12/08/2011 12:49PM

Tampa Bay: Luke of York heads Inaugural


OLDSMAR, Fla. – The $75,000 Inaugural and $75,000 Sandpiper stakes highlight a program comprising 10 races for 2-year-olds on Saturday at Tampa Bay Downs. Both stakes are at six furlongs on the dirt main track.

The Inaugural, for colts and geldings, is topped by Luke of York, winner of the Keeneland 75th Anniversary Stakes in his last outing.

In the Sandpiper, for 2-year-old fillies, Given Enchantment comes off a second-place finish in the Joe O’Farrell Juvenile Fillies Stakes at Calder.

Luke of York, a Put It Back colt trained by Jim DiVito, made his debut in September at Arlington. Racing just off the pace into the stretch, he rallied to get up in the final strides of a six-furlong Polytrack sprint. Brought back at Keeneland for his first stakes try, Luke of York broke slowly but began to make up ground steadily after a half-mile of the six-furlong Polytrack race and prevailed by a nose as the favorite.

Straight Fax goes after his fifth straight win in the Inaugural after having won four straight at Calder.

Winningisgood tries for his third win from four outings. He runs for the first time for Kathleen O’Connell after having been trained by Michael Morrison.

Also in the Inaugural are Pete Distinction, Wildcat Creek, Angel of Distinction, and Dangerous Trick.

Given Enchantment enters the Sandpiper off two strong efforts. She drew off with a flourish to win her first start by five lengths at Calder in October, then chased Yara throughout the seven-furlong Joe O’Farrell but had to settle for second, beaten by more than five lengths.

Grand Entry will try to remain unbeaten in the Sandpiper. She won back-to-back races at Delaware in her first two starts, then captured an allowance sprint at Parx in her last race.

Live Every Day also won at first asking, then came back in the Cassidy Stakes at Calder and finished third, beaten less than a length.

Rounding out the Sandpiper field are Vicarious Won, Red Hot Doll, Endless Date, Quick Flip, Venetian Sonata, Blue Forty, Silver Arch, and All American Star.

Inaugural Stakes, Post Time: 2:46 ET Saturday

Purse: $75,000; 6 furlongs





ML Odds


Pete Distinction

P. Maestre

J. Delgado



Wildcat Creek

E. Plesa, Jr.

A. Serpa




K. O'Connell

M. Argueta



Straight Fax

W. Rosas-Canessa

M. Aguilar



Dangerous Trick

T. Pompay

D. Centeno



Luke of York

J. DiVito

F. Lenclud




D. Pita

P. Morales