01/13/2012 6:41PM

Tampa Bay Downs: Gasparilla pace may favor Venetian Sonata


Trainer Eddie Plesa Jr. will sent out Jersey Juvenile Stakes winner Salad Girl for her 3-year-old debut in the Gasparilla on the Pasco Stakes undercard at Tampa Bay Downs on Saturday. Salad Girl, a winner of 2 of 3 lifetime, is one of several in the field with strong early speed, which could set things up for the late-running Venetian Sonata, who finshed fifth here in the six-furlong Sandpiper in her local debut. Fourth in both the Arlington-Washington Lassie and Mountaineer Juvenile Fillies for trainer William Helmbrecht, Venetian Sonata should appreciate the added furlong of Saturday’s race.

Others worth noting in the Gasparilla include Grand Entry, who will attempt to rebound from a disappointing seventh in the Sandpiper after winning her first three outings, and Delightful Magic, who turns back in distance for Casse off a fifth-place finish in the $500,000 Delta Princess Stakes at Delta Downs.