05/04/2006 12:00AM

Revved Up ready to get started


OLDSMAR, Fla. - Revved Up, who had a breakout season in 2005 when he earned more than $500,000, is expected to make his 2006 debut at Tampa Bay Downs on Saturday in the $75,000 Chris Thomas Memorial Handicap at nine furlongs on turf.

The race, named for the late local media personality who owned horses and syndicated racing partnerships, is for older horses. Also on the card is the Lightning City Stakes at five furlongs on the turf. The Tampa Bay Downs season concludes Sunday.

Eddie Castro is slated to come up from Miami to ride Revved Up at 117 pounds for trainer Christophe Clement. A Sultry Song gelding, Revved Up will be making his first start since finishing second, beaten a neck, in the Grade 2 W.L. McKnight Handicap at Calder in December.

Revved Up raced just eight times last season, but made the most of those starts, winning five times. He took the Turf Classic here last spring on Florida Cup Day, then came back to finish second in the Thomas.

Later in the season, Revved Up scored three straight wins: the Battlefield Handicap at Monmouth, the Grade 3 Stars and Stripes Breeders' Cup at Arlington, and the Grade 2 Niagara Breeders' Cup at Woodbine. His final win came at Calder, where he rallied from well back to take the Bonnie Heath in a race restricted to Florida-breds.

While he has been off five months, Revved Up has been training on a regular schedule at Payson Park and came off a long break to win at first asking last season.

Dontbotherknocking came from well off the pace to finish third in his last start, the Grade 3 Connally Breeders' Cup at Sam Houston.

Last fall, Dontbotherknocking came to life for trainer Bernell Rhone, winning three in a row, including the DeBartolo Breeders' Cup at Louisiana Downs. He finished the season with earnings of more than $200,000.

Melvin Toro will ride Dontbotherknocking at 117 pounds.

In the $75,000 Lightning City, local turf sprint star Whenthedoveflies figures to be a solid favorite. Her sternest challenge may come from Cape of Good Hope, who has won her last two starts at Gulfstream Park, both against tough allowance rivals at five furlongs.

Running Lass, third in the Sophomore Fillies and a stakes winner sprinting on the turf at Calder last season, also merits consideration.