01/17/2013 2:00PM

Tampa Bay Downs: Allie's Event launches comeback over his favorite course


Allie’s Event seems to save his best races for the Tampa Bay Downs turf course. On Saturday, he will make his first start since May as part of an overflow field of 13 turf runners entered in the $30,000 allowance prep for the Grade 3, $150,000 Tampa Bay Stakes.

Allie’s Event finished a fast-closing fourth, beaten just a length, in last year’s edition of the Tampa Bay Stakes. A model of consistency, Allie’s Event has won or finished second in 16 of his 27 career starts while racking up earnings of $251,012. He will be shooting for his fourth local win in Saturday’s one-mile race.

Last season, the Lori Smock trainee made just five starts, winning a race and running second here in addition to his effort in the Tampa Bay Stakes. He closed from last in a 12-horse field and was flying at the end of that race, which was won by Roman Tiger.

In his final outing before going to the sidelines, Allie’s Event finished second in a one-mile overnight handicap on the turf, which included a six-furlong split of 1:09.72 and a final time of 1:33.86.

El Commodore, who led to the final strides of the Tampa Bay Stakes last February before losing by a nose to Roman Tiger, is one of several speed horses entered for Saturday. He finished second, beaten just a half-length in the Grade 3 Red Bank at Monmouth Park last summer, and has three wins locally.

Let It Rock came from well off the pace to win his first outing of this meeting in December, and won two races over the local course last season. Trained by Chad Stewart, who is having a bang-up meeting, Let It Rock could well earn a start in the Tampa Bay Stakes with a strong showing Saturday. His late-running style should be well-suited in this speed-laden field.

Decisive Moment has been keeping top-flght company for over a year and was a pace factor to midstretch before weakening to sixth in the Grade 3 Appleton in his lone career try on turf.

Black Belt scored his only career turf win here last season when he wired a tough field going a mile.

Alley Oop Oop is one of three rivals on the also-eligible list, but if he draws in he must be considered off his strong winning effort here this meet. He finished fifth in the Grade 3 Tropical Park Handicap and was a late-closing third in the Bonnie Heath.

Game Ball is another on the also-eligible list, and while he hasn’t won in a while he has raced in graded company in four of his six starts since being claimed last June.