04/04/2007 11:00PM

Florida Cup Day features six stakes worth $440K

Email

OLDSMAR, Fla. - Go Between, who led into the final furlong of the Grade 1 Gulfstream Park Breeders' Cup Turf Handicap on Feb. 24, and All I Can Get, who exits the Grade 3 Tampa Bay Derby here, top their respective fields in two of the six stakes set to be contested on Saturday's Florida Cup Day program.

This is the fifth year of the Florida Cup, which salutes the Florida Thoroughbred breeding industry and is presented by Tampa Bay Downs in partnership with the Florida Thoroughbred Breeders and Owners Association and the local division of the Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association.

In a change from past years when Florida-breds were preferred but the races were open to all entrants, four of this year's races are restricted to registered Florida-breds. The six stakes will offer purse money of $440,000.

Go Between goes postward in the $85,000 Cherokee River Stable Stakes and looks to have a solid class edge over his Florida-bred rivals in the nine-furlong turf race.

In the Gulfstream BC Turf, Go Between gained a short lead in the stretch of the 1 3/8-mile race, then weakened late to finish fourth behind Jambalaya, who came back to win last weekend's Grade 3 Pan American. Also finishing ahead of Go Between were Honey Ryder, one of the top grass mares in training, and Einstein, winner of the Grade 2 Mervin Muniz Handicap in March.

Prior to that race, Go Between closed well to be third behind Lava Man and Icy Atlantic in the nine-furlong Sunshine Millions Turf at Santa Anita.

Carlos Montalvo will ride Go Between for trainer Bill Mott at 116 pounds.

His competition includes Jet Propulsion, winner of the Needles Stakes at Calder last year, and Therecomesatiger, a five-time winner on turf, including a strong allowance win here this meet.

o The $85,000 L and D Farm Turf Distaff, a 1 1/16-mile turf race for 3-year-old Florida-bred fillies, matches the Mott-trained Quite a Bride, winner of the Pebbles Stakes at Belmont Park last October, against Prop Me Up, who finished second in the Grade 2 Rampart Stakes last month at Gulfstream Park.

Quite a Bride will be making her first start since finishing third in the Grade 2 Mrs. Revere at Churchill Downs last November, but her 5-for-8 turf record is far superior to that of Prop Me Up, who has won only 1 of 6 grass starts.

o The $85,000 Dayton Andrews Dodge Stakes, a 1 1/16-mile turf race for Florida-breds, features Soldier's Dancer, a late-closing Lost Soldier gelding trained by Dave Vivian. Soldier's Dancer fell just a nose short of winning the Grade 3 Palm Beach Stakes at Gulfstream Park in his last start and won the Grade 3 Tropical Park Derby at Calder in January.

Vanquisher, another from the Mott stable, tops the challengers, along with Chaluiwitcane, who came off a two-month break to upset a solid allowance field here last time out at 14-1.

o In the $85,000 Stonehedge Farm Stakes, Trainee will attempt to rebound from a sixth-place finish in the Florida Oaks when she goes after her third win this meeting. Trainee is a product of Glen Hill Farm, one of the most well known Florida nurseries. The Stonehenge is for 3-year-old fillies at seven furlongs.

Suaveness, who ran second in the Florida Oaks at 69-1 and was an upset winner of the Gasparilla Stakes at the same price earlier in the meeting, tops the challengers to the Tom Proctor-conditioned Trainee, along with Bianco, who was off the board for the only time in her life when sixth in the Gasparilla. She finished second against tough allowance rivals at Gulfstream Park in her most recent.

o In the $50,000 Ocala Breeders' Sales Sophomore, All I Can Get turns back to seven furlongs after setting the pace to the stretch against top 3-year-old Triple Crown hopefuls Street Sense and Any Given Saturday in the Tampa Bay Derby. Prior to that, All I Can Get set the pace to midstretch before finishing second to Any Given Saturday in the Sam F. Davis Stakes.

Whiskey Lit hasn't run a poor race in four outings this meeting. A fast-closing third going shorter with allowance foes last out, he gets an additional furlong in this race.

Curious Tiger, who is undefeated in three starts, all over the local surface, also is a contender.

o D'artagnans'spirit, winner of the Super Stakes here, heads the $50,000 Hilton Garden Inn Sprint for older horses at six furlongs.

D'artagnans'spirit will face local favorite Demagoguery, who has four wins this meeting over the main track, and Fleet Valid, a speedy Montbrook colt from the always dangerous barn of Michael Trombetta who will be going after his third win in a row.