04/03/2012 3:04PM

Gulfstream Park: Red-hot Ness sends She’s Packin Heat

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HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – Trainer Jamie Ness is winning races at an astounding, almost unbelievable, 47 percent rate this winter at Tampa Bay Downs. What’s even more remarkable, he’s doing even better at Gulfstream Park.

Ness has started just nine horses during the Gulfstream meet, five of whom have found their way into the winner’s circle, a success rate of 56 percent. One of those five victories was by She’s Packin Heat who returned from nearly seven months on the sidelines to register a convincing 2 3/4-length triumph in a low-level optional claimer switched from the turf to a sloppy main track March 15.

With that victory, a race under her belt, and Ness’s unparalleled success in Florida this season, She’s Packin Heat figures to go postward the favorite, despite stepping up against higher level optional claiming company in Thursday’s $66,100 main event. The race, carded at five furlongs on the turf, is one of three allowance races on the card.

She’s Packin Heat had been idle since being re-claimed by Ness for $16,000 out of a third-place finish last August at Presque Isle Downs. Ness had lost the horse for the same price following a convincing three-length victory over the Tampa Bay turf course in February 2011.

She’s Packin Heat, a versatile 5-year-old daughter of Bring the Heat, will take on eight other fillies and mares, including Lady Rizzi, a veteran turf sprint specialist who won an open $50,000 claiming dash earlier in the meet. Now 9, Lady Rizzi has disappointed in each of her last two starts, finishing fourth and seventh, respectively, under similar conditions as Thursday’s headliner.

Wild Bout Tiffany is the only other member of the field coming into the race off a victory, having rallied from midpack to register a 2 1/2-length decision over open $25,000 platers going five panels on the grass four weeks earlier for trainer Bill Kaplan.

Revenue will make her 2012 debut, having been away since finishing an even fifth going a mile last August at Monmouth Park. Revenue has started just four times but for three different trainers during her career, having won twice. She is currently under the guidance of Bill Mott.

I Fly High, Hard Truth, Look At Me Dance, Brinca, and Pyrite Storm complete the field.

Thursday’s sixth race brings together 3-year-old Florida-breds going 6 1/2 furlongs on the main track. The race drew a field of nine, led by Todd Pletcher’s Angel’s Tune who gets some significant class relief after chasing tablemate Gemologist, among the favorites in Saturday’s Wood Memorial, and Grade 1 winner Currency Swap to no avail going a mile in his last start.