patricia’s Hope, LLC and trained by Larry Rivelli, and the Stonehedge, LLC-owned Florida-bred gelding Well Defined (Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Juvenile), a stakes winner from the barn of trainer Kathleen O’Connell.

The 40th running of the $100,000, 6-furlong Sandpiper Stakes for 2-year-old fillies has attracted 37 nominations, including the Donamire Farm-owned, Ben Colebrook-trained stakes winner Into Trouble; Florida-bred stakes winner Lovesick, owned by e Five Racing Thoroughbreds and trained by David Fawkes; and multiple stakes-placed Florida-bred Starship Nala, owned by Starship Stables and trained by Steven Dwoskin.

The second annual FTBOA Marion County Florida Sire Stakes for 3-year-old colts and geldings at a distance of 7 furlongs has drawn 17 nominations. Topping the list is World of Trouble, last season’s Pasco Stakes winner and third-place Grade II Lambholm South Tampa Bay Derby finisher, who ran second in last month’s Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint at Churchill Downs.

The colt is owned by Michael Dubb, Madaket Stables and Bethlehem Stables and trained by Jason Servis.

Also nominated are the Harold L. Queen-bred-and-owned, Fawkes-trained gelding Noble Drama, who won last season’s FTBOA Silver Charm Florida Sire Stakes here; stakes-winning and graded stakes-placed colt Old Time Revival, bred and owned by Jacks or Better Farm and trained by Kenneth Decker; and stakes-winning gelding Wildcat’s Legacy, bred and owned by Alan Braun and Ken English and trained by Todd Pletcher.

The second annual FTBOA City of Ocala Florida Sire Stakes for 3-year-old fillies has lured 18 nominations.

The precocious collection of talented sophomore females includes two-time stakes winner Florida Fuego, who won last season’s Florida Cup Stonehedge Farm South Sophomore Fillies, owned by e Five Racing Thoroughbreds and trained by Fawkes; Saratoga stakes winner and Saturday’s Lightning City Stakes third-place finisher Broadway Run, owned by Curragh Stables and trained by John P. Terranova, II; stakes winner Silver Bay, owned by Richlyn Farms and trained by William J. Hickey; and multiple stakes-placed Dessert Honeys, owned by Homewrecker Racing and trained by Eddie Kenneally.

Tampa Bay Owners Club. Just about everyone who has visited a Thoroughbred track more than once in their lifetime has developed a yearning to own a racehorse.

On Saturday during the seventh race, Tampa Bay Downs will help make that dream come true, albeit without the financial risks and rewards associated with ownership.

The inaugural “Tampa Bay Owners Club” contest gives fans a chance to be part of a fantasy syndicate ownership group. Anyone 18-and-older attending Saturday’s card is eligible to participate, with paid admission.

Here is how the contest works:

Upon entering the track at either the main Grandstand or Clubhouse entrance, fans will receive a contest entry blank. To participate, they must fill it out completely, then deposit it in a box corresponding to their selection for the seventh race.

Anyone correctly picking the winner becomes part of the “Tampa Bay Owners Club” fantasy syndicate. In the event of a dead-heat for first place, two sets of winners will be declared.

Winners will receive many of the perks associated with Thoroughbred ownership each time the winning horse returns to action during the current meeting, including free admission; a Tampa Bay Downs racing program; a mutuel voucher; concession-stand discounts; and an attractive pin identifying them as a “Tampa Bay Owners Club” member.

Members of the “Tampa Bay Owners Club” also will be admitted to the paddock before their horse’s races and to the winner’s circle whenever their horse wins again. Members of the “Tampa Bay Owners Club” will be contacted via e-mail whenever their horse is entered at Tampa Bay Downs.

Margo Flynn, the track’s Vice President of Marketing & Publicity, said the “Tampa Bay Owners Club” is designed to give racing fans a taste of the joys, occasional disappointments and complexities of owning a racing Thoroughbred.

“I’ve lost count over the years of how many times fans have asked what they need to do to own a racehorse,” Flynn said. “Thoroughbred ownership can be a very expensive proposition, but the only investment required to have a chance of joining the ‘Tampa Bay Owners Club’ is the cost of admission on Saturday.

“We’re hopeful a lot of fans will enter the contest and return to the track each time their new horse competes. Along the way, we think being part of the ‘Tampa Bay Owners Club’ will give people a chance to learn about the myriad challenges and incredible rewards that come with owning a racehorse.

“Ideally, we would love to see some members of the club become involved in ownership for real,” Flynn added.

Around the oval. Six-time leading Tampa Bay Downs jockey Daniel Centeno won three consecutive races today. He captured the fifth race on the turf on Paradise Island, a 3-year-old Florida-bred gelding owned by Debora Morgan and trained by Kathleen O’Connell. Centeno added the sixth aboard 5-year-old Florida-bred mare R Sweet Exchange, owned by Averill Racing and trained by Georgina Baxter.

Centeno returned to the winner’s circle after the seventh race on the turf with Surprise Twist, a 4-year-old gelding owned by Lael Stables and trained by Arnaud Delacour.

Samy Camacho rode two winners today. He won the third race on Northern Wind, a 3-year-old Florida-bred filly owned by Gina Brooks and Nation’s Racing Stable and trained by Keith Nations. Northern Wind was claimed from the race by trainer Monte Thomas for new owner Jose Alarcon.

In the ninth race, Camacho rode 6-year-old mare Ordinary Love, who dead-heated for the victory with Queen of the Party. Thomas D. Foley trains Ordinary Love for owner Foley Bloodstock; Queen of the Party, a 4-year-old Florida-bred filly owned by My Way Stable and trained by Derek Ryan, was ridden by Jesus Castanon.

Thoroughbred racing continues Friday with a nine-race card beginning at 12:26 p.m. The feature is the seventh race, an allowance/$32,000 optional claiming event at a mile on the turf for fillies and mares 3-years-old-and-upward. The field includes 4-year-old filly Jermyn Street, who led all horses at the 2017-2018 Tampa Bay Downs meeting with five victories. She is owned by Vince Campanella and Nation’s Racing Stable and trained by Keith Nations.

Tampa Bay Downs is open every day except Christmas, Dec. 25 for simulcast wagering, no-limits action and tournament play in The Silks Poker Room and golf fun and instruction at The Downs Golf Practice Facility.