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Suncoast Stakes 2024 | Tampa Bay Downs Replay [Kentucky Oaks]
Power Squeeze (SV Photography)

Suncoast Stakes 2024 | Tampa Bay Downs Replay [Kentucky Oaks]

The Jorge Delgado-trained Power Squeeze won the 2024 Suncoast Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs, a prep race for the Kentucky Oaks (G1).

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Watch the race replay here:

The press release:

Power Squeeze pulled off a mild surprise in the 44th running of the $150,000 Suncoast Stakes for 3-year-old fillies, accelerating through an opening along the rail in the stretch and powering on to a 2 ¾-length victory from Whocouldaskformo.

Power Squeeze’s victory was her third in a row for owner Bill and Paula Cosgrove’s Lea Farms and trainer Jorge Delgado.

Daniel Centeno rode the winner, who completed the mile-and-40-yard distance in 1:40.22, .92 seconds off the stakes record set by Nest in 2022.

Power Squeeze paid $8 to win.

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Six-time leading Tampa Bay Downs jockey Daniel Centeno rode the winner, a daughter of Union Rags out of the Awesome Again mare Callmethesqueeze.

“It was unbelievable,” said Delgado, who has won back-to-back stakes with Power Squeeze. “As a child, I loved Uncle Mo and always dreamed of competing against (Life Talk’s trainer) Todd Pletcher and (her owner) Mike Repole, but I had no clue I was going to bring horses to win races like this against them.

“You saw why I picked Daniel for this race. We have a lot of confidence in each other, and I wish he could get better chances in races like this,” Delgado said.

America’s Vow held on well for third. The 2-5 wagering favorite, Life Talk, failed to deliver an expected kick, with jockey Jose Ortiz wrapping up on her through the stretch as she faded to last in the six-horse field.

Centeno said his moment of decision came when he considered taking Power Squeeze, who raced alertly throughout, to the outside approaching the turn for home, then changed course.

“Jose (Ortiz, on Life Talk) tried to ride his horse a little, and she wasn’t really responsive,” Centeno said. “I tried to go outside but I couldn’t get there, so I went to the rail and it opened up and my horse saw the daylight.

“I’m thankful to Jorge and the owners for the opportunity to ride her.”

Ortiz offered no excuses for Life Talk’s disappointing performance.

“We had a perfect trip, she was in the clear and she didn’t fire,” he said.

Whocouldaskformo and jockey Tyler Gaffalione were forced to check heading into the first turn and launched their bid too late, although they grabbed second by a head from America’s Vow.

“She ran well despite the troubled trip,” said trainer Claude “Shug” McGaughey, III. “She stepped up nicely. I don’t know what was going on down there on the backside. She then went from the rail to the outside, which didn’t help. I am pleased with her race.”