Sweettrickydancer Takes Tropical Park Oaks

Sweettrickydancer earned the distinction of winning the first stakes race of 2003, taking Wednesday's $100,000 Tropical Park Oaks at Calder Race Course.

The Kentucky-bred 3-year-old daughter of Green Dancer, owned by La Colmena Racing Stable, has now strung together four consecutive turf course victories, including two stakes. She won for the fourth time in seven starts. The $60,000 first prize gives Sweettrickydancer career earnings of $152,110.

Trained by Rodolfo Garcia, Sweettrickydancer also scored in the Hollywood Wildcat Stakes, giving the Venezuelan Garcia his first stakes victory in the United States on Nov. 30.

"Today's race was a little easier on her than the last one (Hollywood Wildcat)," Garcia said. "She had four weeks for this and only two before the last one, but sometimes the condition book dictates your schedule. I actually ran her a little more as a 2-year-old than I would normally prefer, but it has worked out fine. Fortunately, the races for her now at Gulfstream are spaced well. If she is doing well, I would think you might see her next in the Herecomesthebride (Feb. 1)."

Jockey Eibar Coa, who was aboard the filly for her three previous victories, kept her in the middle of the pack of 11 runners. The pace in the 1 1/16- mile race was set by Fencelineneighbor, with Edgar Prado in the irons, with longshot Spring Mint in stalking position.

Going into the final turn, Sweettrickydancer picked up momentum while racing on the outside. At the top of the stretch, Coa, staying wide, seized the lead near the eighth pole. Devil at the Wire closed well on the inside to finish second, just three-quarters of a length behind Sweettrickydancer. Askforaraise was another neck behind in third.

Sweettrickydancer covered the distance in 1:44 flat over a course labeled 'good.' She paid $9.00 for the win.

"She's learning a little bit more every time she runs, said Coa. "Today I was able to get in between and go through horses. She allowed me to do that and by the half-mile pole I was in good position. At the quarter pole when I asked her to run, she gave me some more."

(Chart, Equibase)