Racing News


by Mike Henry

Arnaud Delacour didn’t mind looking ahead after his 3-year-old filly Finery scored an impressive victory in today’s featured fourth race, a $31,000 allowance/optional claiming event at a mile on the Tampa Bay Downs turf course.

Intending to keep her among fillies her own age for the immediate future, the trainer said the Kentucky-bred daughter of Creative Cause could return to competition on May 20 at Pimlico in the $100,000, 1-mile Hilltop Stakes on the lawn.

Under jockey Daniel Centeno, Finery swept past tiring leader Mirth ’n Merriment on the turn for home, rolling to a 5 ¾-length victory from late-closing Freedom Rose. Kitten’s Collusion finished third in the seven-horse field. The winner’s time was 1:37.19.

Finery, who won her initial start here on Jan. 1 on the grass, is now 2-for-3. She is a homebred racing for Dr. Catherine M. Wills.

Today’s co-feature was the fifth, a $30,000, mile-and-an-eighth maiden special weight race on the turf for fillies and mares 3-years-old-and-upward. Except Temptation earned her long-awaited first victory in her 14th start, scoring a 1 ¼-length decision from Laloba Feroz in a time of 1:50.38.

Fernando De La Cruz rode Except Temptation, a 4-year-old filly who had finished second in her three prior starts. Bred by Randy L. Cohen and Alyse L. Cohen, the winner is owned by Hickory Plains and trained by Tom Albertrani.

Wilmer Garcia and Ademar Santos each rode two winners today. Garcia captured the third race on End All Get All, a 4-year-old gelding owned by Rodney M. Miller and trained by Jon Arnett. Garcia added the eighth on Awesome Anywhere, an 8-year-old Florida-bred gelding owned by Skip Einhorn Racing and trained by Einhorn.

Awesome Anywhere was claimed from the victory for $10,000 by trainer Benny Feliciano for new owner MCR Stable, Inc.

Santos won the second race on Fortunate Friends, a 6-year-old Florida-bred gelding owned by MCR Stable and trained by Feliciano. Santos added the ninth on the turf on 4-year-old colt Van, who was elevated to first via the disqualification of Harrow for interference. Van is owned by Melvin Jackson and trained by Albertrani, the conditioner’s second victory on the card.

Thoroughbred racing resumes on Friday with a nine-race card beginning at 12:20 p.m. Tampa Bay Downs also races Saturday and will be closed on Sunday for Easter. The Race Track Chaplaincy of America – Tampa Bay Downs Division will provide Easter lunches for backstretch workers and horsemen at 11 a.m. that day in the track kitchen. Chaplain Pete Crisswell will deliver an Easter message. All who attend will receive a free T-shirt.

Under Crisswell, the RTCA – Tampa Bay Downs Division is dedicated to providing, with excellence, for the spiritual, emotional, physical and social/educational needs of horse racing’s workforce.

Otherwise, the Oldsmar oval 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.