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Pelican Preview: Shivaree Reappears On Familiar Ground
Shivaree winning the Marion County (Credit: SV Photography)

Pelican Preview: Shivaree Reappears On Familiar Ground

OLDSMAR, FL – Jacks or Better Farm homebred Shivaree reappears on familiar ground looking for victory in Saturday’s $100,000 Pelican Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs.

The Pelican is a 6-furlong dirt sprint open to all horses ages 4 and up. This year’s edition is the penultimate event on a 10-race card and has a local post time of 4:19 PM.

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Here’s a look at the full field for the Pelican:

1. Zenden 4/1 – He dropped down in class and finished a game second by a head last time out in a local 6-furlong sprint against optional claimers. Not only must he reverse his recent poor form in stakes races (ninth in the Frank Y. Whiteley, 12th in the Mr. Prospector [G3], but the even-money favorite who edged him last time out, Edgemont Road, could return. 

2. Cool Arrow 7/2 – He won 3 straight sprints at Gulfstream Park last month, including the Opening Lead Stakes and the Smile Sprint Stakes (G3) but fell off form recently, finishing off the board in his last 2 starts. He’s worked well for his 2021 debut, including a 4-furlong work in :47.25 at Gulfstream Park, and attracted jockey Antonio Gallardo away from Edgemont Road.

3. Admiral Lynch 12/1 – The multiple graded stakes-placed sprinter makes his first start for new trainer Victor Barboza Jr., who claimed him for $62.5k out of a third-place finish going 6 furlongs at Gulfstream Park last month. He’s winless since a 6 1/2-furlong Saratoga sprint against optional claimers last July but is a consistent trier, hitting the board in 15 of 21 starts. He’s cross-entered in Saturday’s Gulfstream Park Sprint (G3).

4. Fireman Oscar 8/1 – He passed tiring foes to take third behind Edgemont Road and Zenden last month, his third straight on-the-board finish dating back to winning last September’s Minnesota Sprint Stakes at Canterbury Downs. The battle-tested 7-year-old Minnesota-bred gelding has raced 41 times to date and 4 of his 5 victories came at the stakes level.

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5. Shivaree 6/1 – He returns to Tampa Bay Downs after winning the 7-furlong Marion County Stakes against Florida-breds by 2 1/4 lengths last December. He faded to fourth in last month’s 1-mile Fred W. Hooper Stakes (G3) at Gulfstream Park after setting a contested early pace and should appreciate shortening back up and returning to this speed-friendly track. He’s cross-entered in Saturday’s Gulfstream Park Sprint (G3).

6. Edgemont Road 5/2 – Despite hopping at the start, he rallied from off the pace to outkick Zenden, who drifted the pair out in the stretch while fighting back. That was his fourth win from his past 6 starts, a stretch that also includes finishing third in the Lafayette Stakes on the Breeders’ Cup undercard. The winner, Sleepy Eyes Todd, repeated in the Mr. Prospector. He’s cross-entered in Saturday’s Gulfstream Park Sprint (G3).

7. Souper Stonehenge 6/1 – He finished a troubled fourth in the 6-furlong Sunshine Sprint Stakes at Gulfstream Park after getting bupped at the start and clipping heels with a rival. He broke his maiden by 10 1/2 lengths over the same dirt against Florida-breds and was second in the 6-furlong Kennedy Road Stakes (G2) on the Woodbine synthetic last November.

8. He’s Smokin Now 10/1 – He returns to dirt, likely his best surface, after finishing a non-threatening fifth against starter allowance rivals in a local 5-furlong turf dash. He has a 4-2-0-1 record when sprinting over this dirt course and his trainer/owner/breeder Gerald Bennett succeeds at 21% with a $2.32 ROI when his runners make similar surface swaps.

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