Left a Message's latest stop is Tampa Bay Downs

OLDSMAR — Left a Message keeps her odometer rolling.

She flies. She vans. She's a girl on the go.

After logging more than 9,000 miles in her two-year career, Left a Message is 1� miles — the distance in today's Grade III $150,000 Endeavour Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs — from her biggest win so far.

"She's not the best filly I've ever trained, but she's a nice, sweet, good-looking filly and nice to have in the barn," trainer Tom Proctor said.

"She's a plodder and actually wants to run a little farther … she's more of a 1 1/2-mile mare. I think she'll run good and will like the turf at Tampa."

The Endeavour (Race 8, 3:53 p.m.), the first of six graded races at the meet, is the headliner on a card that includes the $60,000 Pelican Stakes (7, 3:24) and the $100,000 Lightning City Stakes (10, 4:52).

Left a Message, a 5-year-old mare, faces 11 females on the turf and drew post 11 with Quincy Hamilton, the 12th different jockey to ride her from 14 lifetime races, all on grass. She hasn't been at the Downs since her career debut.

The Kentucky-bred has started at 11 tracks in two countries and five states, competing at seven various distances (1 to 1 1/2 miles).

"She's flown some and she's vanned some," Proctor said. "We move her around to where she's got a shot (to win)."

Left a Message is coming off an 11-week layoff after finishing third in the Grade III $200,000 Long Island Handicap at Aqueduct in Jamaica, N.Y., her only graded-stakes placing in four tries — two at Grade I. She was limited to five starts in 2013 after being sidelined eight months with several minor issues.

Left a Message has three wins this season, the last on Aug. 14 in the $100,000 Flaming Page Stakes at Woodbine in Toronto.

The daughter of Mr. Greeley and Chief Secretary has earned $208,756 for Ocala owner Glen Hill Farm, which purchased her for $240,000 at the Keeneland September 2010 yearling sale in Lexington, Ky. Left a Message was bred by Ocala's Kinsman Farm, founded by late Yankees owner George Steinbrenner.

"I've never run too good (in the Endeavour)," said Proctor, 57, whose best placing has been a third with Keertana in the 2012 race won by Eclipse Award winner Zagora.

Proctor, a Breeders' Cup winning trainer with 47-1 shot One Dreamer (Distaff in 1994), will watch Left a Message from Arcadia, Calif., where he will start Winding Way in the Grade II $200,000 Santa Monica Stakes (Race 4, 4:30) at Santa Anita Park.

The native of Gilmer, Texas, will probably be wearing a cap of his favorite baseball team.

"I'm a big Rays fan," said Proctor, who collected his 1,000th career win Jan. 4 at the Downs.

"Wherever I go, I wear a Rays hat. People laugh and wonder what the TB is. I say, 'That's my team — Tampa Bay. They don't pay much and they play well.' "

Left a Message's latest stop is Tampa Bay Downs 01/24/14 [Last modified: Friday, January 24, 2014 10:40pm]

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