Delta Princess, who familiarized herself with the Tampa Bay lawn when winning the Endeavour Stakes in her last start, is the 5-2 morning line favorite in Saturday's $125,000 Hillsborough (gr. III) Stakes for older fillies and mares at 1 1/8 miles.
The Hillsborough is one of three stakes worth at least $100,000 on the Tampa Bay card Saturday, along with the Tampa Bay Derby (gr. III) and Tampa Bay Oaks.
A field of 12 entered the race, with the 6-year-old Delta Princess, a daughter of A.P. Indy
, the slight choice. Trained by Bill Mott, she'll be ridden by Herberto Castillo Jr. and break from post 3 while wearing the silks of Saud bin Khaled.
The late-rallying Delta Princess has won nine of 23 lifetime with earnings of $438,995. In her only previous start at Tampa Bay, the Endeavour on Feb. 26, she rallied from dead last early and was still seventh in the stretch before turning it on to win by a half-length over Fast Cookie.
Saturday, she shares top weight of 122 pounds with Snow Drops, who moves over from Gulfstream Park for trainer Christophe Clement. Snow Drops captured the Suwannee River (gr. IIIT) in her last race Feb. 12 on the Gulfstream grass. Regular rider Edgar Prado has the mount on the 5-year-old Gulch
mare who also enjoys a stalking trip. She boasts a 7-3-1 record in 15 lifetime starts on the turf and has earned $318,354 in her career. This will be her first try at Tampa Bay.
Sister Star's bold move in the Endeavour netted her fourth-place money, although she was beaten by only three-quarters of a length by Delta Princess. The 4-year-old Langfuhr
filly, saddled with the far outside post, won last June's Regret (gr. IIIT) on a yielding course at Churchill Downs by 3 1/2 lengths and then went to the sidelines for nearly seven months. This is her third start since returning to action. Trainer Ken McPeek hands the reins to regular rider Brice Blanc.
Mott also trains Noisette, a minor stakes winner on the Belmont Park lawn last year. The 5-year-old daughter of Broad Brush makes her 2005 debut as well as her initial start at Tampa Bay Downs.$125,000 Hillsborough Stakes (gr. IIIT), fillies & mares 4 & up, 1 1/8 miles (turf)
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, ML Odds
1. Rizzi Girl (FL), Oliver Castillo, 116, 15/1
2. Romancin Dixie (FL), Derek Bell, 116, 20/1
3. Delta Princess (KY), Heberto Castillo, Jr., 122, 5/2
4. Givememore (BRZ), Jose Lezcano, 116, 12/1
5. Nannycam (KY), T. D. Houghton, 116, 10/1
6. Chef's Choice (FL), Thomas Pompell, 116, 20/1
7. Cute Connie (FL), Ricardo Valdes, 116, 20/1
8. Adobe Gold (KY), Eddie Castro, 116, 15/1
9. Sparkling Humor (KY), Jose Ferrer, 116, 10/1
10. Snowdrops (GB), Edgar Prado, 122, 3/1
11. Noisette (KY), Cornelio Velasquez, 116, 9/2
12. Sister Star (KY), Brice Blanc, 116, 4/1