01/26/2013 5:36PM

Tampa Bay Downs: Smartys Emperoress gets a nose in front to win Lightning City Stakes


OLDSMAR, Fla. - Smartys Emperoress closed like a blur through the late stages of Saturday's $75,000 Lightning City Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs and emerged with a nose upset in the five-furlong turf race in a contest that saw the first seven horses separated by less than two lengths at the finish.

Under a strong ride by Angel Serpa, Smartys Emperoress came from sixth in the early going, moved five wide in the drive then unleashed a strong stretch run to gain a short lead in deep stretch before just turning back Trippin' Along who was closing along the far outside under Jermaine Bridgmohan.

Christina d'Oro finished third between the top two, beaten just two noses for all of it with Honey Chile a neck back in fourth. Favored Madame Giry was another neck back in fifth.

The win was fourth from 11 career starts for Smartys Emperoress, who is trained by James Spicknall. She covered the five furlongs in a blistering 55.50 seconds and returned a healthy $34.60.