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OLDSMAR, FL – Gary Barber’s Two Sixty set the pace early, then held sway late to narrowly capture Saturday’s $125,000 Gasparilla Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs.
Breaking from post 8 under Edgard Zayas at 5/1 odds, Two Sixty was away swiftly and secured a slim early advantage over Randiabby to her inside. Racing a lane off of the rail, Two Sixty led through an opening 1/4-mile in :22.05 before Randiabby gave way heading into the far turn, but Veruca ranged up along the leader’s outside to continue applying pressure.
Off the far turn, Two Sixty began to separate herself from Veruca and the field, but a five-wide wall was closing in from behind. Two Sixty continued running in the middle of the lane, forcing Mo City and We the Clouds to cut inside as they made attempts for the lead.
Swiss Skydiver and Ceci Valentina made late bids to the outside as well, but Two Sixty was all heart in the shadow of the wire and kept her foes at bay. Crossing in a blanket five-horse photo, the Mark Casse trainee emerged victorious by a neck in a final time of 1:22.80 for the 7-furlong sprint over the fast main track.
Upon reviewing the photo finish, Mo City was placed second by a neck over We the Clouds to her inside. Ceci Valentina and Swiss Skydiver missed those two by a nose and a neck to finish fourth and fifth, respectively.
The rest of the field was strung out far behind them. Palace Miss finished sixth over a fading Veruca, with Gerri B, Judy’s Way, Campy Cash, and a used-up Randiabby completing the order of finish.
Two Sixty’s win was her first since taking the FTBOA Florida Sire My Dear Girl Stakes against fellow Florida-breds at Gulfstream Park on September 28. The 3-year-old daughter of Uncaptured, purchased for $260,000 as a juvenile, now sports a record of 7-3-1-1 with $409,000 earned.
Two Sixty returned $13 to win, $5.80 to place, and $4.40 to show. Mo City brought back $5.40 to place and $4 to show, while We the Clouds paid $4.40 to show.
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