03/28/2010 11:00PM

Hi Time Scott still showing winning spirit


OLDSMAR, Fla. - There was more than the usual smattering of applause Saturday when 10-year old Hi Time Scott strolled into the winner's circle for the 19th time in his career after taking a mile and 40-yard $5,000 claiming race.

William "Radio" Downing claimed Hi Time Scott for Joshua and Marnie Whitney for $8,000 in January 2005, and Hi Time Scott went on to climb the ranks, eventually racing in allowance and handicap races. His personal best effort may have come in the $100,000 Hadry Handicap going a mile at Laurel in September 2006, a race he captured by five lengths while earning a Beyer Speed Figure of 103.

Answering the call to battle has taken its toll, and over the past several seasons and Downing has had to give his charge time off and pick his spots carefully. But as he said Sunday, Hi Time Scott hasn't lost his love for the racetrack or his will to win.

"He's just the man, that's all there is to it," Downing said of Hi Time Scott, who has won 14 races under his care. "He's just a cool, cool dude. He's great to be around and he's like one of the family. He has his good days and bad days, but he's happy to be here.

"We're just trying to do the right thing with him, he deserves that. He gives us all he's got when we can get him to the races and you can't say that about a lot of horses."

Hi Time Scott's win Saturday was his seventh at Tampa. Another horse with a fondness for the local strip who won this week was Prosico.

Prosico captured his fifth win from 10 starts here on Thursday in an optional claiming sprint. Trained by Dale Bennett, Prosico has also finished second four times locally.

Eventful day for Gonzalez

Jockey Luis Gonzalez took a bit of a beating on Saturday but finally got something out of it. Gonzalez was aboard Takamosa in the seventh race when the horse suddenly flipped in the gate, tossing Gonzalez out the back. The rider limped about as the horse was eventually scratched, but didn't take off his remaining mounts.

In the next race, Gonzalez was aboard One Sky when, you guessed it, that horse tried to flip in the gate. After the assistant starters got One Sky settled, Gonzalez remounted and One Sky behaved and went on to win the one-mile turf maiden.

Starter Ron Dill has done an excellent job protecting both riders and horses here this meeting. Between inexperienced and skittish maidens who come from all over the state to race here and older runners who turn sour later in a long meet, Dill's crew has their work cut out for them on a daily basis.

* Victor Lebron, who won with 3 of his first 6 mounts at Turfway Park after moving there for the end of that meeting, will be back here April 3 to ride several races on Florida Cup Day, according to his agent, Steve Elzey. Elzey said that Lebron, who won eight races here this season, will return to Tampa next season for the full meeting.