OLDSMAR, FL—Kathleen O’Connell moved ever closer to her third Tampa Bay Downs training title Saturday, winning the sixth race with her 3-year-old Florida-bred filly Bucchanera.

Winning for the first time in four career starts, the winner paid $37.40 in defeating 11 other maiden sophomore fillies. Angel Moreno rode Bucchanera for O’Connell and owner Fabian Garcia.

Bucchanera and runner-up Grand Lady Indy both withstood claims of foul lodged by jockey Scott Spieth aboard fifth-place finisher Miss Claudette for alleged interference at the start. The stewards disallowed both claims.

Bucchanera is by Bucchero out of Set to Smoke, by Exclusive Quality and was bred by Luis Rosas Flores. She has now earned $12,200 in four starts.

O’Connell, North America’s all-time leading woman trainer in career victories with 2,470, has sent out 41 winners this season, 11 more than Oldsmar newcomer Jose Francisco D’Angelo. Gerald Bennett, who has won the previous eight titles, is third with 26.

A Detroit product, O’Connell captured titles here in 1998-1999 and 2009-2010, tying with Jamie Ness that season. There are 16 racing days remaining in the Tampa Bay Downs season.


Oldsmar Cup Highlights Sunday Card

The City of Oldsmar and Tampa Bay Downs will celebrate their longstanding relationship with Sunday’s fourth race, an upper level, $100,000 optional claiming featuring a field of seven 4-year-olds and older going a mile-and-a-sixteenth on the turf.

Florida-bred Drama Chorus is the 5-2 morning line favorite for trainer Tim Padilla and owner Peter D. Mattson. The 7-year-old son of Big Drama out of Missmollybygolly, by Scat Daddy, who was also bred by Mattson, has enjoyed Tampa Bay Downs winning four of nine starts there with two seconds and a third. He won the $110,000 Grey Goose Turf Classic on Florida Cup Day in both 2022 and 2023.

Drama Chorus makes his first start since June when sixth, two-and-a-quarter lengths shy of winner Fuerteventura in the $76,500 Brooks Fields Mile on the Canterbury Park turf.

His career ledger reflects nine wins, seven seconds and two thirds in 31 starts with earnings of $333,457.

Oldsmar was founded in 1916 by American automotive industry pioneer Ransom Eli “R.E.” Olds, after whom the Oldsmobile and REO brands were named. Tampa Bay Downs opened 10 years later, and the city and the racetrack have enjoyed a mutually beneficial relationship for much of the past century, with notable breaks during the Great Depression and World War II.

Return to the April 6 issue of Wire to Wire