Marksman Sets Course Record in Tampa Turf Test
Sunday, March 24, 2019
    OLDSMAR - Marksman, a 6-year-old gelding who won the first leg of the annual Tampa Turf Test for males on Nov. 24, concluded the four-race starter handicap series with a flourish, powering through an opening in deep stretch and drawing away under jockey Daniel Centeno for a one-length victory from Gray Dude. Marksman completed the mile-and-three-eighths distance in course-record time of 2:15.94, .12 seconds faster than the previous standard set last year by Desert Folly.

    In the Fillies and Mares Division of the Tampa Turf Test, Lemon Zip, a 5-year-old Ontario-bred mare ridden by Declan Cannon, broke free in the stretch to post a one-length victory from Irony of Reality.

    Jockey Ademar Santos was shaken up after Whiskey Train stumbled and unseated him in the Males Division, but appeared otherwise unhurt. He was taken off his mount in the 10th and final race for precautionary reasons.
Whiskey Train was vanned off after the race.

    Marksman, who is owned by Bruce McCrea and trained by Rob O’Connor, II, is a Kentucky-bred son of Arch out of the Top Account mare Junkinthetrunk. “I thought he’d win three of the four (Tampa Turf Test) races when we came down here this season, so I’m a little disappointed,” O’Connor said. “But he’s a good horse and he showed what he can do today.” Marksman, now 4-for-23, paid $9 to win as the third wagering choice. Wagon Boss finished third and Vitium rallied for fourth.

Florida Cup Day Coming Up - The 17th annual Florida Cup, a series of six stakes races for registered Florida-breds worth $115,000 apiece, will be contested Sunday, March 31.

    Three Florida Cup races will be contested on the main track, with three on the turf. The slate of main-track events includes the Ocala Breeders’ Sales Sophomore Stakes, for 3-year-olds at a distance of 7 furlongs; the Stonehedge Farm South Sophomore Fillies, for 3-year-old fillies at 7 furlongs; and the Zaxby’s Sprint, for horses 4-years-old-and-upward going 6 furlongs.

    The turf races are the DRF Bets Sophomore Turf, for 3-year-olds at a mile-and-a-sixteenth; the Pleasant Acres Stallions Distaff Turf, for fillies and mares 3-years-old-and-upward going a mile-and-a-sixteenth; and the Touch Vodka Turf Classic, for horses 4-years-old-and-upward at a distance of a mile-and-an-eighth.

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