04/12/2010 12:00AM

Hooh Why finds her spot at Keeneland


OLDSMAR, Fla. - There aren't many Grade 1 stakes winners who were based here at Tampa Bay Downs this meet, but Hooh Why was one of them.

Hooh Why, owned by Mark Hoffman and trained by Maria Bowersock, was shipped to Tampa to prepare for the beginning of her 4-year-old campaign in the Turf Distaff on Florida Cup Day, April 3. but a throat infection sidetracked those plans.

"We were very disappointed she came up with the throat problem just a few days before the Distaff," Hoffman said. "She had been training great and we felt a good race here would start off the year on a good note. The track surface here is great to train and run over. It's just a shame we couldn't have run her in the Distaff."

With no races here for Hooh Why, Hoffman looked to Keeneland for his prize filly, who won the Grade 1 Ashland at the Lexington, Ky., track last year. She was entered there in an allowance sprint there for Thursday.

"She won the biggest race of her career over that surface so we know she can handle it," he said. "Hopefully she can come off this little setback in good order. She's been awful good to us."

Hoffman has 20 horses in training, including eight 2-year-olds. He grew up in racing and galloped horses as a youngster, then got out of the business in the late 1980s and moved into commercial real estate, buying and sell apartment buildings. But the lure of the game brought him back and now his horses could show up just about anywhere in North America.

"We raced at 17 different tracks last season," he said. "We're developing young horses, buying and selling racing and breeding stock and racing here and in Canada. It's a busy life but fun, especially when you can find one like Hooh Why."

Mixed results for Tampa Derby duo

Two from the Grade 3 Tampa Bay Derby ran in Kentucky Derby prep races last Saturday. Odysseus, the Tampa Bay Derby winner who is trained by Tom Albertrani, went to the lead right at the start of the Grade 1 Blue Grass at Keeneland and wound up last in that nine-horse field. Afterwards, Odysseus was examined and found to have a bone chip in his knee.

Super Saver, third in the Tampa Derby, fell a neck short of catching winner Line of David in the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn.

* Trainer Jane Cibelli posted back-to-back doubles on Friday and Saturday. Ronnie Allen Jr. rode two of those winners.

* Jockey Pablo Morales won four races last Friday.