02/01/2007 12:00AM

Summer Cruise risks perfect local record


OLDSMAR, Fla. - Summer Cruise, who unleashed a strong late rally to capture the Minaret Stakes here in her last start, takes on several stakes-caliber runners from out of town on Saturday when she seeks her fourth win from seven career starts in the seven-furlong Manatee Stakes.

Summer Cruise, a 4-year-old Vicar filly trained by Mike Zwiesler, is 3 for 3 at Tampa. She started her career in eye-catching fashion here a year ago, winning her first two outings, a maiden race and an allowance.

She resurfaced at Delaware Park in April, finishing third in the Smart Halo Stakes after stumbling at the break and being forced wide. In her next start she was third to the talented Dazzling Dot, who is now 4 for 6 in her career.

Summer Cruise was off from May until November because of a series of minor mishaps, then came back in her first race against older runners. She led into the final furlong before finishing second to the consistent allowance performer Flowerbud.

In the Minaret, Summer Cruise got through along the inside after a half-mile, then unleashed a strong late kick to rally past Rgirldoesn'tbluff, whom she will face again Saturday.

Carlos Montalvo returns aboard Summer Cruise at 122 pounds.

Running Lass, who is based at Calder, won the Stormy Frolic Stakes at Calder last fall, and on Dec. 30 finished third behind 14-length winner Take D' Tour in the Grade 3 Stage Door Betty Handicap. She drops back to a sprint for the Manatee and tops the challengers to Summer Cruise.

Rgirldoesn'tbluff led to the final stages of the Minaret and should be a fitter, tougher runner for her second start following a layoff.

Centeno leads nation in wins

Jockey Daniel Centeno has been on fire this meet and as of Jan. 31 was the national leader in races won.

Centeno had won 40 races, which put him three wins ahead of Ramon Dominguez and Joseph Talamo. He leads the local race by a wide margin, having won 58 races since the meeting began on Dec. 9.

Therecomesatiger impresses

Tuesday's eighth race was an unofficial prep for the $150,000 Tampa Bay Downs Breeders' Cup on Feb. 24. While at least one of the runners in the 1 1/16-mile turf race most likely earned a spot in the Tampa BC, the favorite came away wanting.

Therecomesatiger made a sharp 2007 debut as he wended his way through traffic to run down a game Cherokee Prince for a 1 1/4-length victory, getting his final sixteenth in just over six seconds.

Cherokee Prince, who was making his first start since September, also is expected to come back in the Tampa BC. But Gun Salute, the 6-5 favorite who was making his first start in almost a year, stalked the leaders along the inside for six furlongs and wound up last.