01/03/2011 11:40AM

Beamer to take it one step at a time at Tampa


OLDSMAR , Fla. – Those who attended the races here at Tampa Bay Downs on Dec. 30 may well have seen a future star make his first step to prominence when Beamer scored in a maiden special weight route going a mile and 40 yards. Beamer, a Vindication colt from the Unbridled mare Untarnished, was making his second start, and he is trained by Carl Nafzger and owned by Jim Tafel, who teamed up to win the 2007 Tampa Bay Derby and Kentucky Derby with Street Sense.

Beamer raced just off the early pace along the inside under Leandro Goncalves, then slipped through along the rail to challenge in the second turn before drawing off through the stretch for a 5 1/2-length win while racing with Lasix for the first time. While Beamer did showed a bit of greeness and inexperience, he also looked like a colt with more than his fair share of potential. Beamer earned a 77 Beyer Speed Figure.

While Nafzger was pleased with his colt’s effort, he said Beamer would have to tell him how to proceed.

“He could be all right,” Nafzger said. “But right now we’re inclined to just take it one step at a time. We’ll be looking for the next level, a nonwinners-other-than allowance for him. There’s a chance we’ll be looking at the Sam Davis and Tampa Bay Derby, but that’s a ways up the road.”

Beamer certainly shouldn’t step on his pedigree as his mother produced six-time winner Polished while her mother, Banshee Winds, produced several outstanding runners, including Banshee Breeze, winner of the Coaching Club American Oaks and Alabama Stakes and $2.7 million in earnings.

◗ Former rider Manny Crillio sent out Wildcat Prince to take the opener on Sunday over maiden claimers and now has 3 wins from 7 outings this season. The Shirley Girten-Drake stable, with son Tim Girten overseeing the operation locally, is also off to a good start with 3 wins from 7 starters.

◗ George Fiesman, 72, saddled his first winner as a licensed trainer here on Dec. 31 when High Brass captured a 1 1/8-mile claiming route under Mike Allen. Fiesman, who rode with some measure of success in the 1960s and 1970s, galloped and worked horses in the morning until he was 70. He still ponies horses in the afternoon along with his new wife, Brenda, and has built a modest stable of seven.