02/07/2013 2:39PM

Tampa Bay Downs: Starship Truffles seeks fifth win in a row

Courtney Heeney
Starship Truffles comes into the Manatee on a four-race winning streak.

OLDSMAR, Fla. – Starship Truffles has turned out to be one of the bargain claims of 2012, winning seven of nine starts since trainer Marty Wolfson took her for $6,250 in July. Starship Truffles will be seeking her fifth win in a row Saturday in the $50,000 Manatee Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs.

The Manatee, a seven-furlong race for fillies and mares, has drawn a field of 12.

Two starts ago, Starship Truffles won her first stakes, the $100,000 Claiming Crown Glass Slipper Stakes at Gulfstream Park.

Wolfson claimed Starship Truffles out of a nonwinners-of-three lifetime route at Calder for Chasing Tails Stable and the then 3-year-old won her first two outings against starter company at Calder before finishing third against similar rivals.

She got back on the winning track with a 7 1/4-length win going a mile. She finished second over a sloppy strip next time out but then came back to win her next four in a row. The biggest win of that period came in the Claiming Crown when she pulled away for a four-length win in the seven-furlong Glass Slipper. Her most recent win came over optional starter claiming types as the 3-10 choice at Gulfstream Park on Jan.  13.

Jose Garcia will handle Starship Truffles, who will carry 122 pounds.

The Manatee has a number of intriguing betting angles.

Lava Girl makes her first start in a year for new trainer David Fawkes. Lava Girl won two races at Gulfstream before going to the sidelines.

Much Rejoicing, who was third, beaten less than a length in last year’s Manatee, moves back to dirt after racing with stakes company on the turf in south Florida in her last two races, including a solid second in the Serena’s Cat Stakes.

Appealing Stella, an impressive winner here in the Minaret going six furlongs last time out, goes for her third straight win for the red-hot Jane Cibelli barn. A winner of four of 12 lifetime, Appealing Stella will have Angel Serpa aboard again Saturday.

Cheechako rallied through the lane to take her local debut and is a prime late-running threat in the Manatee.

Redbud Road looked very sharp winning her first start over the track, then ran an even fourth behind Appealing Stella in the Minaret. She has a classy background and finished third against graded company last summer at Calder.

Spectacular Sky won three in a row before finishing sixth in the Grade 2 Chilukki at Churchill. She comes off a freshening for Wolfson.