OLDSMAR, FL – From flags fall to that’s all, Outburst outran her competition to wire Saturday’s $200,000 Florida Oaks (G3) at Tampa Bay Downs.

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Breaking from post 8 under Javier Castellano as the 2/1 favorite, Outburst immediately set out to secure command under her own power as the field exited the chute. Walk In Marrakesh and Correctness gave closest watch as the bettors’ choice posted opening fractions of :22.91, :48.53, and 1:12.75.

Continuing to run strongly as she straightened for home off of the far turn, Outburst initially separated herself a bit, but the final furlong started to take its toll. Walk In Marrakesh re-engaged and began reeling Outburst back in while making a late run.

Outburst’s lone speed early tactics proved to be the difference-maker in the end, however, as she had just enough left to hold on and win by a head. The Eddie Kenneally trainee completed the 1 1/16-mile event over the firm turf course in a final time of 1:42.03.

“I saw the replay from the last time the horse ran here and she was very impressive,” Castellano said. “I liked the way she finished that day. She is so quick out of the gate, you could see she (almost) beat the gate and I ended up on the lead. I tried to ride the European style and come from behind and stalk behind the speed, but she never gave me the opportunity to do that. What I really liked was the second 1/4-mile, the way she slowed down and relaxed. I loved the way she did it and I liked the way she finished – very impressive. I think there is a lot to look forward to. I could feel somebody coming. Thank God, I held on for the win.”

Though unable to surpass the winner, Walk In Marrakesh was 1 3/4 lengths clear of Secret Stash in third. A photo finish for fourth went to How Ironic by a nose and a neck past Ivyetsu and Correctness, respectively.

Micheline necked out Mirabell Mei for seventh, while behind them came Secure ConnectionGalileos BallerinaBlame Debbie, and New York Groove to complete the order of finish.

Credit: SV Photography

Outburst’s win was her third straight after finishing second on debut and came while making her first appearance against stakes foes. The British-bred 3-year-old daughter of Outstrip has now earned $115,212 for co-owners Marc Detampel, TSF Thoroughbred Racing, and Rebecca Hillen.

“Coming in, I was just hoping she had a chance,” said Terry Frey of TSF Thoroughbred Racing. “I really didn’t know – it’s just fantastic that she won. There were some great horses in there, and for her to come in and run a race like this is just so exciting. I’ll tell you what, my heart is still beating like crazy. That 6 horse (Walk In Marrakesh) was running like crazy and I thought maybe (Outburst) had had enough, and then it was like, ‘I think she made it’ – and she did. I was very happy.”

Outburst returned $6.80 to win, $3.80 to place, and $3.20 to show. Walk In Marrakesh brought back $5.40 to place and $4.20 to show, while Secret Stash paid $6.40 to show.