11/29/2012 3:49PM

Tampa Bay Downs: Inaugural, Sandpiper stakes top opening-day card

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Brave Dave comes into the Inaugural Stakes on a three-race winning streak.

OLDSMAR, Fla. – The emphasis will be on youth Saturday when the $75,000 Inaugural and $75,000 Sandpiper highlight a Tampa Bay Downs opening-day program where every race is for 2-year-olds.

The Inaugural will be run at six furlongs, as will the Sandpiper, which is for fillies. The Inaugural has a field of six topped by Brave Dave, a son of Put it Back who will be shooting for his fifth win from six career starts, all for trainer Eddie Plesa Jr. Brave Dave’s only loss came in the Sanford Stakes at Saratoga.

Winner of the Sapling Stakes at Monmouth Park this summer, Brave Dave has a world of speed, which he used to take the $125,000 Jack Price Juvenile at Calder over seven furlongs in his most recent start. The Price followed a win in the $96,000 Birdonthewire, also at Calder.

Angel Serpa will handle Brave Dave at 124 pounds under the allowance conditions of the Inaugural. The other entrants all carry 118.

[TAMPA BAY DOWNS: Get PPs, watch Saturday's full card live]

Capital City, from the David Fawkes barn, has won two straight after coming back from a short break. The City Place gelding finished fourth in the $100,000 Frank Gomez in his career debut.

Purple Egg showed high early speed winning his first two career starts, which came at Monmouth and Parx for trainer Jane Cibelli, and could provide Brave Dave with some compeition for the early lead.

If a speed duel does develop it would bode well for Charming Charlie, a horse who comes into the race winless in three starts but who rallied from well off the pace to lead in midstretch of a tough maiden field at Keeneland before settling for second.

The Inaugural is slated as the fourth race on the card.

The Sandpiper, carded as the seventh race, is a more wide-open affair with Crumb, recent upset winner of the Joe O’Farrell Stakes, the possible lukewarm favorite. That rallying win was the second from four starts for Crumb, with both coming at Calder.

R Free Roll, who weakened to fourth as the choice after leading into the final furlong of the O’Farrell, will be going after her third win from her last four starts and is a prime speed rival.

Vitameta came off a freshening with a strong win against allowance company at Calder and is 2 for 3 lifetime, all for trainer David Fawkes.

Cindys Casino had a two-race win streak snapped when fifth in the O’Farrell. Cor Cor, from the always dangerous Joan Scott barn, beat a strong field at first asking and has two bullet works since shipping to Tampa.

Mike B More than 1 year ago
good to see it back on TVG
John Sisoian More than 1 year ago
there are still longshots at tampa. Its not easy trying to pick winners there. You always have horses from different tracks that race there in the wintertime . Some good trainers from the midwest, north and mid-atlantic areas .
russell More than 1 year ago
I used to love betting this track. Longshots galore with big fields. But since the Ness invasion the fields have been less competetive. The dirt track is very very sandy. And I love Richard Grunder the track announcer.
Marc Simon More than 1 year ago
you are so right on
Don More than 1 year ago
Dick Grunde makes more mistakes than a 10 lb apprentice jock