Fast Fire Breaks Tampa Distance Record
Sunday, March 29, 2020
OLDSMAR - Fast Fire had won racing a mile-and-a-half last September on the Tapeta surface at Presque Isle Downs and finished second there in a 2-mile race in his next start. So when jockey Antonio Gallardo asked the 7-year-old Florida-bred gelding for his best in the late stages of Saturday's mile-and-three-eighths Tampa Turf Test starter handicap, he wasn’t surprised when Fast Fire answered with determination.
The son of War Chant, owned by Melvin Jackson and trained by Teresa Connelly, staved off Dover Cliffs by three-quarters of a length, with Hope Again finishing third. Fast Fire’s time was a course-record 2:15.83, with the portable turf rail set at 12 feet.
The victory was the ninth in 45 starts for Fast Fire, who has finished out of the money only once in his last 11 starts, and his first triumph in four races at Tampa Bay Downs. He paid $11 to win.
A date in Tampa Bay Downs history – March 28, 2004: In the final Arabian-bred race contested at Tampa Bay Downs, FRYNCH, a 4-year-old filly bred in France, won the $62,650 Jewels Of The East Sapphire Sprint Stakes under jockey Oliver Castillo. FRYNCH was owned by Dianne Waldron and trained by Phil Saxer Jr. Her time for the 7 furlongs was 1:36.35. Tampa Bay Downs conducted Arabian-bred racing from 1983-2004 and was the first racetrack to hold a regular program for the breed.
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