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January 08, 2020


by Mike Henry
Samy Camacho keeps his lead in the standings, 27-26 from Antonio Gallardo; Ademar Santos wins in first day back from injury; Carol Cedeno second in her first Oldsmar race in six seasons.

In what holds promise of being a season-long duel, defending champion Samy Camacho retained his one-victory lead in the jockey standings, 27-26 over Antonio Gallardo, as both rode two winners.

Camacho and Gallardo are represented by agent Mike Moran. Daniel Centeno is third with 19 victories.

Gallardo, who rode three winners Sunday, briefly moved ahead by winning back-to-back races. Gallardo captured the third race today on Free Dancer, a 3-year-old Florida-bred gelding owned by Mary Thomas, Michael Vitello and Winning Stables and trained by Gerald Bennett. Gallardo added the fourth race aboard J P’s Gia, a 5-year-old Florida-bred mare owned by Savoy Stable and trained by Michele Boyce.

J P’s Gia was claimed from the race for $5,000 by trainer Nick Caruso for new owner G N Racing Stables.

Camacho won the seventh race on the turf on On a Spree, a 4-year-old gelding owned by Juan Arriagada and Steve Hassig and trained by Arriagada, who had claimed him from his previous start for $16,000.

Camacho reclaimed his standings edge in the eighth race, winning on 4-year-old Florida-bred filly Lil’s Turn for breeder-owner Harold L. Queen and trainer Gerald Bennett.

Angel Suarez also rode two winners. He won the fifth race on the turf on Juan Pablo, a 4-year-old gelding bred and owned by Godolphin and trained by Eoin Harty. Suarez added the ninth race on the turf with Sundrenched, a 4-year-old filly owned by Jose A. Rosales and trained by Erin Wilkinson.

Ademar Santos returned to action today after being sidelined almost five weeks, winning once from four mounts. He won the sixth race, a maiden claiming event, on 5-year-old Florida-bred gelding Lil Bull for owner Joyce Kubiak and trainer E. L. Cameron.

Santos incurred a hairline fracture of his forearm earlier in the meeting when he was kicked by a horse. He stayed in shape at home by riding his Equicizer and returned to galloping horses on Sunday.

Carol Cedeno rode her first race at Tampa Bay Downs today since 2014, finishing second on 3-year-old Florida-bred gelding Me and Mr. C in the second race on the turf to 3-5 favorite Bye Bye Melvin.

Cedeno, 31, has been a star at Delaware Park the last several years, winning five of the last six titles. She rode seven winners on a single card in July of 2018, a Delaware record.

Cedeno, who helped Me and Mr. C break his maiden on Sept. 4 at Delaware in his first career start, is raising an 11-year-old daughter and an 8-year-old son in Delaware. She planned to fly back after her race and return to action at Laurel in Maryland on Friday.

She rode Me and Mr. C for breeder-owner Stonehedge LLC and trainer Edward Allard.

“I’ve been asking (Allard) to ride this horse,” she said. “He’s still learning, but he’s going to be a nice horse.”

Thoroughbred racing continues Friday, with a nine-race card beginning at 12:45 p.m. The feature is the fifth race, a $26,500 allowance/optional claiming event for fillies and mares 4-years-old-and-upward. The 2-1 morning-line favorite is the Mike Dini-trained 6-year-old Dynatail, a multiple-stakes winning mare with career earnings in excess of $530,000. Jose Ferrer will ride Dynatail for owner Ballybrit Stable.

Tampa Bay Downs races on a Wednesday-Friday-Saturday-Sunday schedule, with an additional day scheduled Thursday, Jan. 23 as a makeup for the Dec. 22 cancellation. Admission that day will be free. The track is open every day 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.

Chance to win big. The second annual High Rollers Handicapping Contest, featuring a potential first-place prize of $20,000, will be held Saturday in the VIP Room at Tampa Bay Downs.

Players are required to deposit $1,000, of which $500 serves as the player’s wagering bankroll and $500 goes to the prize pool. Any dollar amount remaining in their bankroll at the conclusion of the contest goes directly to the player, meaning all of the prize money is returned to the entrants.

Wagers will be limited to win, place and/or show, with each player required to bet $100 on five separate races on the card. Anyone wagering on less or more than five races will be disqualified. Cash prizes will be awarded to the top five finishers, with $20,000 to the winner, or 50 percent of the prize pool if there are fewer than 100 entrants; $8,000/20 percent to the second-place finisher; $6,000/15 percent to third; $4,000/10 percent to fourth; and $2,000/5 percent to fifth.

Only races at Tampa Bay Downs on Saturday will be included in the contest, and players must wager at the contest site to be eligible. The first and second-place finishers will also claim a seat in either of the next two National Thoroughbred Racing Association National Handicapping Championships in Las Vegas (this year’s event is Feb. 7-9 at Bally’s Las Vegas Hotel & Casino).

Players can enter online at . The entry deadline is noon on Saturday. For additional details, call (813) 855-4401, extension 1368.