Octane. Photo by Ben Baugh
R Adios Jersey kisses the competition goodbye in the City of Ocala
By Ben Baugh
OLDSMAR, Fla.—It was a high fuel performance by Alan Cohen’s Arindel Farm’s Octane in Saturday’s 6th running of the FTBOA Marion County Florida Sire Sakes. The sophomore gelding added to his growing list of accomplishments with his third added money score, with a half-length victory, over the favorite Willy Boi in the 6-furlong contest. Octane already had the Affirmed Stakes and In Reality Stakes on his resume. Carlos David conditions Octane.
“He won it as a 2-year-old (the Florida Sire Stakes) and he kept his momentum as a 3-year-old,” said David. “We gave him a little break after he won the Florida Sire Stakes (the In Reality Stakes as a juvenile). We did the right thing not sending him to the Breeders’ Cup and giving him some time off to recover. Those early races on a 2-year-old can be tough.”
The son of Brethren was ridden to victory by Antonio Gallardo, who enjoyed a stellar afternoon, winning both stakes’ races at a track where he’s won five riding titles.
“At one point, when I saw the other horses come to me and try to pass me, Octane opened up for me, and I was thinking that I had a legitimate chance…he stayed with me,” said Gallardo. “The horse gave everything he had. Carlos did a good job. I’ve been friends with him for a long time, and I’m happy I won a race for him, and a stakes race is even better. I had to play my game. I’m there for a win.”
It was the third career stakes victory at Tampa Bay Downs for David, who captured consecutive editions of the Pelican Stakes with LLP Performance Horse LLC’s Zenden in 2021 and with Shea D Boy’s Stable’s 5-year-old bay New York-bred horse Bank on Shea this past winter. Octane was the race’s third choice sent off at 5-1 and the other Arindel entry Gatsby who placed third in the contest with Pablo Morales in the irons was sent off at 6-1.
“This race had plenty of speed and I knew Willy Boi was going to press Octane, so I told Antonio, ‘you have to break good.’ he broke a step slow, but he got out there and he got the lead,” said David. “She (Chantal Sutherland on Willy Boi) knows Gatsby’s back there waiting, stalking (the pace). I knew she was going to try to hold back a little bit, so I felt that that race was going to be 1-2-3. I pressed Willy Boi with Gatsby.
“It worked out great, I knew the speed was holding earlier with the filly division, obviously I wanted 1-2 with Gatsby, he tried, and they kind of went a little wide on the turn coming for home, and he had to swing to the inside. You can’t ask for everything. I’m just glad that it happened for us. He (Octane) got the win. He’s a great 3-year-old and he has a great future ahead of him.”
It must be something about Tampa Bay Downs, because R Adios Jersey won her third stakes at the track in as many starts with an impressive 1 ¾-length victory Saturday in the 6th running of the FTBOA City of Ocala Florida Stallion Stakes. Campaigned by Averill Racing LLC and Jayson R. Werth, the 4-year-old filly flashed her brilliance leading the 6-furlong contest for preponderance of the distance, repulsing the challenges of Restofthestory and Sassy Beast, demonstrating her character by staying the course even though she was tiring in the stretch.
The winner was conditioned by Gerald Bennett, who has won eight training titles at Tampa Bay Downs, and was ridden to victory by Antonio Gallardo. Familiar environs seemed to work wonders for the connections.
“She was getting tired at the end a little bit, but she has a big heart,” said Bennett. “We took her to the gate and gave her a hard work, a good hard work out of there. That got her mind back on the game. She‘s just a hard-knocking good horse.”
The daughter of Adios Charlie showed her resilience returning to form after a hiccup this past summer.
“I worked the horse a couple of times,” said Gallardo. “She knows what she’s doing, you don’t have to tell her too much, she has a long stride, she wants to run free. She has the stamina. The other horses will tire before her.”