Thursday, May 06, 2010

Calder Barn Notes: 5-06-10

Overnight Stakes Doubleheader Saturday at Calder

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (May 6, 2010) – Renewals of the $55,000 Hollywood Wildcat and $55,000 Ride the Trails overnight stakes highlight the 12-race Saturday card at Calder Casino & Race Course, and trainer Marty Wolfson’s powerful stable appears likely to have the favorites for both tests.

Wolfson sent out Motovato and Causeway Kin for a one-two finish in the $55,000 Sumter overnight last Saturday and has a formidable pair for the Hollywood Wildcat for fillies and mares going 7 ½ furlongs on turf with Farnsworth Stables’ 5-year-old Cherokee Queen and Ben McElroy and Edward Easton’s 4-year-old filly Omega Cat. Wolfson will be represented by Gary Barber’s Coffee Boy in the Ride the Rails for 3-year-olds at one mile and 70 yards.

Jockey Elvis Trujillo rides Cherokee Queen as she makes her first start since being purchased privately after a strong runner-up effort behind stakes-winning Scolara in a tough Gulfstream turf allowance on Mar. 20. The daughter of Cherokee Run ran a strong fifth in the Honey Fox Stakes (G3) at Gulfstream in her previous start, beaten only 2 ¼ lengths for it all after rallying from last of 14.

Apprentice Luis Saez, early leader in the Calder standings, is named on Omega Cat in her second start for Wolfson after a private purchase from breeder Charles Patton. The Florida-bred daughter of Omega Code just missed by a head of catching Wolfson-trained stablemate Speak Easy Gal in the $100,000 Florida Thoroughbred Charities Stakes on Apr. 24, the latter winner of the Orchid Stakes (G3) in her previous start.

One threat for the Wolfson duo will be Pinnacle Racing Stable and trainer Bill Kaplan’s 3-year-old filly Musical Romance as she takes on older fillies and mares for the first time with veteran jockey Manoel Cruz in the saddle. The daughter of Concorde’s Tune rallied for fifth last out in the Herecomesthebride Stakes (G3) at Gulfstream on Mar. 6, beaten only 1 ¼ lengths for it all in a good effort.

Completing the field of 10 drawn for the Hollywood Wildcat are Lucille Geranis’ Cat Can Do, Ray Fuentes; JMJ Stables’ Sunday Geisha, Manuel Aguilar; Mr. and Mrs. Guilherme Bombonato’s Zip Trick, Abad Cabassa, Jr.; Shirley Duco’s Exclusive Woman, B.J. Theriot; World Thoroughbred Racing’s Brinca, Luis Jurado; Warehouse Investments’ Dancing Rage, Eduardo Nunez; and Vegso Racing Stable’s Entertaining, Paco Lopez.

Jockey Elvis Trujillo rides Coffee Boy in the Ride the Rails as he makes his third career start and first for Wolfson after finishing fourth in his debut at Gulfstream on Jan. 27 and breaking his maiden against Florida-breds by 8 ½ lengths on Mar. 18 for trainer Todd Pletcher. The son of Yonaguska was a private purchase from breeder Get Away Farm

William J. Sims’ Gator Tiger could challenge Coffee Boy for the favorite’s role in the field of eight set for the Ride the Rails, although it will be his first start on a dirt track since a dull try in his career debut here last summer. Jockey Manoel Cruz will have the mount for trainer Joe Catanese III.

A son of Tiger Ridge, Gator Tiger finished second in each of his last two starts – the $100,000 OBS Championship on the synthetic track in Ocala on Feb. 15, beaten a neck after rallying from last of 10, and runner-up by three-quarters of a length in the $85,000 Sophomore Turf last out at Tampa Bay Downs on Apr. 3.

Completing the field are Kim Dye’s V I Mongoose, Kristina McManigell; Stride Rite Racing Stable’s Bernie the Maestro, Paco Lopez; Joseph Hayoz’ Chabichou, Luis Jurado; Blackacre Farm’s Indy Point, Sebastian Madrid; and Monarch Stable’s Concorde’s Fury, Jeffrey Sanchez.

Fawkes Looking Ahead to Summer for Stable Stars

Trainer David Fawkes will do some summer commuting with a full stable of 36 horses at Calder Casino & Race Course and a division of 15 at Monmouth Park much as he did last season, and is particularly looking ahead to upcoming stakes engagements for 4-year-old stakes stars Duke of Mischief and Big Drama, the latter recently returned to serious training.

“He (Big Drama) had his second breeze back here the other day (36 3/5 Sunday morning),” said Fawkes Thursday morning. “He didn’t have any real physical problems (sidelined since late August). He just needed a break. We hope to have him ready to run in the ($65,000) Ponche (June 12) and if that goes well then the ($350,000) Smile Sprint (Grade 2 on ‘Summit of Speed’ day, July 10).

“We’re looking at four races for Duke of Mischief, but the first choice would be the ($600,000) Stephen Foster at Churchill (Grade 1 on June 12), depending on the field. The other possibilities to consider are the Lone Star Handicap in Texas (May 31), the Cornhusker at Prairie Meadows in Iowa and the Salvator Mile at Monmouth (July 3).”

“I also think we’re going to have a really nice bunch of 2-year-olds this year.” Harold Queen’s Florida homebred Big Drama was the leading 2-year-old colt developed at Calder in 2008 when the son of Montbrook swept the three ‘open’ divisions of the Florida Stallion Stakes series.

Big Drama had an up-and-down campaign last year, finishing first in the Swale Stakes (G2) at Gulfstream in track record time only to be disqualified to second, and losing a neck decision when second in the $750,000 West Virginia Derby (G2) before a dull try when sixth in the Kings Bishop Stakes (G1) at Saratoga on Aug. 29. He has earned more than $1.2 million with a record of 11-6-2-1.

Duke of Mischief is a Florida-bred son of Graeme Hall owned by a partnership of Alex and Joann Lieblong, breeder Marilyn McMaster and Fawkes and his wife and assistant trainer Celia. Winner of the Iowa Derby at Prairie Meadows last year, Duke of Mischief posted his biggest career victory capturing the $500,000 Oaklawn Handicap (G2) last out on Apr. 3 by 2 ½ lengths.

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