Updated on 09/18/2011 12:43AM

Silver Tree's Turf Classic caps Castro three-bagger

Stephanie Van Minos/Tom Cooley
Silver Tree, Eddie Castro up, wins the $85,400 Turf Classic at Tampa Bay Downs on Saturday.

Eddie Castro capped off a big afternoon Saturday at Tampa Bay Downs when he guided Silver Tree to a victory in the $85,400 Turf Classic, the final of six stakes races on Florida Cup Day.

For Castro, it made a sweep of the day's last three stakes.

Silver Tree, the strong 3-5 choice, stalked the leaders inside for seven furlongs of the nine-furlong turf race. He eased off the rail into the stretch to take the lead from pacesetter Lord Robyn, then turned back a challenge from Icy Atlantic through midstretch and won by two lengths.

Icy Atlantic was clear for second, 1 1/4 lengths ahead of Ballonenostrikes, with Be My Buddy fourth. Trained by Bill Mott, Silver Tree covered the nine furlongs over a firm course in 1:48.45 and returned $3.20

In the the $85,800 Turf Distaff Stakes, Castro angled Thetactics Ofdance to the middle of the course out of the second turn to gain the lead leaving the eighth pole, and they held off Pattiano for a three-quarter-length victory.

Thetactics Ofdance raced in mid-pack to the second turn, then advanced inside to the stretch before swinging four wide straightening away for the drive. Pattiano, who was blocked inside in the drive and had to alter course leaving the eighth pole, finished willingly under Oliver Castillo but ran out of stretch. Changing World, who had slipped through inside to gain the lead into the stretch, weakened late to be third, 1 1/4 lengths farther back.

Thetactics Ofdance returned $4.40 as the favorite in the field of 12 fillies and mares, covering the 1 1/16 miles over firm turf in 1:42.70.

Castro also piloted Nightmare Affair to victory in the six-furlong $84,050 Sprint. Nightmare Affair rallied along the outside through midstretch and drew off late for a 3 1/2-length win.

Nightmare Affair, who was racing on just a week's rest, returned $5.20 while covering the distance on a fast main track in 1:10.21. Vazander, the longest shot in the field of 11 at 57-1, was up for the place by a half-length, with 9-year-old Above the Wind third.