OLDSMAR, FL. – Florida-bred stakes performers will be spotlighted Saturday, with a pair of $100,000 races for horses 3-years-old-and-upward at the demanding distance of 7 furlongs on the main track on tap.
The seventh running of the Florida Thoroughbred Breeders’ and Owners’ Association Marion County Florida Sire Stakes for colts and geldings and the seventh annual FTBOA City of Ocala Florida Sire Stakes for fillies and mares are part of a 10-race program that begins at 12:16 p.m. Both stakes are for horses that are FTBOA-registered, sired by an FTBOA-registered Florida stallion and having paid all Florida Sire Stakes eligibility fees.
The connections of the two winners will collect $60,000.
The Marion County has attracted a field of seven males, with 3-year-old gelding Zydeceaux and 5-year-old gelding Willy Boi looming as standouts. Zydeceaux, who is trained by Carlos Narvaez and will be ridden by Samuel Marin, won the open Pasco Stakes and the Florida Cup Ocala Breeders’ Sales Sophomore at Tampa Bay Downs earlier this year, both at the 7-furlong distance.
Willy Boi, who is trained by Melanie Giddings and will be ridden by leading Oldsmar jockey Samy Camacho, is also a multiple stakes winner, his resume including the Grade III Smile Sprint Invitational Stakes at Gulfstream as a 4-year-old.
The City of Ocala, which has also drawn seven horses, is the seventh race. The headliners, at least on paper, are 3-year-old Charlie’s Wish, who won the Azalea Stakes in July at Gulfstream, and 3-year-old Atomically, a stakes-winning and graded-stakes placed lass who competed in last year’s NetJets Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies at Keeneland.
Charlie’s Wish is trained by David Fawkes and will be ridden by Joe Bravo, while Atomically is trained by Jose Pinchin and will be ridden by Emisael Jaramillo.
Saturday’s fourth race will feature the return to Tampa Bay Downs of 3-year-old Florida-bred filly Dreaming of Snow, who won the Suncoast Stakes here in February at odds of 38-1 while defeating 2022 Eclipse Award Champion 2-Year-Old Filly Wonder Wheel.
Dreaming of Snow will face five rivals in the fourth race, a 7-furlong allowance/optional claiming event on the main track. She is trained by Gerald Bennett and will be ridden by Camacho.
Around the oval. Leading jockey Samy Camacho rode three winners today, including both halves of the early daily double. He won the first race on My First Date, a 3-year-old filly owned by Michael B. Catalano, Duke Perry Stable and Jeffrey Lambert and trained by Robert B. Hess, Jr. Camacho added the second with Countess Dreams, a 4-year-old Florida-bred filly owned by Versatile Thoroughbreds and trained by Kathleen O’Connell.
Camacho added his third victory in the eighth race, triumphing aboard 4-year-old filly Li’l Miss Camille for owners Winning Stables and Averill Racing and trainer Gerald Bennett. Li’l Miss Camille was claimed from the race for $10,000 by new owner-trainer Juan Arriagada.
Racing resumes Friday with a nine-race card beginning at 12:35 p.m. Tampa Bay Downs currently races on a Wednesday, Friday and Saturday schedule, with Sundays added to the mix on Dec. 24. 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.