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April 17, 2019


by Mike Henry
Samy wins on his first four, helps Pedro Menendez to his first career training victory; no racing on Easter Sunday.

As if anyone needed reminding, Samy Camacho showed today why he has been top rider the entire meeting, winning on his first four mounts before settling for third in the ninth and final race.

The 30-year-old from Caracas, Venezuela has 121 winners for the meeting, 27 more than runner-up and four-time Oldsmar jockey champion Antonio Gallardo. With 11 days left in the meeting, Camacho, who has all but clinched his first Tampa Bay Downs title, has an outside shot at Gallardo’s track record of 147 victories set four years ago.


Samy Camacho

Camacho scored in the second race on Mermaid of Honor, a 4-year-old Florida-bred filly owned by Kinsman Stable and trained by Rob O’Connor, II. Camacho returned to the winner’s circle a race later, winning on the turf on 3-year-old Florida-bred gelding Candy Kingdom.

Pedro Menendez trained Candy Kingdom. This was his first career training victory. Joyce Santiago was the owner. Candy Kingdom was claimed from the race for $16,000 by trainer Ian Hemingway for his Hemingway Racing enterprise.

Camacho next won the seventh race on the turf on first-time starter Mountain Holiday, a 3-year-old gelding owned by Vince Campanella and Nation’s Racing Stable and trained by Keith Nations. He won the eighth on R D Have Faith, a 3-year-old Florida-bred filly owned and trained by Robert Drake who had not finished in the money in her seven previous starts.

Tampa Bay Downs will be closed Sunday to allow its horsemen, employees and patrons to share the Easter holiday with their families.

Thoroughbred racing will be conducted Friday and Saturday. Beginning next week, Tampa Bay Downs will return to its Wednesday-Friday-Saturday-Sunday schedule through May 5, which is Fan Appreciation Day.

Thoroughbred racing will then return June 30 and July 1 for the annual two-day Summer Festival of Racing. The Sunday, June 30 card is the last official day of the 2018-2019 meeting, with the 2019-2020 meeting beginning on Monday, July 1 and expected to resume in late November.

The Silks Poker Room will be open until 4 a.m. on Saturday night/Sunday morning, then reopen at 9:30 a.m. on Monday.

Daniel Centeno and Jose Ferrer each rode two winners today. Centeno captured the first race on Makeyourselfathome, a 6-year-old Florida-bred mare owned and trained by Charles Harvatt. Centeno also won the fifth on the turf on Whistle Me Home, a 4-year-old Florida-bred colt owned by Hemingway Racing and Big E Stables and trained by Ian Hemingway.

Ferrer won the fourth race on Date Arch, a 5-year-old gelding owned by Dormellito Stud and trained by Jacob Palacios Molina. Ferrer added the ninth on the turf on Indigo Gin, a 3-year-old filly owned by Gainesway Stable and trained by Eoin Harty.