03/17/2012 7:26PM

Tampa Bay: Arena Elvira returns with Wayward Lass win


Arena Elvira posted her fifth straight victory by edging out R Gypsy Gold in the $50,000 Wayward Lass Stakes on Saturday at Tampa Bay Downs in Oldsmar, Fla.

With the track's leading rider, Leandro Goncalves, aboard, Arena Elvira raced in mid-pack before getting up in the final strides to win the 1 1/16-mile race by a head as the odds-on favorite. R Gypsy Gold, the 5-2 second choice, finished six lengths ahead of Dash Dot Dash in a field of seven fillies and mares.

Arena Elvira, a 5-year-old mare by Ghostzapper, was making her first start since ending the 2011 season with a victory in the Grade 2 Falls City Handicap at Churchill Downs. She returned $3.80 after finishing in 1:44.57 over a fast track.

"We were well back early, but she was very relaxed, and I knew she would give me a run," said Goncalves.

Arena Elvira, owned by Tampa-area resident Carolyn Wilson and trained by Bill Mott, now has won 8 of 13 career races.

The $2 exacta (2-7) returned $8.40 and the $2 trifecta (2-7-1) was worth $25.40.