12/12/2009 1:00AM

Taletobetold holds on in Lightning City

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OLDSMAR, Fla. - Taking the lead from the start, Taletobetold raced Charlie Papa into defeat after three furlongs, opened a daylight lead with a furlong remaining, and then had enough left to turn back the late challlenge of favored Easy Ashley to score a hard-earned half-length win in the $65,000 Lightning City Stakes as Tampa Bay Downs kicked off its 2009-2010 racing season.

Under a strong ride by Tony Farina, who was posting his second win on the 11-race program, Talebetold covered the five furlongs over a turf course listed as "good" in 58.19 seconds and returned $16.80.

Easy Ashley, from the Wesley Ward barn, finished full of run outside the winner after swinging to the middle of the course and outfinished another late closer, Kosmo's Buddy by a half-length for second.

Eddie Kennelly saddled Taletobetold, a 5-year-old daughter of Tale of the Cat, as she posted her fifth turf win from 23 lifetime outings on the grass.

* In the supporting allowance feature, Perf looped rivals on the turn, then ralllied past the leaders to post a solid victory in a six-furlong prep for the Minaret Stakes.

Luis Gonzalez pilotted Perf for trainer Mary Bennett, who is deputizing for husband Gerald who is serving a suspension for a medication overage in ohio. Perf returned $8.20 and covered the six furlongs in 1:10.65

Opening day attendance was 5,004.