Updated on 09/17/2011 11:32PM

Tampa: Cherokee Prince sets record

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Stephanie Van Minos/Tom Cooley
Cherokee Prince wins the $65,000 Budweiser Challenge Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs on Saturday.

Taking command right at the start, locally based Cherokee Prince made every pole a winning one en route to a stunning track-record performance in the $65,000 Budweiser Challenge Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs.

Under a well-judged ride by Mike Allen, Cherokee Prince cut out early fractions of 47.52 seconds and 1:11.52, then shook off Nightmare Affair leaving the second turn. She drew away steadily to win by 6 3/4 lengths.

Seek Gold, who was hard to load in the gate, advanced inside through the second turn under Jeremy Rose and was up late for the place, finishing a neck ahead of Nightmare Affair, who weakened after testing the winner through the second turn. On Thin Ice finished fourth as the

8-5 favorite. Tap Day, who was making his first start since racing in the Japan Cup last fall, never entered contention and finished eighth in the field of 10.

Cherokee Prince returned $61.60 in posting his sixth career win, and he now has career earnings to $163,440. The final time of 1:43.13 for 1 1/16 miles lowered the track record of 1:43.27, set Jan. 13 by Pies Prospect.