04/15/2010 12:00AM

Rey Del Sol seeks third win at meet


OLDSMAR, Fla. - Rey Del Sol, winner of two of four local starts this meet, looks for his 10th career win Saturday at Tampa Bay Downs as the lukewarm favorite in the featured eighth race, a one-mile, third-level optional claimer over the turf.

Carlos Montalvo will ride Rey Del Sol for trainer James McMullen. The 7-year-old veteran comes into the race off an even sixth against open allowance runners on March 13.

Rey Del Sol was claimed by his present connections for $25,000 last September at Arlington Park and was freshened until November. In his second start back off that layoff and first local appearance, Rey Del Sol pressed the pace in a

1 1/8-mile starter allowance that was moved from turf to the dirt and came away with a three-quarter-length win at 9-1.

After finishing third to favored Stumbling Block in his next start with optional claiming types, Rey Del Sol moved back to the starter ranks and rallied from off the pace to run down the leaders late and post a 1 1/4-length victory in a mile turf test on Feb. 6.

This race shapes up as a wide-open betting affair, with several others in the field sporting good chances including Lion's Circle, from the powerful Dale Bennett barn. Lion's Circle was a troubled fourth in his last outing and comes off a 10-week break.

Rumor Has It, a former graded stakes winner going 1 1/2 miles at Kentucky Downs earlier in his career, will make his first start since last fall when he was distanced in the Grade 3 Sycamore Stakes at Keeneland, while For All Who Conga, who finished third in the Sprint Stakes against statebreds on Florida Cup Day, will try turf for the first time for trainer Jamie Ness.

Rumor Has It won 2 of 8 starts in 2009, including two overnight stakes at Arlington Park. He was fourth in the Grade 3 Stars and Stripes over 1 1/2 miles of turf, also at Arlington.

For All Who Conga made his first start for the Ness barn in the Sprint. He rallied from off the pace to finish third in a race that was run in 1:09.40.