Thursday, February 25, 2021
OLDSMAR - Randal Gindi was unsure about The Critical Way’s upside after he claimed him for $30,000 at Gulfstream Park in January of 2020.
But the owner’s faith in trainer Jose H. Delgado’s judgment was rewarded when the 7-year-old gelding held on stubbornly to defeat favored Imprimis by a half-length yesterday in the 17th running of the $100,000, 5-furlong Turf Dash Stakes on the lawn at Tampa Bay Downs.
“I give special thanks to Jose,” said Gindi, who flew in from Brooklyn to watch The Critical Way post his third career stakes victory, and second in Gindi’s Monster Racing Stables colors. “He really believed in the horse, and when he entered him in a stakes (the Marshall Jenney Handicap for Pennsylvania-breds) at Parx (on Sept. 7), he said ‘I don’t care what the Beyer figures say. This horse is ready.’
“He wired the field that day from the outside (No. 11) post. I’m very excited about this horse because of his speed and ability to get tactical position,” Gindi said.
Samy Camacho rode The Critical Way, a Pennsylvania-bred son of Tizway out of the Star de Naskra mare Critical Factor. The victory was his seventh in 22 career starts. The winning time was :55.30 seconds.
Imprimis, a multiple graded stakes-winner with career earnings of more than $820,000, held off third-place finisher The Connector by 1 ¾ lengths, with Turned Aside another neck back in fourth.
The Critical Way earned $45,000 for the victory, raising his career earnings to $334,168.
In the other Turf Sprint Showcase Day stakes, the 17th running of the $100,000, 5-furlong Lightning City Stakes for older fillies and mares, 5-year-old Florida-bred mare Miss Auramet moved decisively to the lead on the turn and was still moving well at the wire to defeat a charging Ode to Joy by a half-length.
Roberto Alvarado, Jr., rode Miss Auramet, who completed the distance in 55.30 seconds, .21 seconds off the stakes record set last year by Jean Elizabeth. Sethamee Street charged late to be third, with betting favorite Payntdembluesaway, in search of her seventh consecutive victory, finishing fourth.
Miss Auramet, who has won four of her last six starts, captured her first stakes victory in the Lightning City to raise her record to 8-for-19, with five seconds. The daughter of Uncaptured, out of Hello Rosie, by Yes It’s True, paid $18.
As a Florida-bred eligible for additional Florida Thoroughbred Breeders’ and Owners’ Association funds, Miss Auramet earned $60,000 to increase her career earnings to $349,790.
Soup and Sandwich impressive in second start.
Mark Casse has been telling folks if a Kentucky Derby horse resides in his barn, it is likely the gray Live Oak Plantation homebred Soup and Sandwich. The son of Into Mischief, out of the Tapit mare Souper Scoop, did nothing to alter his trainer’s opinion in today’s second race.
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Taking the lead with a burst of acceleration inside the 3/8-mile pole, the Florida-bred colt dispatched his competition with relative ease under jockey Antonio Gallardo, scooting away to a 2 ¾-length victory from Foreman. Only three 3-year-olds competed after three late scratches from the allowance/$75,000 optional claiming event.
Casse said Soup and Sandwich, who broke his maiden on Jan. 28 at Gulfstream by 7 ¼ lengths, will probably try stakes competition next time, but added that the Grade II, $400,000 Lambholm South Tampa Bay Derby is likely too quick a turnaround.
“He still has a lot to prove. This was one step, and I have to figure out the next one,” Casse said. “He ran a good number when he broke his maiden and you saw this today, and the thing is he has no clue yet what he’s doing. It’s just like he made the lead and started swapping leads, and then he jumped the (tire) tracks (in the stretch).
“But Antonio was just saying (in the winner’s circle), what a horse. He said they tried to box him in – sometimes a three-horse field is tougher, because everyone can concentrate on one horse – but when the leader went off the rail, Antonio said he went to smooching and it was like hitting the gas on a race car."