Updated on 09/18/2011 12:18AM

R Loyal Man sharp in Pasco score

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Stephanie Van Minos/Tom Cooley
R Loyal Man wins the $75,000 Pasco Stakes on Saturday at Tampa Bay Downs.

Prominent from the outset, R Loyal Man shook off the competition leaving the turn and drew off smartly through the stretch to post an impressive 3 3/4-length victory in the $75,000 Pasco Stakes on Saturday at Tampa Bay Downs.

Under a confident ride by Manoel Cruz, R Loyal Man vied for the lead through an opening quarter of 22.65 seconds and a half-mile of 45.56. After shaking off Neverbeendancin and Electrify leaving the turn, R Loyal Man drew away with a flourish to stamp himself as one of the early favorites for the Grade 3, $250,000 Tampa Bay Derby on March 18.

Electrify, who had been hung wide to the turn, outfinished previously undefeated Doc Cheney for the place by a length, with Right Flanker six lengths farther back in fourth.

R Loyal Man, who is trained by Timothy Ritvo, covered the seven furlongs over a fast track in 1:22.55, just .18 of a second off the track record, and earned $30,000 for his fourth win from six career starts.