12/31/2011 4:58PM

Tampa Bay: It's Me Mom much the best in Minaret

Tom Cooley Photography
It's Me Mom cruises to an 8 1/4-length victory under Willie Martinez in the Minaret.

It's Me Mom closed out her season with a flourish Saturday when she went right to the front at the start of the six-furlong, $50,000 Minaret Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs and buried her nine rivals to post her fifth win from seven starts in 2011.

Confidently ridden by Willie Martinez, It's Me Mom ($3.60) sprinted right to the front at the start of the Minaret, cut out early fractions of 22.07 and 44.65 seconds with Martinez sitting chilly, then turning for home the rider asked his mount to accelerate and It's Me Mom responded by pulling away from her competition, hitting the eighth pole with six lengths to spare. Through the final furlong, Martinez was content  to ride his star out and It's Me Mom hit the wire 8 1/4 lengths in front while covering the six furlongs over a fast racing strip in 1:09.68.

Her time shattered the stakes record of 1:10 2/5 set by Forli’s Lass in 1993 and was less than a second off the track record of 1:08.69 set in April by Sneaking Uponyou.

“She is something, for sure,” Martinez said. “She broke a bit to the outside which she tends to do, but I wanted her to be out there anyway. As fast as she is, she has learned to relax once she gets into stride. I work her in the mornings and she has been getting more handy to be on. It’s a treat to ride her. She used to be hard to control, but she’s gotten to be a real pro.”

Moon Buzz, who was hung wide through the early stages of the race, rallied through the final furlong to gain the place, more than two lengths ahead of Yournotthebossofme with Sally Sally finishing fourth.

Trained by Lynn Scace, It's Me Mom earned $30,000 for her efforts and ran her career earnings to $335,200.