Photo: Eclipse Sportswire
Call Paul, who won the Grade 2 Saratoga Special last August and finished third in the Grade 1 Champagne Stakes, is among the likely starters in the $125,000, 7-furlong Pasco Stakes for 3-year-olds on Saturday, Jan. 19 at Tampa Bay Downs, according to Stakes Coordinator Gerry Stanislawzyk.
The Pennsylvania-bred son of Friesan Fire-Avani Force, by Forestry is owned in partnership by Michael Dubb and trained by Jason Servis, who teamed to win last year’s Pasco with World of Trouble.
Now 4, World of Trouble is a multiple-stakes winner who returned to Oldsmar last month to win the 7-furlong Florida Thoroughbred Breeders’ and Owners’ Association Marion County Florida Sire Stakes, achieving a track-record Beyer Speed Figure of 109.
Whether Call Paul can develop into another World of Trouble is unknown, but his credentials, which include a dominant victory in the Pennsylvania Nursery Stakes at Parx Racing on Dec. 1, will make him a formidable opponent for rivals, should he run.
The Pasco is one of three stakes on a Skyway Festival Day card that includes the $125,000, 7-furlong Gasparilla Stakes for 3-year-old fillies and the $50,000, mile-and-a-sixteenth Wayward Lass Stakes for fillies and mares 4-years-old-and-upward.
Other likely starters for the Pasco include owner-trainer Jaime Mejia’s Gladiator King, who won the Inaugural Stakes here on a sloppy track on Dec. 15; Godolphin-owned, Eoin Harty-trained Cave Run, who broke his maiden that same day in 1:11.30 for 6 furlongs, .19 seconds faster than Gladiator King’s Inaugural time; the stakes-winning colt Jackson, from the barn of Jose Pinchin; and trainer Joan Scott’s gelding War Bridle, who won the first-ever “Tampa Bay Owners Club” race on Dec. 8 and now competes for 90 “fantasy” owners in addition to owner of record Backstretch Farms.
Stanislawzyk said the Gasparilla field is likely to include Classic Fit, a daughter of Bernardini who has won her last three starts for owner Godolphin and trainer Michael Stidham, including the Dec. 8 Hut Hut Stakes at Gulfstream.
Trainer Ignacio Correas, IV could have two Gasparilla entrants: Into the South, who broke her maiden at Saratoga last July, and Gold Credit, who won her career debut in October at Keeneland. Also likely to go are Twixt and Shout, owned by Godolphin and trained by Harty; Warm, owned by Leverett S. Miller and Linda Miller; and Global Beauty Coco, owned by Coco Ranch and trained by Alexis Cordero-Lopez.
Several others are listed as possible starters as of today for both the Pasco and Gasparilla.
Likely or possible starters for the Wayward Lass include trainer Tim Hamm’s 5-year-old Tapa Tapa Tapa, who won the Suncoast Stakes here as a 3-year-old and finished a close second in last year’s Wayward Lass; 6-year-old mare Pure Lemon, who won her last five starts last year at Camarero in Puerto Rico; Hall of Fame trainer Jonathan Sheppard’s multiple stakes-winning 5-year-old Rose Tree; and 4-year-old Almond Roca, who won both the Sandpiper and Gasparilla here last season for trainerGraham Motion.