Three track marks set on Festival Day
By DON JENSEN
Published March 20, 2005
OLDSMAR - Tampa Bay Downs broke three records on Festival Day, the track's marquee event.
Marks were set in attendance and co-mingled handle for a card and single race.
Total attendance of 10,246 surpassed the mark of 9,765 on April 8, 1990. The total co-mingled handle of $6,889,834 bested the record of $5,343,919 on Feb. 26. A total of $1,663,284 was wagered on the Tampa Bay Derby, high for a single race.
The Tampa Bay Derby was one of four stakes races on the 13-race program. The $150,000 Florida Oaks, Grade III $125,000 Hillsborough Stakes and $75,000 Holiday Inn Express Turf Dash also were contested.
HILLSBOROUGH THRILLER: The most exciting finish of the four stakes races came in the Hillsborough Stakes, where Rizzi Girl rallied for a neck victory over Sister Star in the 11/8-mile turf race for older fillies and mares. Rizzi Girl, a 7-year-old mare owned by Odessa's Joshua and Marnie Whitney, came from well off the pace under jockey Oliver Castillo.
The field was cut to nine after three horses were scratched by their trainers, including Endeavour Stakes winner Delta Princess.
Rizzi Girl paid $23.20, $9 and $5.20. Sister Star returned $6.80 and $4.60. Noisette was third at $4.40. The winning time was 1 minute, 52.59 seconds.
CONCRETE, ANYONE?: Two of the four owners who won stakes races are involved in the concrete business: Richard Averill, who won the Florida Oaks with R Lady Joy, and Whitney.
THREE FOR CASTANON: Second-leading rider Jesus Castanon won three races to move within three of T.D. Houghton, who has a 69-66 edge. Castanon won with Stormy Brew ($7.40, second race), Ashland Avenue ($2.80, fourth race) and Alphabet City ($7.80, fifth race).