OLDSMAR, FL—Owner-trainer Juan Arriagada won three races at Tampa Bay Downs Friday.

The “hat trick” gives him 199 career victories as a trainer.

Gerald Bennett (three times), Jamie Ness (twice) and Kathleen O’Connell are believed to be the only trainers to win four races on a single card at Tampa Bay Downs.

Arriagada’s big day started with back-to-back victories in the second and third races, both as owner and trainer. He won the second race with Practicality, a 4-year-old filly ridden by Jose Batista. Arriagada added the third with Pyron, a 7-year-old horse ridden by apprentice Gabriel Maldonado. Pyron was claimed from the victory for $6,250 by trainer Rafael Romero for new owner Soto Racing Stable.

Arriagada made it three-for-three in the sixth race with 4-year-old gelding Just Plain Ornery, owned by him in partnership with Barbara Anderson. Carol Cedeno was the rider.

“You have to enjoy days like this. They don’t happen often and I’m very happy,” Arriagada said. “Tampa Bay Downs is like my home. I feel very comfortable here and I like the people.”

Arriagada won the track’s Leading Owner title last season and was fourth in the trainer standings.

A former jockey who won about 300 races in Peru and Chile before coming to the United States in 2004, Arriagada emerged on the national scene as a trainer in 2021 with Estilo Talentoso, a 4-year-old filly he had purchased as a 2-year-old for $15,000 out the McKathan Bros. consignment at the 2019 Ocala Breeders’ Sales June Sale.

Estilo Talentoso would win the 2021 Bed o’ Roses (Grade 3) at Belmont Park and the 2020 Escena at Gulfstream Park before retiring with three wins from 17 starts and earnings of $532,538.


Sandpiper, Inaugural nominations released.

Nominations have been released for the first stakes races of the 2023-2024 Tampa Bay Downs meet to be run Saturday, Dec. 2. The $100,000 Sandpiper for 2-year-old fillies has drawn 27 nominations while the $100,000 Inaugural for 2-year-olds and gelding has 20 nominated. Both races are contested at six furlongs.

Gerald Bennett, Tampa Bay Downs’s leading trainer the last eight seasons, has nominated three horses to each. His Sandpiper nominees include D’lightful Summer, owned by Bennett’s Winning Stables, Inc., in partnership with J.P.G. 2, LLC and Mr Pug, LLC. D’lightful Summer ran a credible fifth in August in the $203,500 Sorority at Monmouth Park, beaten only two-and-a-half lengths by winner Princess Indy.

The Florida-bred filly Chi Chi, a Sandpiper nominee from the barn of Herman Wilensky, is a two-time stakes winner since Sept. 24, taking the $50,000 E. L. Gaylord Memorial at Remington Park and the $60,000 Juvenile Fillies Sprint at Gulfstream Park.

Other stakes winners nominated to the Sandpiper include Granny Budgie (GB), trained by William E. Morey; Kant Resist It, trained by Jon Arnett; Florida-bred Let Them Watch, trained by Michael Maker; Toupie, trained by H. Graham Motion; and Xtreme Diva, from the barn of McLean Robertson.

The Inaugural nominees include the stakes-placed gelding Gotts Got It, a two-time winner from the barn of trainer Ron G. Potts who finished second to She’s Fine in the Fitz Dixon Jr. Memorial Juvenile at Presque Isle Downs on Sept. 26; trainer Michael B. Campbell’s colt Patriot Spirit, who led for six furlongs furlongs of the Grade 3 Iroquois on Sept. 16 at Churchill Downs before fading to sixth place; and the Gulfstream Park stakes-placed Florida-bred Sound of the Beast, trained by Rohan Chrichton.

Racing Continues Saturday With the first race scheduled to start at 12:32 p.m. EST.

The featured seventh race is a $53,000 allowance, including $12,500 from the Florida-bred Incentive Fund and $2,500 in Florida Owners Awards, at a mile-and-a-sixteenth for fillies and mares, 3-years-old and older.

There are 12 horses entered, with 3-year-old Perfectly Golden the 7-2 morning-line favorite. She has won three of her last four races for Gregg Sacco and will be ridden by Samy Camacho.

The eighth is a $16,000 optional claiming for fillies and mares, 3-years-old and older going seven furlongs with a purse of $53, including $12,500 from the Florida-bred Incentive Fund and $2,500 in Florida Owners Awards.

There are 10 entered, with 3-year-old Florida-bred Both Sides the 2-1 morning-line favorite. She is trained by John Vinson and will be ridden by Pablo Morales.

Return to the Nov. 24 issue of Wire to Wire