by Doug McCoy
Ten 3-Syear-olds looking to earn a spot in the $250,000 Sam F. Davis Stakes (gr. III) Feb. 13 and $350,000 Lambholm South Tampa Bay Derby (gr. II) March 12 are entered in the $100,000 Pasco Stakes at seven furlongs Jan. 23 at Tampa Bay Downs.
Tommy Roberts Racing Stable's Formal Summation, who was roughed up badly at the break of the six-furlong Inaugural Stakes and forced to loop horses before closing with a rush to finish second, beaten just a neck, gets an additional furlong in the Pasco as the Laurel Futurity winner seeks his third win from seven starts.
The big question is whether Formal Summation's connections will choose to ask the In Summation colt to sit off the pace and make a late run or go back to the front-running style that carried him to his maiden win at 75-1 odds at Gulfstream Park and his Laurel Futurity victory.
Formal Summation's trainer, Kathleen O'Connell, said her colt's eventful trip was a blessing in disguise in that it demonstrated the Florida-bred colt's ability to close from off the pace.
"It was nice to know he can close if he has to but he's a good-feeling colt with natural speed so I still think he'll be close up early," O'Connell said. "He rocked back at the break last out and that got him jammed up, but he has been doing so good and is so sharp right now I think he'll be right there from the start.
"(Jockey) Ronnie (Allen Jr.) has been getting on him since that last race so they're getting to know each other better. I think having your rider familiar with your horse is critical. The colt couldn't be doing any better coming into this race so we'll see what happens when they spring the latch."
There looks to be more than enough speed in the Pasco to ensure an honest pace and give stalking types like Jay's Way and Hand of Power a legitimate chance to take it all. Midwest Thoroughbreds' Jay's Way was beaten just a length in the Inaugural, and trainer Jamie Ness was pleasantly surprised to see his colt finish up well at the shorter distance.
"We were going to be happy if we hit the board in the Inaugural," Ness said, "We've been waiting all along for this colt to go farther and we feel the more distance he gets the better he'll be."
Lothenbach Stables' Hand of Power showed little in his first two starts on the Churchill Downs turf course but came to life when moved to the main track. He rallied in the stretch for an authoritative 4 1/2-length win at 11-1 in a Churchill maiden special weight event for trainer Ian Wilkes.
Epic Journey is one of six horses in the Pasco that come into the race off a win; he broke his maiden at Tampa with a two-length victory at six furlongs.
In the seven-furlong $100,000 Gasparilla, Lael Stables' Hidden Treat goes for her third straight career win. The Sandpiper winner tops a field of 10 that includes two-time local winner Valueable Charmer, Sandpiper runner-up A Little Attitude, and flashy maiden Gulfstream winner R Girls a Charmer from the Mark Casse barn.
Tampa Bay Downs, Saturday, January 23, 2016, Race 7
- 3 yo
- 3:20 PM (local)
|1||1Morning Fire (PA)||Daniel Centeno||116||Keith Nations||3/1|
|2||2Awesome Slate (KY)||Angel Serpa||120||Brian A. Lynch||8/1|
|3||3Epic Journey (FL)||Pablo Morales||116||Anthony J. Granitz||4/1|
|4||4Formal Summation (FL)||Ronald Dale Allen, Jr.||120||Kathleen O'Connell||5/1|
|5||5Fabourg Marigny (FL)||Jose Angel Garcia||116||Rory C. Miller||30/1|
|6||6Hand of Power (KY)||Julien R. Leparoux||116||Ian R. Wilkes||7/2|
|7||7Jay's Way (FL)||Antonio A. Gallardo||116||Jamie Ness||5/1|
|8||8Peppi the Hunter (KY)||Pedro L. Cotto, Jr.||116||Joseph Minieri||30/1|
|9||9The Right Thing (KY)||Scott Spieth||116||William R. Helmbrecht||15/1|
|10||10Flashy Kyem (PA)||Frankie Pennington||116||Keith Nations||12/1|
Tampa Bay Downs, Saturday, January 23, 2016, Race 6
- 3 yo Fillies
- 2:50 PM (local)
|1||1Valueable Charmer (FL)||Ronald Dale Allen, Jr.||116||Gerald S. Bennett||9/2|
|2||2High Pitch (KY)||Manoel R. Cruz||116||Eoin G. Harty||15/1|
|3||3Missalaney (IL)||Brian Pedroza||116||David H. Hinsley||10/1|
|4||4Conflate (KY)||Erick D. Rodriguez||116||Eoin G. Harty||15/1|
|5||5Catira Rock (FL)||Edgard J. Zayas||116||Antonio Sano||12/1|
|6||6R Girls a Charmer (FL)||Antonio A. Gallardo||116||Mark E. Casse||5/2|
|7||7Cosmic Girl (KY)||Fernando De La Cruz||116||Eoin G. Harty||4/1|
|8||8A Little Attitude (KY)||Jose C. Ferrer||116||Randy L. Klopp||6/1|
|9||9Kylbrylie (KY)||Frankie Pennington||116||Keith Nations||20/1|
|10||10Hidden Treat (KY)||Daniel Centeno||120||Arnaud Delacour||5/1|