Tampa Bay Downs: Trainer Michael Wright Runs Consecutive Win Streak To Six - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report

Tampa Bay Downs: Trainer Michael Wright Runs Consecutive Win Streak To Six

Gina Wright had a dream last Friday night. Her husband, trainer Michael Wright, was standing in the Tampa Bay Downs winner's circle after capturing his sixth consecutive victory at the Oldsmar, Fla., track.

Entering Saturday's $50,000 Wayward Lass Stakes, that scenario seemed like a pipe dream to most observers. The conditioner had entered the 7-year-old Colebrook Farms mare Nantucket Red, who would go off at odds of 15-1. Her surprising three-length victory under jockey Olaf Hernandez brought Gina's dream a step closer to reality, and Hernandez made it happen in Sunday's third race with a cagey ride aboard 11-10 favorite More Chances.

The 5-year-old gelding, who was breaking his maiden in his 14th start, is owned by Wright's assistant, Mike Dunslow, who claimed More Chances for $5,000 from his previous start on Nov. 12 at Woodbine in Toronto.

“When you put them in the right race, that's all that matters,” Wright said. “That's what you told me years ago,” Dunslow agreed. “Don't put them in over their heads.”

Now, Wright – perhaps best known as the trainer of Scotzanna, who won a pair of Sovereign Awards in 1995 as Canada's Champion Sprinter and Champion 3-Year-Old Filly – is chasing some serious Oldsmar oval history. In 1977, trainer E.T. Clark won with nine consecutive starters, when the track was known as Florida Downs, from Jan. 28-Feb. 4. Wright will try for seven in a row in Wednesday's eighth race with 6-year-old gelding Victor's Destiny, also owned by Dunslow. Hernandez will be aboard.

Besides being a Thoroughbred owner, Gina Wright is a nurse who often works nights, and was unable to attend the races Saturday. That's OK, now, as long as she keeps getting her dream-inducing slumber.

Hernandez engineered dream trips in both weekend victories for Wright's charges. “He did a great job. He's a hard worker and he's at the barn every morning,” Wright said.

The Wright barn is a fun place to be a part of, made more so by the current winning streak. “He (Wright) is the warden and I'm the assistant warden,” Dunslow said.

And for now, they are taking no prisoners.

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