Gerald Bennett Saddles Four Winners For Third Time At Tampa Bay Downs

For a fresh perspective on Gerald Bennett’s four-victory day on Sunday at Tampa Bay Downs in Oldsmar, Fla., it helped to talk to new owner Angenee Persaud. Her 4-year-old colt Soul of the Hero won the 10th and final race on the turf to enable Bennett to tie the track record he shares with two other trainers.

Bennett’s career number of victories: 3,791. Persaud’s: 1.

“It makes me feel like a million dollars,” Persaud said in the winner’s circle.

It’s the third time Bennett has won four on a single Tampa Bay Downs card; Jamie Ness has done it twice and Kathleen O’Connell once. The only difference Sunday was that Bennett needed five starters to get the job done. He was 4-for-4 on the two previous occasions.

The 74-year-old conditioner won for four different owners, and after Soul of the Hero broke his maiden in his 10th career start under jockey Declan Cannon, it was obvious Bennett was relishing Persaud’s emotional reaction as much as tying his own mark (she competes under her Poco Stables banner).

“She’s a brand-new owner, and that makes it even more special,” Bennett said. “It was just a great day. The horses were in some pretty good spots but it’s never easy. This horse was bred for the grass so we switched him back today, and he blew out really good about five days ago and ran a great race.”

Cannon was delighted to be part of Bennett’s history-making afternoon after rallying Soul of the Hero from far back to a 3 1/2-length victory from Rue de Musique in the one-mile maiden claiming contest.

“I’m just glad he (Bennett) had one more left for me today,” Cannon said. “I let him get comfortable early in the race because I thought they were going too quick up front, and he was well-prepared and came running when I asked him.”

Bennett, who leads the Tampa Bay Downs standings with 41 victories as he seeks his fourth consecutive training title, began the day by sweeping the early daily double. He sent out 5-year-old Florida-bred gelding High Five Cotton and jockey Daniel Centeno to win the first race for owners Winning Stables (his own outfit) and Ray Rech.

The Bennett-Centeno combination clicked again in the second with 7-year-old gelding Dog Soldier, owned by Averill Racing. Bennett added the fifth race with Whateverusaydear, a 3-year-old Florida-bred filly ridden by Samy Camacho and owned by Mr Pug and J.P.G. 2, who outlasted Clever Tale by a nose.

Bennett’s only defeat came in the ninth, when Classical Lady finished a non-threatening fourth. But Bennett, a rival for Chicago Cubs Hall of Famer Ernie Banks’ “Mr. Sunshine” nickname, believes she’ll have a great shot next time.

The post Gerald Bennett Saddles Four Winners For Third Time At Tampa Bay Downs appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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