HRFLA Staff Report
Gerald Bennett is off to a rapid start as he seeks to lead trainers in wins for a sixth straight season at Tampa Bay Downs.
Bennett has five victories through Saturday, the fourth day of Tampa Bay's 2020-2021 meet. Five trainers are tied for second place at two wins.
Racing will resume at the Oldsmar, Fla., track on Wednesday with nine races and first post of 12:20 p.m.
Bennett has two entrants on Wednesday. Unlike many of his horses, neither is a morning line favorite.
Relishment is listed at 8-1 in the second race and Sacramento Q is listed at 9-2 in the third race.
That will be in Tampa Bay's first race day since Saturday, when Bennett fans received a rare high payoff on two of his horses.
Play the Max, at 5-1, won the ninth race and Successful Legacy, at 7-1, won the tenth and final race. The 1-6 exacta had a $2 payoff of $181.40.
Both fillies ranked low on speed figures in deep fields.
But Play the Max, with Daniel Centen riding, wired a ten-horse field to win an $8,000 claiming race at six furlongs.
Successful Legacy, with Samy Camacho riding, rallied in the stretch to win a one-mile maiden claiming race on turf.
The trainers with two victories are Jose Delgado, Ron Potts, Robert Raymond, Dennis Ward and Eoin Harty.
Bennett saddled 61 winners at the 2019-2020 Tampa Bay meet. Kathleen O'Connell was second with 33 wins, followed by Michael Stidham with 31.
Thus far, Stidham has one winner and O'Connell is winless. Both can be expected to rise high in the standings during the 90-day meet.
Camacho leads the jockey standings with six wins. He won that competition in 2018-2019 and finished second to Antonio Gallardo last season. Ronald Allen Jr. is second with four wins. Mike Allen, Roberto Alvarado and Tomas Mejia each have three wins.
Gallardo has ridden two winners and Centeno, a five-time Tampa Bay riding champion, has one winner through Saturday.
On Saturday, Tampa Bay will have the first two stakes races of its meet.
The $100,000 Inaugural will be six furlongs on dirt for 2-YO males. The $100,000 Sandpiper will be six furlongs on dirt for 2-YO fillies.
Entries will be out late Wednesday afternoon.