Nest Heavily Favored in Two-Turn Return in Suncoast
By Byron King BloodHorse
Late last month, Hall of Fame trainer Todd Pletcher shipped one of his top 3-year-old colts, Emmanuel , to Tampa Bay Downs from his South Florida base to race the colt two turns in an allowance optional claiming race.
Now he’s doing it for one of his leading 3-year-old fillies, this time in stakes company. Pletcher runs Demoiselle Stakes (G2) winner Nest in the $150,000 Suncoast Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs on a Feb. 12 card highlighted by the $250,000 Sam F. Davis Stakes (G3).
Though the Suncoast, a dirt race at a mile and 40 yards, is ungraded, it is an official prep on the Road to the Kentucky Oaks, offering qualifying points on a 10-4-2-1 scale to its top four finishers. Nest accrued 10 earlier points in her Demoiselle win for owners Repole Stable, Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners, and Michael House.
Irad Ortiz Jr. rides the Curlin filly, who also was third in the one-mile Tempted Stakes at Aqueduct Racetrack and a five-length maiden winner at Belmont Park in her other starts last year at age 2.
She has been training steadily at Palm Beach Downs, Pletcher’s training base for his better horses during the winter months.
Nest is the 3-5 morning-line favorite in the eight-filly Suncoast Stakes, which also drew Mike Dini’s Alittleloveandluck , winner of the Ginger Brew Stakes on turf at Gulfstream Park Jan. 1. The Arrogate filly has run mostly on turf and synthetic surfaces, finishing third in her lone dirt start at Parx Racing last year in a maiden race.
D. J. Stable’s Ha’ Penny , fourth in the Gasparilla Stakes Jan. 15 at Tampa, and maiden winners Peaceful Surprise and Princess Elin are other threats.
ENTRIES: SUNCOAST S.
Tampa Bay Downs, Saturday, February 12, 2022, Race 8
- 1m 40y
- 3 yo Fillies
- 3:49 PM (local)
|1||1Blamethechampagne (KY)||Rafael Manuel Hernandez||118||Ian R. Wilkes||12/1|
|2||2Nest (KY)||Irad Ortiz, Jr.||124||Todd A. Pletcher||3/5|
|3||3Alittleloveandluck (FL)||Paco Lopez||122||Michael Dini||5/1|
|4||4Mining Chrome (KY)||Roberto Alvarado, Jr.||118||Gerald S. Bennett||12/1|
|5||5Mirth ‘n Merriment (KY)||Rocco Bowen||118||Timothy E. Hamm||20/1|
|6||6Peaceful Surprise (KY)||Samy Camacho||118||Christophe Clement||10/1|
|7||7Ha’ Penny (KY)||Luca Panici||118||Joseph F. Orseno||8/1|
|8||8Princess Elin (KY)||Alonso Quinonez||118||Alnaz Ali||12/1|