by Mike Henry

Top local sprinters of both sexes and the first day of the seventh annual Golfest demo days and expo event will highlight an action-packed Saturday at Tampa Bay Downs.

An 11-race Thoroughbred card features the $100,000 Pelican Stakes for horses 4-years-old-and-upward and the $50,000 Minaret Stakes for fillies and mares 4-years-old-and-upward. Both races will be contested at a distance of six furlongs on the main track.

The 5-2 morning-line favorite for the Pelican, which is the 10th race on the program, is 6-year-old Florida-bred gelding Schivarelli, from the barn of trainer Eddie Kenneally. He has won more than $300,000 in his career and finished third in the Grade III Ack Ack at Churchill Downs last summer. Jesus Castanon is scheduled to ride.

Second choice at 3-1 is 4-year-old gelding Futile, trained by Arnaud Delacour. The Kentucky-bred is 4-for-5 in his short career, including an allowance/optional claiming victory here on Jan. 15 in 1:09.91 for the distance. Leading Tampa Bay Downs jockey Daniel Centeno has been named to ride.

Also in the field are the second and third-place finishers from Futile’s recent victory, Tiger Blood and Springmeier.

It is no surprise You Bought Her has been established as a 5-2 morning-line favorite in the nine-horse Minaret field, which is the eighth race on the card. The 7-year-old Florida-bred mare has won the race each of the last two years, and her career earnings of $528,685 have been built in hefty measure by four graded-stakes placings. Centeno will ride for trainer David Hinsley.

Other likely contenders include 5-year-old mare No Fault of Mine, who won the mile-and-a-sixteenth Wayward Lass Stakes here on Jan. 21, and 5-year-old Southern Ring, a Grade III winner in Canada whose trademark late flourish resulted in a fourth-place performance here in the Lightning City Stakes on the turf on Dec. 17.

No Fault of Mine is trained by Chris Block and will be ridden by Pablo Morales. Southern Ring, who will be making her first start on dirt, is trained by Malcolm Pierce and will be ridden by Castanon.

A full slate of activities Saturday kicks off with track announcer Richard Grunder’s Morning Glory Club show at 10 a.m. on the first floor of the Grandstand. Jockey Wilmer Garcia is the featured guest. Attendees receive free coffee and donuts and Grandstand passes.

Racing fans in search of a golf fix, be it technical or experiential, can stroll over to The Downs Golf Practice Facility from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. on Saturday and 9 a.m.-3 p.m. on Sunday to check out the latest equipment offerings and enjoy a variety of demonstrations and clinics. The entry fee is $10, with children 14-and-under admitted free.

For more details on Golfest, click on

Around the oval. Rattataptap came back running in her first start in almost 14 months today, winning the seventh race on the turf, an allowance/optional claiming event, by a length-and-three-quarters from Queenofthepalace in 1:35.47 under jockey Fernando De La Cruz.

The race marked the 5-year-old mare’s first effort under the care of Hall of Fame trainer William Mott. Always well-regarded, she had finished third in the Grade III Torrey Pines Stakes at Del Mar as a 3-year-old. She is owned by WinStar Farm.

De La Cruz also won the sixth race aboard 3-year-old ridgling Cairn for breeder-owner Dede McGehee and trainer James Gulick.

Trainer Ashlee Brnjas notched a pair of victories on today’s card. In the second race, she saddled victorious 6-year-old gelding Azimut for owner Colebrook Farms. Pablo Morales was the jockey. Brnjas sent out the exacta in the third race, won by Colebrook Farms homebred Forever Krz, a 4-year-old gelding who was ridden by Ademar Santos. Another Colebrook homebred, High Society, finished second.

Colebrook bred Forever Krz in partnership with Mike DePaulo.

Thoroughbred racing at Tampa Bay Downs resumes Friday with a 10-race card beginning at 12:25 p.m. The track conducts racing Wednesday through Sunday throughout February, returning to a Wednesday-Friday-Saturday-Sunday schedule in March and April.

Tampa Bay Downs 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.