Stuart S. Janney, III and Phipps Stable’s homebred Inspector Lynley was the game winner of Saturday’s G3 Tampa Bay Stakes, given a well-timed ride by John Velazquez to hold off Kasaqui by a half-length on the wire. The 4-year-old son of Lemon Drop Kid, trained by Shug McGaughey, covered 1 1/16 miles over the firm turf in 1:40.65.
Bogged down on the rail in a tightly-packed bunch early in the race, Velazquez had to be very patient aboard Inspector Lynley to wait for racing room. After a sharp first quarter in :23.45, Australian invader Turbo Street was able to draw out to a 3/4-length advantage, allowing Inspector Lynley to relax in fourth just off the leading trio. Irish Strait kept pressure on Turbo Street from second, with Catapult looming three-wide as the post-time favorite. Through the half in :47.30, Irish Strait began to ramp up the pressure on Turbo Street, and rounding the turn for home, drew even with the leader.
Velazquez was again forced to await racing room, but when Irish Strait took the lead at the head of the lane, drawing away from Catapult, it allowed Inspector Lynley a lane to angle toward the center of the track. Irish Strait tried to steal away, but Inspector Lynley showed a solid turn of foot to reach the lead with a sixteenth left to run. Kasaqui attempted to run down the leader but was only able to reach second, a half-length behind Inspector Lynley at the wire. Irish Strait was just outrun for third.
Bred in Kentucky, Inspector Lynley is out of a daughter of Maria’s Mon. Last year, he captured the G3 Saranac at Saratoga, so the Tampa Bay is his second graded stakes win. Overall, he boasts a record of 3-3-2 from 12 starts, with earnings of over $ 350,000.
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