03/18/2013 12:00PM

Tampa Bay Downs notes: Ronnie Allen proves experience counts in Wayward Lass ride

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John Duca/Tom Cooley
Magic Hour, with Ronnie Allen at the reins, wins the Wayward Lass.

OLDSMAR, Fla. – In the world of race-riding, there’s just no substitute for experience. Take last Saturday’s $50,000 Wayward Lass Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs, for example.

Magic Hour and jockey Ronnie Allen found themselves on the lead after a half-mile of the Wayward Lass when early pacesetter Sister Earth broke down. Magic Hour moved into the stretch of the 1 1/16-mile race with a clear advantage, but when she changed leads in upper stretch, with Fire Assay looming up along the rail under Angel Serpa and I Like It challenging from the outside under Scott Spieth, Magic Hour’s head came up a bit and she started to lay in toward Fire Assay.

Sensing his horse was about to put the inside rival in tight quarters, Allen cocked Magic Hour’s head to the outside, took a long hold on the right rein, and managed to keep his mount straight while not losing momentum or the lead. Twice down the lane, in the heat of battle, Allen had the wherewithal to snug Magic Hour’s right rein enough to keep her off Fire Assey while still holding that challenger at bay and coming away with a length win.

Afterward, trainer Ian Wilkes confirmed that even though Magic Hour was making her ninth start, she was still subject to show her inexperience.

“She’s still green at times,” the trainer said. “She’s still learning.”

With teachers like Wilkes and Allen, she’s learning her lessons well.

The Wayward Lass was one of four winners for Allen on Saturday’s program, which ran his win total for the meeting to 47 through Sunday’s program. He ranks fourth in the standings behind Daniel Centeno, (67 wins), and Angel Serpa and Fernando De La Cruz (54 apiece).

O’Connell approaching milestone

Kathleen O’Connell, who ranks fourth in the local trainer standings with 20 wins for the meeting, is just two victories short of 1,500 career training wins through Sunday’s racing.

O’Connell, one of the hardest working trainers in the business, logs hundreds of miles a week overseeing strings here and in Miami. She has been training for more than 32 years,

Guam Typhoon’s streak ends

Guam Typhoon carried an eight-race win streak into last Wednesday’s sixth-race sprint, but it was still a bit surprising to see the bettors pound the Jamie Ness runner down to 1-5 on the board.

Guam Typhoon, who was making his first start since winning the $100,000 Changing Times Stakes at Penn National on Sept. 22, disputed the pace to midstretch, but couldn’t stay with the late rally of Why Pretend and had to settle for second money. With no more unrestricted main-track stakes on the schedule here, it’s unclear when Guam Typhoon will see action next.

◗ Rory Barron came into Friday’s program with a 2-for-60 record at the meeting but came to life in a big way, saddling three winners on the program. Barron took the opener with Nesfield, came back in the fifth with Garcon, then topped off the day by winning the nightcap with Moon Over Parador.