Great Attack successfully defended his Tampa Turf Dash crown on Saturday, Aug. 5, closing powerfully in the stretch to prevail by 1 ¼ lengths.
Piloted by Angel Serpa, Great Attack covered the distance in :56.13, only .85 off Bridgetown’s stakes record set in 2011,
Owned by Houyhnhnm Stable headed by Jeffrey Seder, Great Attack finished fourth in the 2011 Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint at Churchill Downs and was fifth in last fall’s renewal at Santa Anita.
Tampa Bay Downs trainer Dennis Ward, Wesley’s father, saddled the winner.
“He (Great Attack) seems to really like Tampa Bay Downs,” the elder Ward said. “As soon as he broke into the turn and I saw (early leader Hold On Smokey) back off, I knew he was going to go, if he had to go on the inside or down the middle or wherever.
“Wesley told Angel Serpa what to do, and I think he did it to perfection,” he added. “He told him when he got in the clear, just hang on and steer – that’s all you have to do. If I was a little lighter, I could have rode him myself today. But Angel rode him perfectly.”
Joel Rosario was named on Great Attack, but he elected to ride a full slate at Gulfstream.
“It really set up well for us with the speed in the race,” Serpa said. “Mr. Ward told me to just let him settle that I had the best horse in the race. He showed me how good he is. He was much the best in there today.”
Great Attack’s sire, Greatness, stands at Woodford Stallions at Stonewall Farm Ocala.
Great Attack/Cooley photo