02/22/2007 12:00AM

Therecomesatiger in off sharp win


OLDSMAR, Fla. - The new and improved version of Therecomesatiger, who showed an added dimension by rallying from last of eight to win his 2007 debut, takes on several dangerous challengers from south Florida here Saturday when he tops a field of 10 in the $150,000 Tampa Bay Breeders' Cup.

Therecomesatiger won only a single race in 2006, but it was a good one, as he rallied from several lengths back to take the $150,000 Sea O'Erin at Arlington Park. He was also third last year to Breeders' Cup Turf winner Miesque's Approval in the Grade 2 Firecracker Breeders' Cup at Churchill and was beaten less than four lengths when he ran sixth to Becrux in the Grade 1 Woodbine Mile. Therecomesatiger looked sharp rallying from eighth place to win an optional claiming race over the local turf Jan. 30.

Therecomesatiger, 5, will be going for his seventh win from just 14 lifetime starts in Saturday's 1 1/16-mile turf race. His trainer, Tom Proctor, said Therecomesatiger's light schedule has not been the result of any serious infirmities.

"He's never had any serious problems, we just don't believe in running our horses too many times," said Proctor, who trains Therecomesatiger for his owner-breeder, Charles Patton. "We kind of believe in doing it the old-fashioned way. He gives you all he's got when we send him over, so we respect that and give him time between starts."

Proctor said the reason Therecomesatiger came from farther back than usual in his last race was more because of circumstances than strategy.

"There was no great plan, I pretty much put the rider up and tell him to do what he thinks is best with the horse," Proctor said. "I do think he's become a little more relaxed during his races as he's matured and gotten a little older, but he may wind up anywhere in the field Saturday. He can do that and still have a chance, which is the big advantage with good horses."

Jose Ferrer has been given a return mount.

Among the top challengers is Classic Campaign, a winner of 3 of his last 4 starts dating back to last August, including the $100,000 Fort Lauderdale Handicap. Another contender is Saint Stephen, who was beaten a neck when third in the Fort Lauderdale after winning the Grade 3 Native Diver at Hollywood in December.

Of the locals Cherokee Princess and Stay Close, who ran second and third to Therecomesatiger on Jan. 30, deserve consideration.