The first of today's six stakes at Tampa Bay Downs is the third race--the $75,000 Sophomore Turf at 1 1/16 miles.
Scheduled post is 1:38 p.m. The turf course is listed as firm, and it should be noted that on the last two race days (Wednesday and yesterday) it was far more favorable to speed than usual.
There is a field of six males plus the filly Family Meeting (program number 4).
Family Meeting (trainer Tom Proctor, jockey Brian Pedroza) finished third in the recent 1 1/16 mile Florida Oaks at Tampa Bay and last December won the one mile Jimmy Durante at Del Mar. Both were Grade 3 on turf for fillies.
She will draw betting attention, but probably is not fast enough to beat the colts Life Imitates Art (1) and Second Mate (5).
Second Mate, trained by Jane Cibelli, broke his maiden on March 11 at Gulfstream with an exceptional time of 1:39.41 for 1 1/16 miles on turf. It was on the outer part of the Gulfstream course that was playing very fast. But we were impressed by the replay and the time stands out.
Paco Lopez, who rode Second Mate in his win, is at Keeneland today. Cibelli switches to Elvis Trujillo--comparable to Lopez.
Life Imitates Art (Chad Brown, Manoel Cruz) on the 7 1/2 furlong Dania Beach (Grade 3) at Gulfstream and then came in fifth after a rough trip in the one-mile Kitten's Joy. It was his only finish worse than second in six starts.
1 -- Second Mate (5)
2 -- Life Imitates Art (1)
3 -- Family Meeting (4)
-- Jim Freer