04/04/2015 5:50PM

Old Time Hockey repeats in Turf Classic


OLDSMAR, Fla. – Old Time Hockey roared down the middle of the course through the final furlong of the $75,000 Tampa Turf Classic to run down a stubborn I’m the Lucky One in the shadow of the wire and defend his title in that nine-furlong grass route.

Under a vigorous ride by veteran Ronnie Allen Jr., Old Time Hockey had been content to sit off the pace for the opening six furlongs of the Classic as the 68-1 longshot Senor Habanero cut out fractions of 47.41 seconds and 1:11.48.

Moving out of the turn, Eric Rodrigues sent I’m the Lucky One into the lead, and that one opened a good-sized lead a furlong out as Allen and Old Time Hockey had been forced to swing four wide into the stretch. But through the final furlong, the favorite hit his best stride and came rolling along the outside and wore down I’m the Lucky One in the final strides. Allie’s Event, another Tampa turf veteran, also closed well outside to finish third.

Trained by Tom Proctor, Old Time Hockey returned $3.00 while covering the nine furlongs over a firm turf course in 1:47.72 while winning the Classic for the second straight year.

** Ranging up three wide in the turn of the Stonehedge Farm South Sophomore Fillies, R Sassy Lass gained a short lead into the stretch then had to battle a game Coco’s Wildcat down the lane before edging clear late for a popular 1 1/2-length victory in that seven-furlong sprint.

Trained by Kirk Ziadie and ridden by Antonio Gallardo, R Sassy Lass returned $5.80 while covering the distance in 1:23.31. Coco’s Wildcat was easily second while Royal Jewelry ran third.

** In the $75,000 Ocala Breeders’ Sophomore, Charlie’s Brother turned back a strong challenge from Fast Flying Rumor before pulling away late for an authoritative victory in that seven-furlong sprint.

Ridden by Harry Vega, Charlie’s Brother returned $6.80 while covering the distance over a fast track in 1:23.49. Fast Flying Rumor held on to save the place over Fancy Man.

** World Approval kept his 3-year-old record perfect in the $75,000 Sophomore Turf by sweeping past the leaders from the outside under Rafael Hernandez in midstretch and going on to post a 1 3/4-length victory in that 1 1/16-mile tilt.

World Approval, in his second race for trainer Mark Casse and second outing with blinkers, returned $5.00 while covering the distance in 1:42.21.

** Lake Drive South closed from last in the field to rally past Star Harbour and post an upset win in the $75,000 Hilton Garden Inn/Hampton Inn and Suites Sprint for jockey Luis Garcia and trainer Kathleen O’Connell.

Despite having two wins and a second from four starts over the Tampa surface, Lake Drive South returned $15.00 while covering the six furlongs in 1:10.44.

** Looping rivals out of the second turn, the longshot Evidently drove to the lead into the final furlong of the $75,000 Pleasant Acre Stallions Distaff Turf, then held off a late challenge from E B Ryder to post the biggest surprise of the day in that 1 1/16-mile test.

With Rafael Hernandez aboard for his second stakes win of the afternoon, Evidently returned $39.80 while covering the distance in stakes-record time of 1:40.93. Cuppy Cake,who led briefly in upper stretch, finished third.