04/04/2004 1:00AM

Florida Cup a day of upsets


Restage brought Sunday's second annual Florida Cup day at Tampa Bay Downs to a fitting conclusion when holding on tenaciously to post a heart stopping nose victory over the fast closing Final Prophecy in the $84,900 Cherokee River Turf Classic.

Orchard Park, the 7-5 favorite, finished a disappointing eighth as the 7-5 choice in the Turf Classic. Capping off a day of upsets that saw none of the favorites in the six Florida Cup Stakes finish better than fourth.

Restage withstood a race long battle with Drink A Toast then narrowly held off Final Prophecy to make his stakes debut a winning one in the about one mile and one eighth Turf Classic. The win was the third in the last four starts for the homebred son of Repriced who is trained by Tom Proctor for the Glen Hill Farm.

Restage returned $10.60.

Weigelia survived a similar race long challenge from Avid Skier to get the day off to a thrilling start with a head victory in the $83,300 Padua Stables Sophomore Stakes. Very Formal M.D. tired badly after pressing the early pace and finished a badly beaten ninth as the 9-5 favorite.

Weigelia covered seven furlongs in 1:24.45 and paid $10.20.

Trainer Kirk Ziadie capped off a memorable weekend when sending out Keystone Point to a 1 1/4-length victory over longshot Indigo Flyer in the $85,300 Sophomore Turf. Capias, the 3-2 favorite, was caught in traffic through early and midstretch before rallying belatedly to finish fourth.

Ziadie sent out Kaufy Mate to win the $250,000 Aventura Stakes the previous afternoon at Gulfstream Park.

"This is the best twenty four hours I've ever had," said Ziadie who is winning races at nearly a 50-percent clip during the 2004 Tampa meeting.

Keystone Point returned $11.80.

In the $85,100 Sophomore Fillies, 20-1 Chenia outfinished the 12-1 Bird Chatter to post a neck victory with the 2-1 favorite Code of Justice a tiring fifth.

Chenia paid $42.80 and keyed a $770.00 exacta return.

Improvised was first across the wire in the $84,950 Turf Distaff but was disqualified and placed fourth after bumping Mrs M. near midstretch. Skip to Savannah, who rallied six wide into the stretch to finish three-quarters of a length behind Improvised, was elevated to the top spot via the disqualification and paid $29.00.

Stay Forever, the even money favorite in the Turf Distaff, trailed for nearly a mile and finished a non-threatening eighth.

Scrubs turned in the most impressive performance of the day, drawing off to a 6 1/2-length triumph over Rock County in the $81,350 Florida Cup Sprint. Native Hawk finished fourth as the tepid 5-2 favorite.

Scrubs returned $7.40.