A pair of seven-furlong stakes for three-year-olds, the $125,000 Pasco and $125,000 Gasparilla, were offered at Tampa Bay Downs on Saturday.
After being passed in upper stretch, Markhamian re-rallied to win the Pasco S. going away by 2 1/2 lengths. Marcos Meneses was up for Juan Avila, who trains the Florida-bred colt for Santa Rosa Racing Stables, and Markhamian left the starting gate as the 5-1 fourth choice among seven runners.
By Social Inclusion, Markhamian was making his stakes debut, and first attempt against open competition, after rolling to a 4 1/2-length score over restricted maiden special weight rivals in his second start at Gulfstream Park in mid-December.
He showed speed from the starting gate, dueling with Magical Mousse through opening splits in :22.22 and :44.86, and it became a three-way battle, as 2-1 Provocateur advanced into contention on the far outside turning for home.
Magical Mousse threw in the towel, and Provocateur appeared ready to dismiss all foes as he stuck a head in front, but Markhamian still had more to offer to the inside. The frontrunner dug in gamely to reassert control with about a sixteenth of a mile remaining, edging away to win comfortably in the end.
Markhamian stopped the teletimer in 1:23.23.
Provocateur wound up a length clear of 8-5 favorite Cattin, who lacked the needed rally following a convincing win in the six-furlong Inaugural S. at Tampa on Dec. 4. Magical Mousse came next in fourth, and Cyberviking, Morgan Point, and Gold Special completed the order.
Bred by Sergio Ripamonti, Markhamian is out of the unraced Colonel John mare Peruvian Jane.
Outfoxed did not disappoint as the 11-10 favorite in the Gasparilla S., getting up in the latter stages to prevail by about a length. The Florida-bred daughter of Valiant Minister stretched her win streak to three for LNJ Foxwoods and Bill Mott, and Samy Camacho was up on the dark bay.
Third to presumptive two-year-old filly champion Echo Zulu when making her first start in a Saratoga maiden, Outfoxed broke her maiden by 13 lengths in the Susan’s Girl division of the Florida Sire stakes series the second time out. She was exiting a 9 1/4-length romp in the My Dear Girl division of the Florida Sire in late September.
Outfoxed, who cut back to seven panels after winning her previous outing at 1 1/16 miles, was timed in 1:23.37.
After racing a few lengths off the pace, Outfoxed launched her bid leaving the far turn. She had to work to get past 9-5 second choice Strategic Bird, who surged to a one-length lead in upper stretch, and Outfoxed finally got the upperhand approaching the wire.
Goddess of Fire came flying late to edge Strategic Bird by three-quarters of a length for second. Ha’ Penny wound up fourth, and she was followed by Devine Charger, She Nasty, Eros’s Girl, and Platinum Gem.
Bred Baoma Corp., Outfoxed was purchased for $360,000 at the OBS Spring two-year-old sale. She hails from the stakes-winning Kantharos mare Saving Time.