01/17/2009 1:00AM

Musket Man stays perfect in Pasco


Musket Man remained undefeated and stamped himself as one of the early favorites for the Sam F. Davis Stakes and Tampa Bay Derby with a game length victory in the $75,000 Pasco Stakes on Saturday at Tampa Bay Downs.

Ridden by Luis Gonzalez, Musket Man prompted a solid early pace in the seven-furlong Pasco, bid three wide at the quarter pole, and then turned back a strong challenge from General Quarters through the stretch before edging clear near the finish. General Quarters finished more than eight lengths clear of Miles and Miles, with Gaara another four lengths back in fourth. Medaglia d'Onore finished a troubled fifth, and hsi connections claimed foul against Miles and Miles for interference in the turn, but that claim was disallowed.

Trained by Derek Ryan, Musket Man returned $5 as the choice in the field of seven, and was timed over a fast track in 1:23.06, less than a second off the track record of 1:22.28.

* In the $65,000 Gasparilla Stakes, Rock Candy found room along the rail to challenge into the stretch and drew off late for a 2 1/4-length win.

Ridden by Carlos Montalvo, Rock Candy covered the distance in 1:25.63 and returned $10.20. Vick'sprideandjoy rallied up the rail to be second, two lengths to the good of Market Vendor, with early pacesetter Pink Gloss fourth.