Tepin wasn’t the only horse to parlay a positive Tampa Bay Downs experience into a major stakes victory Saturday. Just the most spectacular.
Two races before the 2015 Eclipse Champion Grass Female made eight rivals look as if they were standing still in the Grade I Coolmore Jenny Wiley Stakes, 4-year-old filly Exaggerated scored a front-running victory in the $100,000 Giant’s Causeway Stakes at five-and-a-half furlongs on the Keeneland turf course.
Owned by Lael Stables and trained by Arnaud Delacour, who is fourth in the Tampa Bay Downs trainer standings, Exaggerated sped the five-and-a-half furlongs in 1:02.81. Her previous start had been a victory on Jan. 20 at Tampa Bay Downs in a five-furlong allowance/optional claiming event on the grass.
Exaggerated paid $22 to win after turning back 11 foes. She was ridden by Julien Leparoux, who also teamed with Tepin.
The $2.80 win mutuel for Tepin looked generous after her five-length score from Wekeela and the others in the Jenny Wiley. Tepin’s time for the mile-and-a-sixteenth was a course-record 1:40.53; she had recorded a Tampa Bay Downs stakes and course mark of 1:46.26 for a mile-and-an-eighth in her Grade II Hillsborough Stakes victory here on March 12, four weeks after she dazzled Oldsmar onlookers in the Grade III Lambholm South Endeavour Stakes.
The 5-year-old Tepin is owned by Robert E. Masterson and trained by Mark Casse.
Meanwhile, at Oaklawn, 3-year-old colt Decorated Soldier rallied for a neck victory from Big Red Rocket to win the $150,000 Northern Spur Stakes at a mile on the main track. Each of the nine other starters had previously raced at Oaklawn.
Decorated Soldier is owned by Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and trained by Todd Pletcher. John Velazquez was the jockey. The winner paid $8.60.
Decorated Soldier had last raced on the Lambholm South Tampa Bay Derby undercard on March 12, scoring by seven-and-a-half lengths in a six-and-a-half furlong maiden special weight contest.
The previous Saturday, April 9, three horses that had made their prior starts at Tampa Bay Downs won Grade I stakes. Outwork (second in the Lambholm South Tampa Bay Derby) won the Wood Memorial at Aqueduct, Brody’s Cause (seventh in the Tampa Bay Derby) won the Toyota Blue Grass at Keeneland and Weep No More (winner of the Suncoast Stakes) captured the Central Bank Ashland at Keeneland.
Down the stretch. Veteran jockey David Amiss won two races today with huge long shots. In the fifth race, a maiden claiming dirt sprint, he was aboard winning 3-year-old filly White as Cotton, a first-time starter, for owner Ocala West Won and trainer Anthony J. Russo. White as Cotton paid $103.40.
Amiss also won the eighth race, a 1-mile maiden special weight contest on the turf, on Tiz Too, a 3-year-old colt making his third start for owners Renee and Tim Richardson. Tiz Too, trained by Tim Richardson, paid $42.
With his triumph in today’s third race, a starter/$12,500 optional claiming event, the 5-year-old gelding Good Times Rambles tied Desert Summer for the most victories during the current meeting with four apiece. Good Times Rambles was ridden by Pablo Morales for owner MCR Stable, Inc., and trainer Benny R. Feliciano.
Good Times Rambles is 4-for-7 at the meeting, with a second and a third. His first two victories here, on Jan. 2 and Jan. 15, came for previous owner Sigma Property Investments and trainer Ray Trisler. Feliciano claimed him from the latter start for $8,000.
Desert Summer is a 5-year-old mare racing for owner-trainer Saul Matos.
Trainer Joyce Kielty completed a Tampa Bay Downs rarity, following Saturday’s Lambholm South Race of the Week victory with her 11-year-old horse Hold On Smokey by sending out 7-year-old Florida-bred mare Lapantalones Fance to win today’s 10th race, the Cody’s Original Roadhouse Race of the Week. Lapantalones Fance defeated Chique to Chique by the slimmest of noses under jockey Shannon Uske for breeder-owner Deborah Thomas.
Thoroughbred racing at Tampa Bay Downs resumes Wednesday with a nine-race card beginning at 12:43 p.m. There are 11 days remaining in the 2015-2016 meeting, with no racing scheduled Sunday, May 1, before the three-day Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands weekend action May 6-8.
The meeting officially concludes June 30, which is the first day of the two-day Summer Festival of Racing that kicks off the Fourth of July weekend. The July 1 card is the first day of the 2016-2017 meeting.
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.