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Admiralty Pier survives inquiry to bomb Tampa Bay tote
SV Photography

Admiralty Pier survives inquiry to bomb Tampa Bay tote

OLDSMAR, FL – Hoolie Racing Stable and Bruce Lunsford’s Admiralty Pier survived a long inquiry and a jockey objection to bomb the tote in Saturday’s $175,000 Tampa Bay Stakes (G3) at Tampa Bay Downs.

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Breaking from post 3 under Samy Camacho at 21/1 odds, Admiralty Pier sped to the lead along the rail, but he soon came under pressure from Real Story to his outside. Together, the pair dueled through opening fractions of :24.29, :48.75, and 1:12.19 while Halladay pressed from his three-wide position.

By the top of the stretch, the field had begun ranging up and fanning out while attempting to usurp the pacesetters. Halladay ducked inward toward Admiralty Pier, bumping with and crossing over in front of Real Story, which forced that rival to check strongly off heels.

Admiralty Pier emerged relatively unscathed and continued running gamely in the stretch while attempting to fend off March to the Arch to his inside and a rallying Devamani to his outside. Digging deep in the shadow of the wire, Admiralty Pier crossed a nose and a head in front of Devamani and March to the Arch, respectively.

The Barbara Minshall finished in a final time of 1:41.96 for the 1 1/16-mile event over the firm turf course.

“The race went so perfect,” said Camacho, who was unseated when Admiralty Pier was spooked by a flock of geese as he was returning to the winner’s circle. “Barbara told me in the paddock to try to break on top and try to let him be comfortable and slow things down the first part and make your race. I’m so happy for the owners and the trainer. Thanks to my family and thanks to God. When I came back to the winner’s circle, the horse saw some birds and got scared. I went down and I’m dirty, but I’m good.”

Halladay faded in the lane to finish fourth, 2 lengths behind March to the Arch, the 5/2 favorite. My BarileyHembreeCaribou Club, and a roughed-up Real Story completed the order of finish.

Following the race, the stewards posted the inquiry sign to take another look at the stretch run contact. Tyler Gaffalione, aboard March to the Arch, also lodged an objection against Admiralty Pier, but the stewards ultimately made no change to the original order of finish.

Three-horse blanket finish in the Tampa Bay (Credit: SV Photography)

Admiralty Pier’s win was his second straight, having won a local allowance race over the same distance on December 29, to improve his record to 18-5-1-2. The 5-year-old gelded son of English Channel, a narrow fifth in this race a year ago, as now earned $271,583 after winning his first graded stakes event.

“He ran this race last year and then had a little bit of time off, some minor stuff,” Minshall said. “We started running him a little bit shorter and it didn’t work out. I think he’s been running in high-class competition and he showed a lot of determination today. It was nervous waiting (on the objection), and I’m so glad Samy is okay (after getting unseated) because he rode him great.”

Admiralty Pier returned $44 to win, $16 to place, and $6.20 to show. Devamani brought back $6.60 to place and $4.20 to show, while March to the Arch paid $3 to show.

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