BY BROCK SHERIDAN
C2 Racing Stable LLC’s Mish, who has not finished out of the top three in his last seven races going back to a fourth-place finish in a $62,500 optional claiming won by fellow Florida-bred Octane in April, takes his consistent record into the $75,000 Pelican at Tampa Bay Downs Saturday. Mish has drawn post five among the eight 4-year-olds and older going six furlongs in the Pelican and will be competing for an additional $25,000 Florida-bred win bonus presented by the Florida Thoroughbred Breeders’ and Owners’ Association.
The 7-year-old Mish has won two of his last three races and four of his last seven for trainer Saffie Joseph Jr. including a length-and-three-quarters victory in a second level, $32,000 optional claiming going six furlongs at Tampa Bay in his last race on Dec. 22. In his previous two starts, both at Gulfstream, Mish won a $35,000 optional claiming starter allowance going seven furlongs at Gulfstream in October before finishing second to Florida-bred Lightning Tones under the same conditions at a mile on Nov. 24.
In recent bouts against stakes horses, Mish was second to Coastal Mission in the $250,000 Russell Road at Charles Town in August and third behind winner Nimitz Class in the $300,000 Parx Dirt Mile over a sloppy track in September.
Mish is by Field Commission out of Wicked Great, by Greatness and was bred in Florida by Joyce Mary Kielty. He has eight wins, five seconds and three thirds while earning $398,682.
Mish is 10-1 on the morning line for the Pelican and has post five. Samy Camacho has the riding assignment.
The 9-5 morning line favorite is the Wesley Ward-trained Nakatomi, who makes his first start since finishing third behind winner Elite Power in the Grade 1 Qatar Racing Breeders’ Cup Sprint at Santa Anita on Nov. 4.
A 5-year-old son of Firing Line, Nakatomi was second to Hoist the Gold in the Grade 2 Phoenix on Oct. 6 at Keeneland after winning an upper level, $80,000 optional claiming over a sloppy seven furlongs at Saratoga in July.
Nakatomi will race in the colors of Qatar Racing LLC and Mrs. Fitriani Hay and looks to build on his career record of five wins, two seconds and four thirds in 15 starts and earnings of $753,776.
Tyler Gaffalione will ride Nakatomi from post two.
Completing the field for the Pelican are Hurricane J and jockey Jose Ferrer, Doctor Oscar with Antonio Quinonez named to ride, Super Ocho (Chi) has Marcos Meneses up, Little Vic with Carlos Olivero in the saddle, Jr. Alvarado rides Sibelius and Carmel Chip will be ridden by Jose Ortiz.
Return to Feb. 9 issue of Wire to Wire