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Tampa Bay Downs: Old Tune takes Hillsborough on front end
By Doug McCoy
OLDSMAR, Fla. - Brazilian-bred Old Tune proved her initial win on U.S. soil was no fluke Saturday when she scored her second straight win in this country with a front-running victory over 11 rivals in the 15th running of the Grade 3, $150,000 Hillsborough Stakes.
Under a well-judged ride by Joel Rosario, Old Tune took the lead at the start of the 1 1/8-mile Hillsborough and was able to slow the pace to a snail's crawl, covering the half-mile in 50.12 seconds and six furlongs in a dawdling 1:14.00. He shook off a bid from Hooh Why through the second turn to regain a clear lead into the stretch, then kicked home in an impressive 11.46 seconds through the final furlong to hit the wire with 1 1/4 lengths to spare while covering the distance over a firm turf course in 1:48.92.
Forces of Darkness, a French bred filly making her U.S. debut for trainer Chad Brown, got up along the rail to take second place by a head over Mystical Star, with Kya One another head back in fourth.
Old Tune, trained by Todd Pletcher, paid $5 and earned $90,000 as she won for the sixth straight time.
Suncoast: Manuka Honey romps
Manuka Honey justfied her role as the even-money favorite for the 33rd running of the Suncoast Stakes with an impressive front running 7 1/4-length victory in the $100,000 mile and forty-yard stakes for 3-year-old fillies.
Under a confident ride by veteran Edgar Prado, Manuka Honey went right to the front in the run to the first turn, then Prado was able to slow down the pace and allow Manuka Honey to set leisurely fractions of 49.19 seconds for the half-mile and 1:14.04 for six furlongs while followed closely by Wild About Irene, Tsunami Wave, and Cindy Casio.
Turning into the stretch Prado asked Manuka Honey, and the filly responded with a flourish, drawing away to be more than six lengths clear a furlong out then was ridden out to hit the wire.
Wild About Irene held on well to save the place by 1 1/4 lengths over Cindys Casion with Cotton Pickin finishing fourth.
Manuka Honey, a Borrego filly trained by John Terranova, covered the mile and 40 yards over a fast strip in 1:41.75, paid $4, and earned $30,000 for the victory.
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