Arnaud Delacour was almost in as big a hurry this afternoon as his 4-year-old filly Pramedya, who won the Lambholm South Race of the Week by ¾-length from 8-5 favorite Miss Giacomo.
The conditioner had to catch a flight to southern California, where he plans to saddle his 7-year-old mare Ageless for Sunday’s Grade II, $200,000 Monrovia Stakes on the Santa Anita downhill turf course. It will be the first race for Ageless since incurring a deep cut below her left hock while winning the Buffalo Trace Franklin County Stakes at Keeneland on Oct. 9.
Delacour had enough time to praise the performance of Pramedya, who was making her first start since suffering a condylar fracture in her left front leg in a fourth-place finish on April 8 at Keeneland.
“The surgery was pretty uneventful, but we had to give her time,” Delacour said after Pramedya’s successful turf debut today under jockey Daniel Centeno. Pramedya’s winning time in the conditional allowance for fillies and mares was 1:44.10 for the mile-and-a-sixteenth distance.
Pramedya, a daughter of Harlan’s Holiday-Stay Awake, by Pulpit, broke her maiden here March 8 in a six-and-a-half furlong sprint on the main track by three lengths. Delacour thought she might be of stakes quality, but the injury delayed her progress and her trainer’s ambitions.
“She had always shown good promise, and this is a nice way for her to come back to competition. It’s good to see she can run on the turf, too. I’m glad to see that’s in her future,” he said.
Like Ageless, Pramedya races for the Lael Stables of Roy and Gretchen Jackson. “The way we see it, we’re happy as long as they come back healthy,” Delacour said. “The safety of the horse always comes first.”
The Monrovia is the seventh race on Sunday’s Santa Anita card and will be simulcast at Tampa Bay Downs, with a probable post time of 6:33 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. Ageless, the 3-1 morning-line favorite in a 12-horse field, will be ridden by Julien Leparoux. Ageless, which is 11-for-22 lifetime, broke her maiden at Tampa Bay Downs in her career debut four years ago. Her injury caused her to be scratched from the TwinSpires Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint on Oct. 31.
Pramedya paid $9.80 to win as the second wagering choice in the 10-distaffer field.
Down the stretch. Trainer Ray Trisler saddled two winners on today’s card. In the fifth race on the turf, he sent out his wife Linda Trisler’s 5-year-old mare Sequiota for her third career victory, this time under jockey Scott Spieth. Trisler returned to the winner’s circle after the ninth race, won by 5-year-old gelding Good Times Rambles. That one is owned by Sigma Property Investments and was ridden by Huber Villa-Gomez.
Leading Tampa Bay Downs jockey Antonio Gallardo rode three winners. He captured the fourth race on 4-year-old gelding Inaswagger for owners Averill Racing, Silver Oak Stable and CCF Racing Stable and trainer Gerald Bennett.
In the sixth race, Gallardo piloted 4-year-old filly Navy Princess to a dramatic come-from-behind victory at 12-1 odds. Bred and owned by Wayne Spalding, Navy Princess is trained by 80-year-old conditioner Forrest Kaelin, who rode here in 1956 when the track was called Sunshine Park.
Gallardo made it a hat trick in the 10th and final race on 3-year-old colt Sea of Erin for owner William L. Pape and trainer Eddie Kenneally.
Spieth rode two winners on the turf today, scoring in the third race on 4-year-old gelding Chilly Bay for owner Daniel J. Feiss and trainer Alexis Lopez-Cordero before his victory on Sequiota.
Thoroughbred racing at Tampa Bay Downs resumes Sunday with a nine-race card beginning at 12:28 p.m. The Oldsmar oval currently races Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays (the track will offer special Thursday programs Feb. 18 and 25).
The stakes schedule picks up Jan. 9 with the 12th renewal of the $100,000 Turf Dash for older horses going five furlongs. Among the 29 nominees are 6-year-old gelding Mongolian Saturday, who won the TwinSpires Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint at Keeneland on Oct. 31; 6-year-old Bold Thunder, who set the Tampa Bay Downs turf course record of 54.63 seconds in last season’s Turf Dash; 2014 Turf Dash winner Ancil, a 7-year-old gelding; 4-year-old gelding Fast Flying Rumor, who won the Turf Dash Prep on Dec. 11; the 5-year-old mare Richies Sweetheart, who won the Lightning City Stakes on Dec. 19 against members of her own sex; 6-year-old Weekend Hideaway; and 5-year-old Amelia’s Wild Ride.
Cap Giveaway Day is Saturday, Jan. 16. Fans will be able to get their new brims autographed by the track’s top jockeys during the early portion of that day’s card.
Tampa Bay Downs is open every day for simulcast wagering, no-limits poker action in The Silks Poker Room and golf fun and instruction at The Downs Golf Practice Facility.