03/22/2012 1:35PM

Tampa Bay Downs: Turf Test divisions top card


OLDSMAR, Fla. – Let It Rock will go for his third straight win Saturday when he tops the final leg of the Tampa Bay Downs Turf Test male division. Paris by Night and Lucky Lass, who finished one-two in a tight photo in their most recent start, will meet again in the filly and mare Turf Test finale.

The Turf Test, a starter allowance series for horses who have raced for $16,000 or less, began at a mile distance. Saturday’s divisions will be contested at about a mile and three-eighths.

Let It Rock has gotten better and better as the meeting has progressed. He finished second to stakes winner Vanquisher at 21-1 in an optional claiming route in his first start of the meet. After running a close fifth in an overnight handicap, he came back to rally from well off the pace to get up in the final strides at 9-1 in a mile and a sixteenth starter handicap. Most recently, Let It Rock came from just off a slow early pace to win the third leg of the Turf Test at nine furlongs.

Horseplayers looking for a horse in peak form that should be a square price need look no further than Gold Brew.

Gold Brew came to life when blinkers were added four races back. After winning back-to-back starts on dirt against claimers, he moved into the the allowance ranks and smoked a field of first-level allowance turf routers. He went around horses with a quick move in the second turn, then roared past the front-runners to win going away by more than two lengths.

No Inflation will be making his first start after being claimed out of a winning effort for $16,000 by trainer Jorge Navarro, who wins at 26 percent with horses first off the claim. A former stakes-caliber runner with career earnings of almost $400,000, No Inflation has the back class to be a factor here.

Round Trip Loner returns to Tampa after being overmatched in an allowance tilt at Gulfstream Park in his last. Round Trip Loner is the chief speed of the race and can prove tough to get by if not pressed early.

The filly and mare field is very well matched. Paris By Night rallied late to run down Lucky Lass and there’s no reason to think those two won’t be in the thick of things again Saturday.

My Estelle and Another Smokey are late-running types who have been making up ground through the stretch of their latest starts. If the early pace is honest their chances improve.

Butterdish has won two of her last three over the local course while the dark horse of the field could well be Loaded Lady, who comes into this race off a close fifth in a mile turf race at Gulfstream that sported some very quick fractions.