12/01/2016 1:46PM

R Angel Katelyn poised to turn tables on La Key in Sandpiper

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Leslie Martin/Coglianese Photos
R Angel Katelyn (8) rallied to win the Juvenile Filly Sprint in November.

OLDSMAR, Fla. – R Angel Katelyn will look to avenge the only loss of her career when she faces rival La Key and eight other juvenile fillies in the $100,000 Sandpiper Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs on Saturday.

R Angel Katelyn showed grit in her most recent start Nov. 12, tracking the pace and rallying for a half-length victory over fellow Florida-breds in the $100,000 Juvenile Filly Sprint at Gulfstream Park West. She earned a 78 Beyer Speed Figure in that 6 1/2-furlong sprint, easily the top mark in Saturday’s field, and will be cutting back slightly to six furlongs for the Sandpiper.

Trained by Gerald Bennett, R Angel Katelyn won her debut, a maiden special weight race at Delaware Park in September, by five lengths. She returned in a first-level allowance there just 16 days later Oct. 8 and led most of the way before ending up second, beaten three lengths by La Key.

Richard Averill, who shares ownership of R Angel Katelyn with CCF Racing Stable, said the quick turnaround and the racing surface contributed to her loss.

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“I know there’s a horse from Delaware that beat her, but the inside part of the track was no good that day, and she ended up down on the inside,” Averill said. “Obviously, she stepped up her game last time. She’s always been a nice filly, and [Bennett] has always been high on her. It’s back a little quick, three weeks, but I expect her to do well, and I wouldn’t want to trade places with anybody else.”

Sandpiper, Race 9

KEY CONTENDERS

R Angel Katelyn, by High Cotton

Last 3 Beyers: 78-63-67

◗ She’s had one local breeze since her most recent start, an easy half-mile Nov. 26. She’s likely to be forwardly placed again after breaking from the No. 6 post with Edwin Gonzalez aboard for the first time.

La Key, by J P’s Gusto

Last 3 Beyers: 69-54-51

◗ She’s won two straight optional claimers, including when in for a $62,500 tag against R Angel Katelyn most recently Oct. 8. The filly breezed four furlongs in 49 seconds at the Williston Mile on Nov. 21, the fastest of five works at the distance that day.

Jumby Bay, by City Zip

Last 3 Beyers: 61-63-58

◗ She started her career with three off-the-board finishes in New York, including two on turf, but broke through with a 6 1/2-length victory over a sloppy track at Gulfstream Park West on Oct. 30.

◗ Trainer Todd Pletcher and jockey Eddie Castro form a powerful tandem, having won 15 of 37 starts together (41 percent) since the start of 2015 for a robust $3.39 return on investment.