01/14/2011 5:17PM

Tampa Bay: Schoolyard Dreams 3rd in return


Schoolyard Dreams, the '10 TBDerby runner-up who was making his first start in nearly 7 months, finished a creditable 3rd as the 6-5 fave in the 8th of 10 races Friday at Tampa, a 2nd-level allowance (with a $32 claiming option) at 7 furlongs on the main track. Turning for home, it appeared the 4yo colt was poised to surge past front-running Ask Joe after D.Centeno deftly maneuvered him to the rail, but apparently the time off did him in, as Ask Joe ($6.20), with L.Goncalves up for leading trainer J.Ness,  edged away late to prevail. Lieutenant Dan was up in the final jump to nail Schoolyard Dreams for 2nd while a length behind the winner. The $2 exacta (1-7) came back $25.20.

"I thought he ran real well," trainer Derek Ryan said of Schoolyard Dreams afterward. "He's a 2-turn horse anyway. I actually thought it might be better if he'd stayed outside, but that's the way it is. We'll look for another 2-other-than, although they tend not to fill going longer here. If we have to, we'll go back in a stake."

Schoolyard Dreams was beaten by the barest of margins last March in the TBDerby by Odysseus, with eventual Ky Derby winner Super Saver a close third. Schoolyard Dreams then ran poorly in 3 subsequent starts before Ryan gave him some time off.

Meanwhile, jockey R.Homeister continued her winning ways here. After capturing 5 races from just 6 mounts yesterday, tying her personal high and tying the 2nd-most tally for winners at this ancient track, Homeister won the 2nd race with Fantastic Lisa ($13.60) and the fifth with Twojohnsandajack ($4.20), giving her an eye-popping 2-day streak of 7-for-9. Homeister, 38, is 2nd to Centeno atop the Tam standings.

We have twin 3yo stakes here tomorrow, the Gasparilla (race 7) for girls and the Pasco (race 9) for boys. Both are $75k races at 7 panels on the main. The 11-race card gets under way at the usual 12:25 ET. See you then.