01/31/2015 7:40PM

Testa Rossi moved up to first in Endeavour

SV Photography
Testa Rossi, the favorite under Irad Ortiz Jr., was placed first by the stewards in the Grade 3 Endeavour Stakes.

Hard Not to Like hit the wire first in the Grade 3, $150,000 Endeavour Stakes but had what would have been her first win in 10 months negated when she was disqualified for bearing out passing the chute to push favored Testa Rossi to the outside in the late stages of the 1 1/16-mile co-feature Saturday at Tampa Bay Downs.

Hard Not to Like had prompted the pace inside to the stretch of the Endeavour as 76-1 shot Lots o’ Lex had set most of the pace through a half-mile in 48.53 seconds and six furlongs in 1:12.34.

Turning for home, jockey John Velazquez swung Hard Not to Like outside the leader while Irad Ortiz moved Testa Rossi to the middle of the turf course to also challenge. But after driving past the leader into the final furlong, Hard Not to Like swerved to the outside as she crossed the mowing patterns passing the chute and pushed Testa Rossi and Ortiz to the outside approaching the wire. She finished three-quarters of a length in front.

Following a stewards’ inquiry and claim of foul by Ortiz, Hard Not to Like was disqualified and placed second. Lots o’ Lex held on to save third place from late-running Principessa Ava, who was also closing well along the rail.

The win was the first for Testa Rossi ($5.20) since she captured the Grade 3 Florida Oaks at Tampa Bay last March. The winning time was 1:42.04.

Trained by Chad Brown, Testa Rossi earned $90,000 for the victory.

Include Betty takes Suncoast Stakes

Include Betty proved her last-to-first win over maiden foes in her first Tampa start was no fluke when she came from far back to run down Huasca and come away with a well-earned neck victory in the $50,000 Suncoast Stakes for 3-year-old fillies.

Under a well-judged ride by Rosemary Homeister Jr., Include Betty lagged far back in the early going as Huasca set a pressured pace that included an opening half-mile of 46.80, followed closely by Whimsicality and Holywell.

Turning into the stretch, Huasca, under Velasquez, shook clear and opened what seemed to be a comfortable lead with a furlong remaining in the mile-and-40-yard race but Includes Betty ($39.80) had been advancing quickly through the second turn and began to eat away at Huasca’s lead down the middle of the track.

Through the final furlong, Include Betty responded to Homeister’s urging and was able to wear down Huasca in the shadow of the wire for a neck victory with Ancient Goddess finishing 8 ¼ lengths back in third and Innovative Idea fourth. The favored Irish Jasper stalked the pace inside to the stretch but had no rally and wound up eighth.

Include Betty, trained by Tom Proctor, ran the distance in 1:41.49.




N Lad More than 1 year ago
Include Betty not Includes!
jared blackawitz More than 1 year ago
In regards to the Suncoast recap: it's Velazquez, not "Velasquez." Mistakes happen, but they shouldn't when it concerns a HALL OF FAME JOCKEY.