12/29/2012 4:39PM

Tampa Bay: Appealing Stella strong in the stretch of Minaret

Tom Cooley Photography
Appealing Stella, ridden by Angel Serpa, erases a 3 1/2-length deficit in the final furlong to win the Minaret.

OLDSMAR, Fla. - Rallying down the middle of the track after a half-mile, Appealing Stella ran down pacesetter Becausei'mworthit inside the final sixteenth to score a 1 1/4-length victory in the $50,000 Minaret Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs on Saturday.      

Under a well-judged ride by jockey Angel Serpa, Appealing Stella held a striking position early as Becausei'mworthit ripped out a quarter of  22;31 seconds and half-mile of  45.74 over a track that was listed "wet fast" but was a bit on the dull side, especially through the stretch.

With a furlong remaining, Becausei'mworthit still held a 3 1/2-length lead but was beginning to labor and with Serpa applying brisk pressure, Appealing Stella reeled in the leader inside the final furlong for a daylight victory with the final time of 1:12.57.

Trained by Jane Cibelli for her second win on the program. Appealing Stella returned $7.40 as the third choice of the field of six fillies and mares.

The win was the fourth from 12 outings this season for Appealing Stella and the $30,000 winner's share of the Minaret ran her 2012 earnings to $135,205.

Becausei'mworthit held on to save the place by 1 1/2  lengths over favored Nakan with Redbud Road four lengths back in fourth.