04/08/2010 12:00AM

Brinca sharp enough to step up


OLDSMAR, Fla. - Brinca, who has come to life since being placed in high-priced claiming and first-level allowance company, steps up in class on Saturday to face filly and mare sprinters going five furlongs on turf in a $26,000 overnight handicap at Tampa Bay Downs.

Trained by Chad Stewart, Brinca has won two of her last three starts. She will be moving back to the turf off a strong come-from-behind win sprinting over a sloppy main track.

Brinca finished fourth in the Florida Oaks and third in the Sophomore Fillies here last season while making five of her seven starts in stakes. She was beaten a neck when dropped in for a $50,000 claiming tag here in January and won her next start, which came on turf for a $50,000 tag. After a close fifth going 1 1/16 miles, Brinca was shortened to five furlongs for her recent win.

Mayomast and Excessive Heat are two other contenders in what looks like a wide-open betting race.

Mayomast rallied late to take a tough

second-level optional claiming sprint on the turf two races back.

Mayomast has been a model of consistency for trainer Benny Feliciano, racing with a variety of company from high-priced claimers to stakes over the past year. This winter, Mayomast finished second to stakes winner Perf, then was third to Omega Cat before being moved back to the turf, where she rallied from just off the pace to win the optional claimer.

Mayomast has posted four of her eight wins on the grass and rarely turns in a poor effort.

Excessive Heat led from start to finish for an impressive win over optional claiming company on the grass in her first start after being reclaimed by trainer Jamie Ness.

Excessive Heat has 11 wins and was stakes-placed last summer at Colonial Downs. In her first start after being reclaimed by Ness for $32,000, Excessive Heat shot to the front at the start of a five-furlong turf sprint and led throughout to win by 3 1/4 lengths.

Twiceasbeautiful, who defeated Excessive Heat by 3 1/4 lengths winning a turf sprint stakes at Colonial last summer, also merits a serious look. The 6-year-old Twiceasbeautiful led into the final furlong of the Turf Dash here a month ago before weakening to be third after leading for most of a turf sprint in January.