Updated on 09/18/2011 12:13AM

Tampa Bay: Above the Wind three-peats

Email
Stephanie Van Minos/Tom Cooley
Above the Wind wins his third straight victory in the Pelican Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs on Saturday.

Above the Wind overcame trouble leaving the gate and a prolonged drive to come away with his third straight victory in the Pelican Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs.

With Federico Mata aboard, Above the Wind broke to the inside and hit the gate and Champagne Account. Mata lost his left iron briefly, then found himself in the unfamiliar position of chasing other horses when he was fifth after a quarter-mile.

Mata hustled Above the Wind up between horses to challenge for the lead into the turn, but favorite Morine's Victory regained a short lead in midstretch. Above the Wind summoned up one final surge and outgamed Morine's Victory late, hitting the wire with a head advantage. Pirate King finished a fast-closing third, another three-quarter lengths back.

Above the Wind covered the six furlongs over a fast track in 1:10.83 and returned $12.20.

The win was the eighth victory from 15 starts over the Tampa Bay strip for Above the Wind, who is trained by Ronnie Allen Sr.