05/01/2004 12:00AM

Tampa: Restage does the job

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OLDSMAR, Fla. - Finding room along the rail in the drive, Restage responded to the strong handling of jockey Jesus Castanon to post a neck victory in the first running of the Chris Thomas Turf Classic Stakes.

Restage, a Repriced gelding trained by Tom Proctor, returned $5.60 as the favorite in the field of nine turf runners, and covered the 1 1/8 miles in 1:48.03 while scoring his second straight stakes win at this track.

Coahoma finished second, a neck to the good of Milky Way Guy, who hit the wire a head in front of Guardianofthegate.