February 5, 2023

Win Win Win smashes Tampa track record in Pasco

Win Win Win set a track record in the Pasco at Tampa (c) SV Photography

Live Oak Plantation’s homebred Win Win Win burst onto the sophomore scene with a track-record rout in Saturday’s $95,000 Pasco S. at Tampa Bay Downs. The Maryland shipper looped the field and drew off by 7 1/4 lengths in 1:20.89, smashing the seven-furlong stakes and track record of 1:21.40 set by Catalina Red in the December 27, 2014, running of the Pasco.

Based at Fair Hill with Michael Trombetta, Win Win Win brought a two-for-three mark from Laurel. The son of Hat Trick was coming off his first loss, a slow-starting second in the December 29 Heft S., and went off as the 8-5 second choice here. Favoritism was accorded to Godolphin’s impressive local debut winner Cave Run, away at 7-5, after the withdrawals of Zenden and Jackson.

The hot pace came courtesy of a stoked-up Gladiator King, who had broken through the gate prior to the start and galloped freely until being snared. According to the chart, he’d run about two furlongs by that point. Fans might have expected a scratch in the circumstances, but once wrangled back, he was remounted by Daniel Centeno and allowed to compete.

Gladiator King flashed high speed through fractions of :22.10 and :44.52. Overdeliver, a debut maiden winner for Todd Pletcher, and War Bridle gave chase and re-engaged as the leader began to tire entering the stretch.

But Win Win Win, at the back of the pack early after breaking a tad slowly , was revving into gear. Under regular rider Julian Pimentel, who made the trek south, the dark bay colt circled them and imposed his authority down the lane.

“We’ve always liked this guy, and we’re very happy with him,” Trombetta said. “They left the two inside horses in there (the starting gate) while they were chasing the loose horse, and I think he might have fallen asleep in there. He broke flat-footed, but Julian knows him really well. He had a nice little pace to run at and he showed what he can do.”

“I didn’t panic (at the break) because he did the same thing last time,” Pimentel said. “He’s very quick, so I just took my time and let him do his thing.

“I had so much horse and when I asked him to run, he took off.”

Overdeliver was clearly second-best by three lengths from Cave Run. The favorite was outpaced much of the way and plugged on for third. Next came War Bridle and an understandably tired Gladiator King.

Win Win Win has now bankrolled $127,300 from his 4-3-1-0 line. Although yet to try two turns, the Florida-bred has a pedigree to stretch out. His dam, Smarty Pants, is a Smarty Jones half-sister to Grade 3 vixen Unbridled Humor. Second dam is Grade 3-placed stakes winner Devotion Unbridled, by Unbridled, and third dam, Icy Warning, is a multiple stakes-winning full sister to Grade 1 turfer Ops Smile.

Stakes records were set elsewhere on the card.

The Ian Wilkes-trained Molto Bella romped in the $50,000 Gasparilla, the sister race to the Pasco for three-year-old fillies, in 1:22.20. Although well off Win Win Win’s time, that was fast enough to lower the old stakes mark of 1:22.41 established by Irish Jasper in 2014. With Luca Panici aboard, the 7-1 Molto Bella forced the pace before drawing off by 6 1/2 lengths from Into Trouble. Bella Ciao, the 2-1 favorite, was sixth.

Molto Bella was second to Bob Baffert’s Mother Mother in the October 28 Rags to Riches at Churchill Downs, but faded to a remote fourth when stretching out for the Demoiselle (G2). She is by hot first-crop sire Violence and out of Grade 1 winner Dr. Zic, also successful in the 2008 Sandpiper at Tampa.

In the $50,000 Wayward Lass over 1 1/16 miles, Tapa Tapa Tapa reiterated her love for the surface with a five-length conquest in a stakes-record 1:43.27. The Timothy Hamm mare was runner-up in last year’s Wayward Lass when Well Humored clocked the former mark of 1:43.86. That remains her only loss at Tampa, where she famously upset Elate in the 2017 Suncoast. Antonio Gallardo picked up the mount on the daughter of Tapit following her third in the December 15 Rampart (G3) at Gulfstream.