03/08/2008 12:00AM

Trio flashes Florida Cup potential


OLDSMAR Fla. - Three young runners who figure to be part of the Florida Cup Day program at Tampa Bay Downs on April 6 took important steps in their careers this past week.

Last Tuesday, trainer Tom Proctor sent out Tight Precision to win a seven-furlong maiden special weight race. She stalked the leaders under the confident handling of Jose Velez Jr., then pulled away with a flourish through the final furlong to be eight lengths clear of the field, earning an 86 Beyer Speed Figure.

Tight Precision is a 3-year-old half-sister to the turf runners Herecomesatiger and Herecomesacat, and it will be interesting to see her when she tries the grass herself. Off her performance here, she should be given a long look if she comes back in the Sophomore Fillies Stakes at seven furlongs.

Another 3-year-old filly who has turned some heads locally is Moonshine Alice, who recently won the second race of her career by blowing away her competition late in a six-furlong optional claiming sprint by 4 3/4 lengths. She was awarded an 80 Beyer.

The win was the second straight for Moonshine Alice, whose only loss came when Dee's Rose, another talented filly, bested her by a half-length in her debut. Moonshine Alice is trained by Gerald Bennett, while Dee's Rose is trained by his son, Dale Bennett.

"She's getting better with every race," Gerald Bennett said of Moonshine Alice. "She's getting more mature and more sensible. The rider said she relaxed well, even though they were going fast, and when he chirped to her she went on about her business."

Among males, the 3-year-old colt Mr. Flatter pulled away from his challengers through the stretch of a starter allowance sprint Friday to post a 7 3/4-length win in 1:11, worth an 81 Beyer, after cutting out early fractions of 22.29 and 44.88 seconds. Mr. Flatter, whose mother is a half-sister to three stakes winners, including Powerful Punch, could well be the horse to catch in the Sophomore Stakes at seven furlongs.

Two champions may run on same card

If War Pass comes in for Saturday's Grade 3 Tampa Bay Derby and Dreaming of Ana returns for the Grade 3, $175,000 Hillsborough Handicap, it will mark the first time two Eclipse Award winners will perform on the same program locally.

War Pass won the 2007 Eclipse Award as the nation's top 2-year-old, while Dreaming of Ana won the Eclipse Award as the country's top juvenile filly in 2006.