OLDSMAR — The timing is right. Workouts have been sizzling. An equipment change is set.
Cor Cor, a filly with rocket-like speed, is ready for takeoff at Tampa Bay Downs. She makes her 4-year-old debut this afternoon in the $50,000 Minaret Stakes (Race 7, 3:24), a 6-furlong sprint that has attracted seven older females on the main track. Scott Spieth has the mount from post six.
In four December workouts, only one of 126 horses bettered her times at 4 and 5 furlongs, respectively. "She's pretty black and white — she breaks and she rolls," said trainer Joan Scott of Penn Laird, Va. "She likes to be up close of a legitimate pace or be right on it."
Cor Cor will race for the first time with an outside blinker to her right eye after she bored out on the turn in her previous start Oct. 25 at Keeneland in Lexington, Ky. She wound up sixth, her only out-of-the-money finish from seven starts (four wins).
It was Cor Cor's first race in five months after sustaining a small knee chip in the $100,000 Inaugural Stakes at Presque Isle Downs in Erie, Pa. Surgery was performed by renowned veterinarian Dr. Larry Bramlage. "(The chip) was an upper joint and very minimal," Scott said. "(Dr. Bramlage) said there were no issues, it wouldn't affect her racing at all, and she should be perfectly 100 percent."
In Cor Cor's first five races, the Florida bred set two records, won stakes races on three surfaces, and earned a graded-stakes placing for owners Steve Ballou and Harriet Waldron.
After breaking her maiden in her debut in 2012 at Keeneland, Cor Cor closed the year by setting a stakes record in her lone start at the Downs, winning the $75,000 Sandpiper Stakes in 1 minute, 10.02 seconds on the 6-furlong dirt strip. Last year she had two stakes wins: the $75,000 Battle of New Orleans on the Fair Grounds turf, and the $50,000 Ocala Breeders' Sales Sprint Stakes on Ocala Training Center's synthetic surface, where she tied the 6-furlong track record at 1:09.60.
At New Orleans, Cor Cor jockey Rosie Napravnik said, "She is one of the quickest horses out of the gate that I've ridden."
Cor Cor, purchased for $40,000 at the 2012 OBS juvenile sale, has earned $176,347. She is a daughter of Grade I winner Smoke Glacken.
More horses: Jesus Castanon, two-time Downs riding champion and winner of the 2011 Preakness Stakes on Shackleford, has joined the Oldsmar colony.
Greyhounds: Derby Lane has qualifying for the $10,000 Matinee Idol Stakes on Wednesday afternoon in St. Petersburg. The finale is Jan. 20.