by Mike Henry

It would have been interesting to get inside the heads of jockey Pablo Morales and assistant trainer Janelle Campbell as they strolled leisurely from the winner’s circle to the Tampa Bay Downs jockeys’ room after today’s third race.

Their enjoyment of the improving weather, at the tail end of a mighty cold weekend, had just been heightened by the performance of the striking gray 4-year-old colt Remuda, who rolled to an easy 3-length victory from Machismo in the 6-furlong sprint. You had to believe that at some point on their walk, Morales and Campbell (Eoin Harty’s assistant) were thinking what the future might hold for the Godolphin-owned homebred.

The victory was Remuda’s third in four starts, all at Tampa Bay Downs. His time was 1:09.93, the precise clocking he recorded in a 7-length victory here on Nov. 23.

After breaking outwardly from the outside No. 6 post, Remuda got back on track quickly to challenge Tripulante through an opening quarter-mile in 22.10 seconds. A second quarter in 22.86 eroded the wills of Remuda’s five rivals, and Morales enjoyed the trip the rest of the way.

It’s a bit early to go gaga over Remuda, who was turned out for more than four months late last spring following a turf victory here after “getting a little crabby,” according to Campbell. But it seems certain that more than the usual crowd of horseplayers will be eager to enjoy his next start, whenever and wherever it takes place.

Camacho warming up. You thought it was likely to happen, and it has. Samy Camacho has gotten in a zone, hampering the chances of the handful of jockeys who would like to derail his attempt for a third consecutive Oldsmar riding title.

Camacho rode three winners today, giving him six this weekend. He has 34 for the meet, 12 ahead of current runners-up Jose Ferrer and Pablo Morales.

Camacho, who has 1,100 career victories, won the second race on Disco Queen, a 4-year-old filly owned and trained by Daniel Pita. He next won the fifth race on the turf with On the Couch, a 6-year-old gelding owned by Winner Circle Stable and trained by Greg Sacco.

The 34-year-old rider completed his hat trick by winning the sixth race aboard Pony Girl, a 5-year-old mare owned by Averill Racing and Majestic Racing and trained by Gerald Bennett.

Around the oval. Hector Rafael Diaz, Jr., rode two winners today. Diaz captured the first race on Alexa’s Dream, a 4-year-old filly bred and owned by Garth Bodkin and Kerry Reynells and trained by Kathleen O’Connell. Alexa’s Dream was claimed from the race for $25,000 by trainer Gerald Bennett for new owner Mr Pug LLC.

Diaz also won the seventh race aboard Coco Bravado, a 6-year-old horse owned by Kelly’s Racing, LLC and trained by Jon Arnett.

Thoroughbred racing continues Wednesday with a nine-race card beginning at 12:29 p.m. Tampa Bay Downs 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.