OLDSMAR, FL – Just one race after connecting for a big upset in the Endeavour Stakes (G3), jockey Daniel Centeno and trainer Arnaud Delacour teamed up with the Edward Seltzer and Beverly Anderson homebred Lucrezia, who coasted clear to win Saturday’s $150,000 Suncoast Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs.
Breaking from the rail under Centeno at 5/1 odds, Lucrezia closely stalked from her inner position underneath Two Sixty, who set the pace from the second path. With Tyler Gaffalione aboard, Two Sixty posted opening fractions of :23.72 and :48.71 while Lucrezia took back and tipped to her outside on the backside.
Heading into the far turn, Lucrezia ranged up and took command from the outside. After gradually inching away in the far turn, Lucrezia straightened for home and put daylight between her and her foes.
Continuing to sprint away under firm encouragement, Lucrezia crossed 5 lengths much the best in a final time of 1:39.99 for the 1 mile and 40 yard event over the fast main track.
“She broke very sharp and was a little aggressive going into the first turn, and I tried to get her to relax because I didn’t want to go head-to-head with (Two Sixty),” Centeno said. “I put her on the outside and she switched leads, and when I asked her a little bit, she just exploded. When I looked at the screen in the stretch, she had opened up and she won easy.”
Turtle Trax angled out four-wide in the stretch to get up for second late by 3/4 of a length over Motu, one of the race’s co-3/1 favorites. Comical took fourth by 4 lengths over a yielding Two Sixty, while behind her came Embossed, We the Clouds, Blame Debbie (the other 3/1 co-favorite), and Miss Important to complete the order of finish.
The Suncoast is part of the Road to the 2020 Kentucky Oaks prep race season. Lucrezia earned 10 points for the win, with Turtle Trax receiving 4 for second, Motu 2 for third, and Comical 1 for fourth.
Lucrezia’s win was her second straight, having won the local prep – the 6-furlong Sandpiper Stakes – on December 7. The 3-year-old daughter of Into Mischief now sports a record of 5-3-1-0 with $150,800 earned.
“There was a question mark about her ability to go a little farther than what she has before, and obviously, she showed she can do it,” Delacour said. “She’s won on turf and she’s won sprinting, so we have a lot of options with her and it’s a fun place to be. We’ll take things one race at a time. We’re very proud of her.”
Lucrezia returned $13.80 to win, $7.80 to place, and $5 to show. Turtle Trax brought back $10 to place and $5.40 to show, while Motu paid $3.40 to show.