12/29/2011 5:02PM

Tampa Bay Downs: It's Me Mom tough to catch in Minaret

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OLDSMAR, Fla. – If It’s Me Mom comes close to duplicating her last race, she will take some beating in Saturday’s $50,000 Minaret Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs. The six-furlong Minaret drew a field of 10 fillies and mares.

It’s Me Mom, making her second start since June, blew to the lead, set fractions of 22.14 and 44.96 while in hand, then drew off to win a Dec. 7 allowance sprint here by 8 1/4 lengths. She earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 91 for that six-furlong race, one point lower than for her victory in the Robert M. O’Malley at Suffolk Downs in October.

It’s Me Mom has won 4 of 6 this year, including the Inaugural at Presque Isle Downs in May, and is 7 for 12 lifetime. She was second to multiple stakes winner Devilish Lady in the Sandpiper here last December.

It’s Me Mom will be a heavy favorite in the Minaret, but if she is pressed on the lead, an upset could come from the late-running Sally Sally.

Sally Sally was claimed for $15,000 in January by trainer Ryan Walsh on behalf of his mother, Anne. Anne Walsh, a horsewoman who had enjoyed modest success racing around the Midwest and Florida, had trained several runners by Sally Sally’s sire, Cactus Ridge, and told her son that Sally Sally might be worth the money.

“We took the filly, had her scoped and found she had some palate and throat issues,” Ryan Walsh said. “So we had some minor surgery performed and she was off from January until April. She came back and won in her first start for us at Turfway and since then she’s been competitive in just about all of her races at sprint distances.”

Sally Sally has four wins this year while racing for the Walshes, facing mostly allowance and starter competition. She comes into the MInaret off two turf races, a sixth in a one-mile starter allowance at Churchill Downs and a sixth going 5 1/2 furlongs at Keeneland in the Buffalo Trace Franklin County Stakes.

Beso Grande, winner of two overnight stakes at Calder, seeks her fourth win from six starts this year while making her first start since July. She should be in a stalking position in the Minaret.

Moon Buzz, a lightly raced Malibu Moon filly, won her first two starts at Fair Grounds and Hoosier before finishing seventh at Saratoga in the Grade 3 Victory Ride. Moon Buzz was sidelined from August until November, when she came back to post a hal- length win over allowance rivals over a sloppy six furlongs at Churchill Downs..

Rounding out the field for the Minaret are: Landing My Way, Promised Mandate, Taylors Irish, True Religion, Yournotthebossofme, and Freedom Land.