05/01/2008 12:00AM

Revved Up makes 10-year-old debut


OLDSMAR, Fla. - Chris Thomas was a colorful and sometimes controversial TV and radio personality who had an unabashed love affair with horse racing. He would debate the game for hours with those whose opinions he respected, and argue the finer points of handicapping until closing time.

One of Thomas's favorite pieces of handicapping advice was to never overlook a seasoned pro in a given race, especially if it was a stakes or handicap.

Thomas, who died in 2004, would surely have a soft spot in his heart for Revved Up on Saturday when the venerable 10-year-old makes his 2008 debut in the $75,000 Chris Thomas Turf Classic at nine furlongs at Tampa Bay Downs.

Revved Up, who has a pair of wins and a pair of seconds from four starts over this course, was second in last year's edition of the Thomas to Cosmonaut during a season that saw him win two races from eight starts and earn some $211,350 to run his career earnings to more than $1.5 million. He rallied from just off the pace to take the John's Call at Saratoga, then came back in November to notch his second win by narrowly besting Soldier's Dancer by a nose in the Bonnie Heath Turf Cup at Calder. He is trained by Christophe Clement.

Daniel Centeno, in the midst of another record-breaking year here, will handle Revved Up at 117 pounds.

Chaluiwitcane, who came to life on the turf here last spring and went on to be a factor in several turf stakes on the East Coast, will make his 2008 debut and deserves a long look at 117 pounds with Juan Diaz. Chaluiwitcane, a winner here against allowance runners last year, raced in New Jersey and was a consistent runner in turf stakes there, running second in the Lamplighter, Choice, and Jersey Derby.

Mysterious Peintre, a French-bred who won an overnight stakes at Calder last fall, figures to be a late-running threat at 117 under Jermaine Bridgmohan, as does Vanquisher, who was beaten less than three lengths in the Turf Classic here on Florida Cup Day.

The speed in the Thomas should be Riversrunrylee, who led to midstretch of the Bonnie Heath Turf Cup, and who holds the track record for a mile and 40 yards on the main track here.