Tampa Bay S.

(T abt 8.5f ,)

COSMONAUT (GR/RO h, 116 lb) $90,000
Lemon Drop Kid —Cosmic Fire , by Capote
B—Patricia Pavlish, KY.; O—Flying Zee Stable; T—Philip M. Serpe

Ballonenostrikes (DK B/ g, 116 lb) $30,000
Lost Soldier —Saratoga Ball , by Mr. Leader
B—Mr. & Mrs. Marty J. Hershe, FL.; O—Mac Fehsenfeld; T—Dennis J. Manning

Soldier's Dancer (GR/RO g, 118 lb) $15,000
Lost Soldier —Heather's Dancer , by Gate Dancer
B—Franks Farm, FL.; O—Herman Heinlein; T—David A. Vivian

Margins: ¾, 1½, neck. Others: Classic Campaign 116($7,500) , Archers Alyancer 116($3,000) , Stay Close (GB) 116($3,000) , Icy Atlantic 116 , Big Prairie 116 , Mysterious Peintre (FR) 122 , Puppeteer (GB) 116 . Winning Jockey, Edgar S. Prado.

Cosmonaut, a close third in last year’s NetJets Breeders’ Cup Mile (gr. IT), had things his way in the Feb. 23 Tampa Bay Stakes. The 4-5 favorite, Cosmonaut took the lead around the far turn after racing closely behind in second and went on to win by three-quarters of a length over 34-1 Ballonenostrikes.

The victory was Cosmonaut’s fourth stakes win. Campaigned his entire career by Carl Lizza’s Flying Zee Stable, Cosmonaut won the Arlington Handicap (gr. IIIT) in 2006-07 and the 2006 Golden Gate Fields Handicap (gr. III).

Cosmonaut, by Lemon Drop Kid, battled through soft turf in both the Breeders’ Cup and Tampa Bay Stakes. In the Breeders’ Cup, he led into the final furlong before being passed by eventual winner Kip Deville and Excellent Art. He closed out the year with a runner-up effort in the Nov. 23 River City Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Churchill Downs over yielding turf.

“He can handle the good turf, the yielding turf; he can run on anything,” Lizza said.

Carlos Martin, agent, bought Cosmonaut for $105,000 at the 2003 Keeneland September yearling sale. Bred in Kentucky by Patricia Pavlish, Cosmonaut was consigned by Taylor Made Sales Agency, agent.

Lizza, who owns Highcliff Farm in New York State with Joe Bartone, has campaigned New York grade I winners Key Contender, Noble Nashua, and Wayward Lass in the Flying Zee name. Wayward Lass, a 1981 Eclipse Award-winning 3-year-old filly, scored grade I wins in the Coaching Club American Oaks and Mother Goose Stakes her championship season. Noble Nashua captured the 1981 Marlboro Cup Invitational Handicap (gr. I) and Key Contender took the 1995 Suburban Handicap (gr. I).

Pavlish acquired Cosmonaut’s dam, Cosmic Fire, in training in 1996 upon the recommendation of Kentucky horseman John T. Ward Jr. She had been stakes-placed three times for her previous owner, Pine Creek Ranch. For Pavlish, she won several races prior to her retirement.

Cosmic Fire was bred to Lemon Drop Kid with the intention of getting a 3x3 inbreeding to Seattle Slew. A great racehorse and sire, Seattle Slew is the broodmare sire of Lemon Drop Kid and the grandsire of Cosmic Fire.

Pavlish and her husband, Ed, are the breeders of earlier graded stakes winner Saudi Poetry. A daughter of Storm Cat, Saudi Poetry won the 2001 Louisville Breeders’ Cup (gr. II) and Fleur de Lis (gr. III) Handicaps.

Lemon Drop Kid has sired 23 stakes winners, including Candy Ball, who won the Bayou Handicap at Fair Grounds the same day as the Tampa Bay Stakes. In 2007, Lemon Drop Kid was represented by 14 stakes winners. He stands for $35,000 at William S. Farish’s Lane’s End Farm near Versailles, Ky.—D.S.