It was Bennett vs. Bennett when Bill's Passion and One Lucky Step dueled down the stretch in Wednesday's fifth race, the Turf Dash Prep, at Tampa Bay Downs.
Bill's Passion., on the inside, held on to win by a neck in the five-furlong turf allowance/optional claiming race for 3-year-olds and up. Daniel Centeno rode the 3-year-old gelding who led at every call and won in 57.23 seconds on the course listed as good.
Bill's Passion is trained by Gerald Bennett and is one of the four winners he had in four starts on Wednesday. Tampa Bay Downs records indicate that Kathleen O'Connell is the only other trainer who has accomplished that four-for-four feat at the Oldsmar track.
The owners of Bill's Passion are Harold Queen and Winning Stables, which is owned and managed by Bennett and his wife Mary.
One Lucky Step, a 4-year-old gelding, is trained by Mary Bennett. The Bennetts bred the horse and Winning Stables owns him.
Edwin Gonzalez rode One Lucky Step, a son of Two Step Salsa.
Wednesday's race had a $27,500 purse and a $100,000 optional claiming price. Bill's Passion was the only entrant not in for the tag. There were no claims in the race.
The win by Bill's Passion was his third in 12 career starts. A son of Leroidesanimaux, he also has seven second place finishes and one third place finish.
Bill's Passion was the 2-1 second choice and One Lucky Step was the 5-1 fourth betting choice in the seven-horse field.
Hold on Smokey, at 17-1, finished third, and Wild Woo Who, the 8-5 favorite, came in fourth.
It is expected that the two Bennett horses and several other horses from Wednesday's race will run in the $100,000 Turf Dash at Tampa Bay Downs on Dec. 31. That race is five furlongs on turf for 3-year-olds and up.
5 -BILL'S PASSION 6.20 3.80 2.80
4 -ONE LUCKY STEP 6.40 3.80
2 -HOLD ON SMOKEY 6.20
$2 EXACTA 5-4 PAID $28.00; $1 TRIFECTA 5-4-2 PAID $116.20; $1 SUPERFECTA 5-4-2-3 PAID $255.50
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HorseRacing FLA staff