03/08/2012 12:44PM

Tampa Bay: Force de La Nature goes long in Suncoast


OLDSMAR, Fla. - Force de La Nature, who finished third in the Grade 3 Schuylerville at Saratoga last summer, makes her second start of the year in the Suncoast Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at a mile and 40 yards on the dirt main track.

Trained by Eddie Kenneally, Force de La Nature lost her best chance to win her 3-year-old debut when she broke in a tangle in an optional-claiming sprint at Gulfstream Park. She rallied for third, much like she did in the Schuylerville last year, and her late-running style suggests she will appreciate the two turns of the Suncoast.

Melrose Woods was shipped here to the barn of Leigh Delacour after she won a dirt sprint at first asking at Santa Anita in January. A half-sister to stakes winner Charitable Man, Melrose Woods showed her connections enough to have her move straight from the maiden ranks to stakes company.

Mercy Lou comes into the Suncoast off a third in an optional-claiming sprint here and makes her first start at two turns. Wait Til Dawn, trained by Todd Pletcher, won a maiden race around two turns at Gulfstream last time.