04/07/2006 11:00PM

Plesa, Castellano start fast


Trainer Eddie Plesa Jr. and jockey Abel Castellano got off to a fast start on Florida Cup Day by combining to win the first two stakes on the card with Electrify and Mr. Silver.

Electrify overcame traffic problems in early stretch to run down the leaders and drew off to a three-length victory in the $82,600 Sophomore Stakes. Vanilla Scoop finished second, a neck in front of the tiring R Smoken Star.

Electrify raced well placed off the early pace, had to steady when blocked behind the leaders in early stretch, but proved too classy for his opposition once Castellano maneuvered him into the clear. The victory was the first in three starts this year for Electrify, a son of Delaware Township. He had finished seventh in Gulfstream Park's Grade 2 Swale Stakes in his previous start.

Electrify paid $3.60 as the favorite after covering seven furlongs in 1:23.40 seconds. The 3-year-old Electrify is owned by his breeder, the Padua Stables.

Mr. Silver had to overcome an unlucky start and a rider's objection before being awarded the victory in the $84,250 Sophomore Turf.

Mr. Silver stumbled at the break, recovered to race well placed along the hedge behind the early leaders, then slipped through along the rail to gain command in early stretch of the Sophomore Turf. A son of Concorde's Tune, he drifted during the latter stages of the race but was able to withstand the final bid of the 4-5 favorite, Go Between.

Go Between rallied four wide into the stretch, angled inside the drifting winner near midstretch and just missed. World Battle loomed boldly outside the top pair turning for home but hung late and finished another half-length back in third.

A claim of foul by Castro against the winner for interference through the stretch was disallowed.

Mr. Silver ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:42.60 over a firm turf course and paid $9.20.

In the $84,200 Sophomore Fillies Stakes, Quelle Surprise was true to his name, outfinishing fellow longshot Love Boot to win by a half-length at 29-1. The pacesetting Running Lass weakened in deep stretch to finish another 1 1/2 lengths farther back in third. A Sea Trippi, the 9-5 favorite in the seven furlong Sophomore Fillies, was never a serious factor, checking home sixth.

Quelle Surprise ($61), a lightly raced daughter of Slew Gin Fizz trained by the Tampa Bay-based Richard Ciardullo Sr. and ridden by Terry Houghton, covered the seven furlongs in 1:24.03.