04/05/2012 3:56PM

Tampa Bay Downs: Six stakes on Florida Cup card

Barbara D. Livingston
It's Me Mom will face male rivals for the first time in the Florida Cup Sprint.

OLDSMAR, Fla. – It’s Me Mom, one of the fastest female sprinters in the country, will take on the boys as she attempts to get back on the winning track in the Florida Cup Sprint, while Slews Answer goes after his second straight win in the Florida Cup Turf Classic on Saturday at Tampa Bay Downs. The Florida Cup card is comprised of six $75,000 stakes for Florida-breds.

This will be the 10th Florida Cup Day, which is presented by Tampa Bay Downs and the Florida Thoroughbred Breeders and Owners Association.

It’s Me Mom knocked out four straight six-furlong wins, including a 6 1/2-length romp in the $150,000 Sunshine Millions Sprint at Gulfstream Park, before being beaten a half-length in an overnight handicap here last time out when asked to go 6 1/2 furlongs. White Merlot set a track record winning that race.

It’s Me Mom has worked three times since that race, including a black-letter half-mile move of 47.80 seconds on April 3. While she will be facing males for the first time on Saturday, she figures to go to the post a strong favorite.

Tommy’s Memory could give It’s Me Mom problems on the front end in Saturday’s race. He led until deep stretch of a 6 1/2-furlong overnight handicap on March 10 before giving way to stakes winner Action Andy. Tommy’s Memory, 6, cut out a six-furlong clocking of 1:08.80 in that race and could set things up for a closer on Saturday.

That late-runner could well be Amor de Palacio, a 5-year-old mare from Panama who is undefeated in 12 lifetime starts. Marty Wolfson trains Amor de Palacio.

Turf: Slews Answer well-rested

Slews Answer will attempt to defend his title in the Turf Classic while making his second start of the season. In his seasonal debut, the $150,000 Sunshine Million Turf at 1 1/8 miles on Jan. 28, he closed stoutly but fell three-quarters of a length short of the winner, Little Mike. A winner of four of eight lifetime starts for trainer Graham Motion, Slews Answer will face Roman Tiger, who was sixth in the Sunshine Millions Turf, then came here to upset the Tampa Bay Stakes at 28-1.

* Bahamian Squall, who chased home Trinniberg in the Grade 3 Swale in his second career start, is an interesting entrant in the seven-furlong Sophomore Stakes.

Trained by David Fawkes, Bahamian Squall won at first asking, then was prominent into the stretch of the Swale before giving way to finish sixth.

Hello Prince, who was second in the Swale, may well be the public choice in the Sophomore.

* Star Channel, from the Todd Pletcher barn, goes after his third straight win on the grass in the Sophomore Turf as trainer Dererk Ryan sends out Back Away, who will be shooting for his fourth straight win.

* The Sophomore Fillies looks wide-open. The top players are Xunlei, who finished fourth for trainer Dale Romans in the OBS Sprint at Ocala last out, and Pletcher’s Polish Tune, who was third to Xunlei at Gulfstream earlier in the year.

* Unbridled Humor, who led until late in the Grade 3 Hillsborough Stakes before finishing third, tops the field in the Distaff Turf at a mile and a sixteenth. Hooh Why, upset winner of the Sunshine Millions Turf Distaff, will attempt to rebound from a disappointing eighth-place finish in the Hillsborough.