December 1, 2022

He Hate Me returns for Pasco; Almond Roca heads Gasparilla

He Hates Me rolls to an easy win in the Tremont Stakes at Belmont Park (c) Chelsea/Durand/Adam Coglianese Photography

Unraced since a smashing win in June’s Tremont S., He Hate Me will launch his 3-year-old campaign in Saturday’s $125,000 Pasco at Tampa Bay Downs. He has been installed as the 3-1 morning line favorite among 10 rivals in the 7-furlong test.

He Hate Me did not disappoint as the odds-on choice when making his career debut for Sagamore Racing and trainer Horacio DePaz at Pimlico in late May, overcoming a slow start to win score by nearly two lengths. The Florida-bred came back two weeks later for the 5 ½-furlong Tremont at Belmont Park and rallied boldly to win going away by 3 ¼ lengths.

The Algorithms colt shows a recent 5-furloing bullet work from the gate at Palm Meadows and He Hate Me will add the services of Manny Franco.

World of Trouble looks like the main foe following a close second in the Affirmed division of the Florida Stallion series in September. A son of Kantharos, the bay colt has been transferred to Jason Servis in the interim and picks up leading rider Antonio Gallardo. World of Trouble is listed at 2-1.

Arazi Like Move, who exits a non-threatening second in the December 16 Inaugural at Tampa, comes next on the morning line at 6-1. Other runners include Mind Trappe, who will make his first appearance since a 7 ¼-length debut maiden special weight tally at Arlington in July; Inaugural third-placer Twin Farms; and Awaken, who finished third in the Sapling at Monmouth two back and exits a victory in the restricted Juvenile S. at Belterra Park.








The $125,000 Gasparilla serves as the filly counterpart and Almond Roca will attempt to keep her momentum rolling after dominating the December 16 Sandpiper at Tampa by a widening 9 ¼-length margin.

Conditioned by Graham Motion, Almond Roca broke her maiden on turf before switching to the main track for her last two starts. Her 94 BRIS Speed rating last time easily tops Saturday’s six-horse field and the daughter of Speightstown has been installed as the 3-2 favorite with a returning Pablo Morales.

Barrier Island appears to have the best chance for an upset. Owned by Phipps Stable and trained by Hall of Famer Shug McGaughey, the Speightstown filly broke through with a 1 ¼-length maiden triumph when making her third career outing at Gulfstream Park on December 17. She adds first-time Lasix and Franco will take over the reins on the 2-1 second choice.

Winner of the grassy Juvenile Fillies Turf for Florida-breds two back, Homemade Salsa will switch back to dirt for Mike Maker following an unplaced effort in the December 9 Wait a While at Gulfstream. Passion Plus will make her dirt debut for Tony Granitz after capturing her first two starts on turf. Last-out maiden winners Clearwater and R True Talent complete the field.