• Hoppertunity nips Imperative by a San Antonio head-bob.Posted 10 hours ago
  • In her seasonal debut, Songbird is a dominant winner of the Las Virgenes at Santa Anita.Posted 12 hours ago
  • Lukes Alley kicks it in late to win the Grade 1 Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap.Posted 12 hours ago
  • Mor Spirit cruises late to win the Robert B. Lewis at Santa Anita.Posted 12 hours ago
  • Aussie-bred Power Alert gets there first in the GP Turf Sprint.Posted 13 hours ago
  • Tommy Macho runs away with the Fred Hooper at Gulfsrtream Park.Posted 15 hours ago
  • No catching Tammy the Torpedo in the turfy Suwannee River.Posted 15 hours ago
  • Lady Shipman (1-5) is an easy winner in the Lady's Turf Sprint at Gulfstream.Posted 16 hours ago
  • Cadet Roni relishes the slop in the Wishing Well at Santa Anita.Posted 6 days ago
  • Flora Dora gets to the wire first in the Big A's Busanda.Posted 6 days ago

Purple Egg and Brave Dave set to Tangle at Tampa

Two-year-olds, two-year-olds, and more two-year-olds will be in action when picturesque Tampa Bay Downs begins its 91-day meeting on Saturday. Headlining the Lambholm South Cotillion Festival Day card, which is devoted completely to the juveniles, will be a pair of $75,000 stakes going six furlongs on the main track. While the fillies will get their chance a bit later in the card in the Sandpiper Stakes, it will be the males who provide the most interesting matchup of the afternoon when Brave Dave and Purple Egg faceoff in the Inaugural Stakes, which is carded as the day’s fourth race.
Brave Dave is listed as the 6-5 favorite, and taking a look at his first five races, it is easy to see why. A Florida-bred son of Put It Back, he has done nothing but flaunt his generous early speed in amassing four wins in only five starts to begin his career. After winning his debut in front-running fashion over a pair of next-out winners on the last day of June, his connections wasted no time in testing his class. Shipping from his Miami base to Upstate New York, Brave Dave faced big time competition in the Grade 2 Sanford Stakes. He may have 
finished fourth that day, but after battling through blazing early fractions, his 3 ½ length loss to the highly regarded Bern Identity is nothing in which to be ashamed.
He comes into Saturday’s race off another wire job two weeks ago in the Jack Price Juvenile Stakes at Calder. The victory marked his third consecutive stakes victory, including a score in the Grade 3 Sapling Stakes at Monmouth Park in early September. In all three of these stakes wins, Brave Dave went right to the early lead and proved untouchable from there. Things could get a little tougher for the Edward Plesa, Jr. trained colt, though, as among his five rivals in the opening day affair is a very highly regarded colt with a rather strange name. 


Purple Egg has turned many a head in his first two career races, but getting him that far was not a completely comfortable path. Trained by Jane Cibelli, the son of 2004 Kentucky Derby runner-up Lion Heart, had to be scratched on two occasions at the starting gate because he behaved so badly. Finally making it through the starting gate on August 23 at Monmouth Park, Purple Egg may have been a little bit less of a man, but proved to be a whole lot more race horse. Prompting the fast early pace from the outside, he took over on the turn and drew off to win by nearly five lengths while running a fast five furlongs at the New Jersey track. A little more than three weeks later, and on the other side of the Delaware River, Purple Egg reinforced his impressive debut with another easy score, annexing a Parx allowance race at six furlongs by 6 ¾ lengths.

Interestingly, Purple Egg will have a strong rooting interest at Tampa Bay, as the track’s media maven, Margo Flynn, is one of the several partners that make up the Goodwood Racing II team who own the unbeaten gelding. Purple Egg has had a pair of solid works since arriving on the Gulf Coast a few weeks ago, in preparation for his showdown with Brave Dave.
Seeing these two talented juveniles square off should be a great way for the 87th season of Tampa Bay Downs to kick off. Hghlighting this year’s meet will be the track’s annual Festival Day on March 9, which includes a pair of races that generally come up strong in the Grade 2, $350,000 Tampa Bay Derby and the Grade 3, $150,000 Hillsborough Stakes. If you’ve never been to the Oldsmar oval, I highly recommend you make the trip.
Photos courtesy of Coady Photography and Equi-Photo 


comments powered by Disqus

Older Comments about Purple Egg and Brave Dave set to Tangle at Tampa...

Not too bad for a starter. Two favorites hitting the exacta in a six horse field can make anyone feel like a pro :)
Purple Egg wins and pays $6.40 with Brave Dave second. That's another stakes winner picked by ZIPSE!
I like my eggs purple, with a side of serious talent!
I have been to Tampa and I really enjoyed the smaller feel of the track but it was many years ago. Jane Cibelli runners are very tough to beat in Florida.

Related Pages

Related Stories

Top Stories