03/04/2006 12:00AM

Locals making Festival Day plans


OLDSMAR Fla. - When nominations closed Saturday for the Grade 3, $250,000 Tampa Bay Derby, $200,000 Florida Oaks, and $150,000 Hillsborough Stakes, there were a number of horses on the lists from such household names as Nick Zito, Bill Mott, and Todd Pletcher. But several locally based trainers are also tentatively pointing runners to the three Festival Day stakes, which will be run March 18.

Trainer Kirk Ziadie nominated Soldier's Word to the derby but his status is up in the air as he battles a minor health issue. A promising colt who romped by more than 11 lengths on Jan. 27, Soldier's Word came back to be second in allowance company last time out. Ziadie says Soldier's Word's chances of making the derby are "fifty-fifty" at the moment.

"He came down with a skin disease that has his immune system down just a bit at the moment," Ziadie said. "We're treating it, and it's not a serious thing that should clear up pretty quick, but if it takes a little out of him and he's not 100 percent I'm not going to run him. He's got too much potential to send him out against that caliber of competition when he's not at the top of his game. We should know by the end of the week."

Other locals nominated to the Tampa Bay Derby include two-time local winner El Lobo from the barn of Kathleen O'Connell, and Shucks, a recent winner from the Robert Arango stable.

Joan Scott has nominated Chandelle No. Five to the Florida Oaks. Chandelle No. Five is a speedy filly who has won her last two races at Tampa Bay Downs at sprint distances. Scott has reservations about sending her young runner in a route race against the level of competition she will meet in the Oaks.

"She's really basically a sprinter, and I'm a little hesitant to send her around two turns for the first time against that type competition." Scott said. "If it were an allowance race that would be different, but I'm not going to send her out to get her spirit broken. Right now, we'll just wait and see who's coming and then decide."

Others nominated to the Oaks include Fiery Dancer, Silence Is Golden, Love Boat, Chic Cat, Mia's Reflection, Summer Cruise, and Safety Net.

The most notable local nominated to the Hillsborough is Beautiful Bet, who ran third in the Hurricane Bertie on the main track at Gulfstream in her last start for trainer Glenn Wismer.

Tasha Sangue pulls huge upset

Dismissed at 46-1, Tasha Sangue took over the lead from pacesetter Preach It going into the stretch and went on to a shocking 2 1/4-length victory in the Saturday's $60,000 Wayward Lass Stakes.

Under a well-judged ride by Carlos Montalvo, Tasha Sangue covered the 1 1/16 miles over a fast track in 1:45.61 to gain her second win from her last three starts locally and her fifth career score.

Preach It, who set a moderate pace under Oliver Castillo, held on well after relinquishing the lead to finish second in the field of 10 older fillies and mares. She was three lengths ahead of favored Pitanga, who was hung wide through the opening six furlongs of the race and couldn't gain any ground once straightened away in the stretch. Deb's Favoite Gift finished fourth.

Tasha Sangue, trained by Walter Rosas-Canessa, returned $95.

Allen scores riding triple

Mike Allen, who has ridden sparingly here the last few seasons, is on the comeback trail. Allen posted a riding triple Thursday and the three wins gave him 14 victories for the meeting. With Federico Mata out with an injury, Allen has been riding the bulk of the runners for his father, trainer Ronnie Allen Sr., including two of his Friday winners. Other trainers have also been using Allen, including leading conditioner Kirk Ziadie.