Formal Summation heads Pasco field on three-stakes day at Tampa

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January 20th, 2016

On a relatively quiet Saturday in U.S. racing, Tampa Bay Downs will play host to three stakes on their 11-race program. Three-year-olds and three-year-old fillies, respectively, will take part in the Pasco and Gasparilla, seven-furlong events which carry purses of $100,000 (non Florida-breds compete for $50,000), while older fillies and mares will travel 1 1/16 miles in the $50,000 Wayward Lass.

Formal Summation has the most stakes experience of the 10 colts and geldings in the Pasco. In five added-money attempts, the Kathleen O'Connell trainee performed best in the $75,000 Laurel Futurity last September, winning the off-the-turf feature by 2 3/4 lengths. More recently, Formal Summation fell a neck short in the $67,000 Inaugural over six furlongs at Tampa.

Also exiting the Inaugural is Jay's Way, who finished three parts of a length behind Formal Summation in third. The Jamie Ness charge graduated at Monmouth in his second start, and then took an allowance at Delaware Park before finishing sixth in the Nashua (G2) at Aqueduct.

A sharp allowance winner in late October at Parx, Morning Fire was subsequently second in a pair of Pennsylvania-bred stakes over the same track and seemingly fits well against this field.

Others likely to attract play are last-out maiden winners Hand of Power, a 4 1/2-length scorer at Churchill Downs in November, and Epic Journey, who won by 2 1/4 over the Tampa strip last month. Awesome Slate steps up in class after proving himself one of the leading juveniles in Western Canada at Edmonton's Northlands Park last season.

The Gasparilla features a rematch between Hidden Treat and A Little Attitude, longshots that finished one-two over the track in the $57,000 Sandpiper going six furlongs December 19. Also likely to among the betting favorites are Cosmic Girl, who captured an allowance on the same card by more than seven lengths, and R Girls a Charmer, who debuts for trainer Mark Casse following a 6 3/4-length maiden romp at Gulfstream January 2.

Trainers Tom Proctor, Todd Pletcher, and Eoin Harty each have multiple entries in the Wayward Lass, which honors the Florida-bred that was champion three-year-old filly in 1981.

Proctor sends out Savings Account, third in the Zenyatta (G1) at Santa Anita and $102,000 She's All In H. at Remington in her last two starts, and multiple allowance winner Please Explain, who was elevated to third the $50,000 Tiffany Lass at Fair Grounds last time.

Pletcher will be represented by Tiger Moth, who snapped a streak of four consecutive second-place finishes with an allowance victory over a mile at Gulfstream last month, and Kinsley, a recent second-level allowance winner by a head over Street Song on this track.

Harty has entered the stakes-placed Innovative Idea, second by a half-length in a turf allowance most recently, and the Godolphin homebred Redshirt, fourth to Kinsley in the aforementioned allowance.

Also lining up are Grade 1-placed stakes winner Joint Return; Grade 3-placed stakes winner White Clover; and Canadian stakes scorer Her Majesty's Flag.

(Formal Summation photo: Jim McCue/Maryland Jockey Club)