Monday, July 07, 2008
Calder Barn Notes: 7-6-08
Dream Rush Works at aqueduct for Princess Rooney
MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (July 6, 2008) - Minor Stable’s 4-year-old filly Dream Rush is the high weight at 120 pounds and probable favorite for Saturday’s $400,000 Princess Rooney Handicap (G1) on ‘Summit of Speed’ day at Calder Race Course, and worked a ‘bullet’ five furlongs in 1:00 3/5 at Aqueduct Sunday morning.
“She worked good and we’re all set to get her on the plane for the trip Tuesday morning,” said trainer Rick Violette, Jr., who developed the daughter of Wild Rush to rank among the leaders of her generation last year, scoring Grade I victories in the Prioress Stakes at Belmont Park and Test Stakes at Saratoga before finishing fifth as the second choice in the inaugural Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint at Monmouth Park in late October.
Dream Rush made her first start since the Breeders’ Cup in the Vagrancy Handicap (G2) at Belmont Park on May 25 and finished second by a length as the 4-to-5 favorite in the 6 ½ furlongs event after holding a four-length lead at the eighth pole. Former Calder leading rider Eibar Coa has ridden Dream Rush in her last four starts and will be on hand for the mount Saturday.
“She ran well enough in that race off the layoff and it gets her to this race,” said Violette. “She’s pretty much on schedule this year except for one little blip when she wrenched an ankle and missed a race at Aqueduct that she could have run in before the Vagrancy. Now, if all goes well in the Princess Rooney, then it will be on to the Ballerina at Saratoga.
“The objective will be to get her back for another try in the Breeders’ Cup (Filly & Mare Sprint at Santa Anita), but we’ll want to try her on a synthetic track before then somewhere. She didn’t handle the slop at Monmouth.”
Dream Rush held a two-length lead at the eighth pole that day before tiring to fifth behind closers Maryfield with Miraculous Miss second.
Lansdon Robbins III’s 4-year-old filly Looky Yonder rallied to win the Vagrancy over Dream Rush for trainer Rick Dutrow and will be on the plane Tuesday for a rematch Saturday as will Puglisi Stables and trainer Steve Klesaris’ 5-year-old mare Miraculous Miss, who will be making her first start since finishing fourth in the Humana Distaff (G1) at Churchill Downs on Kentucky Derby Day.
Maryfield finished fourth in the Princess Rooney last year before going on to victories in the Ballerina and Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint, sealing an Eclipse Award campaign. Miraculous Miss had finished fifth in the Princess Rooney won by California invader River’s Prayer with Shaggy Mane second.
Violette has had one previous ‘Summit of Speed’ starter with Laptop Computer finishing fourth in the 2006 Carry Back Stakes. The trainer’s biggest Calder victory came in the 2002 W.L. McKnight Handicap (G2) with 5-year-old Man of Wicklow, a horse he also owned and was ridden by Jerry Bailey.
Coa has not won a ‘Summit’ race with seven mounts over the years, including a third-place finish in the 2003 Princess Rooney aboard Harmony Lodge. Now a leading rider in New York, Coa won four Calder Meet riding titles (1996-97 & 1999-2000) and three straight Tropical Meet championships (1996-98).
Calder-Based ‘Summit’ Prospects Work Sunday Morning
The marquee names expected for the four Graded stakes races worth $1.3 million to be run on the ‘Summit of Speed’ program next Saturday at Calder Race Course will be flying in on Tex Sutton Forwarding charter flights Tuesday and Wednesday, led by IEAH Stable and partners’ Benny the Bull in the $400,000 Smile Sprint Handicap (G2).
However, Calder-based horsemen appear to have contenders with a chance in all four of the big races, including the Smile Sprint, and Live Oak Plantation’s 4-year-old gelding Rockerfeller worked a sharp half-mile in 48 2/5 Sunday morning for trainer Marty Wolfson as he tunes up to challenge division leaded Benny the Bull.
A Florida homebred by Maria’s Mon, Rockerfeller has won both of his starts at the meet since arriving into the Wolfson barn earlier this year, winning an allowance race by six lengths on May 25 and the Ponche Handicap last out on June 14 by seven lengths in the local preview of the Smile.
Rockerfeller’s clocking was the second fastest of 25 timed at the distance Sunday morning with the ‘bullet’ going to Miklin Stable’s 5-year-old mare Dixie Dreamer with 48 1/5 for the half-mile in preparation for the $400,000 Princess Rooney Handicap (G1). Also trained by Marty Wolfson, Dixie Dreamer is a daughter of Mutakkdim and has won both of her starts at the meet.
Caroni Stable’s Orinoquia breezed a half-mile in 49 for trainer Rodolfo Garcia as she prepares for the $250,000 Azalea Stakes (G3) Saturday. The daughter of Whywhywhy has won her last two starts, including the Leave Me Alone Stakes on June 14 by 5 ¼ lengths.
Trainer Myra Mora had Timothy O’Toole’s 3-year-old colt Gentleman James on the track for his final tune-up for the $250,000 Carry Back Stakes (G2). The son of Yankee Gentlemen worked three furlongs in 35 3/5, fastest of 14 timed at the distance. Gentleman James lost a head decision to Marty Wolfson-trained Golden Spikes in the Unbridled Stakes on June 14 and the two will get a rematch on Saturday. M375 Thoroughbreds and Pablo Suarez’ Golden Spikes breezed an easy four furlongs Sunday morning in 49 4/5.
Wolfson also had Denholtz Stable’s Graded stakes-winning 3-year-old filly Shes All Eltish out to work Sunday morning as she went a half-mile in 48 3/5. The daughter of Eltish is nominated for the Azalea, but Wolfson has indicated she will be shipped north to run in the $500,000 Delaware Oaks (G2) at Delaware Park, also to be run Saturday afternoon.
Cruz Extends Lead in Calder Standings over Idled Lopez
Veteran jockey Manoel Cruz rode four winners on Saturday’s 12-race program at Calder Race Course to run his total after 44 days of the meet to 55 victories, eight more than apprentice Paco Lopez with 47. Lopez remains on the sidelines serving suspension days, but will get back in the saddle beginning with Friday’s card.
Cruz won Calder Meet titles in 2003 and 2006 and finished second last year to Elvis Trujillo. Javier Santiago currently ranks third with 42 tallies, Eduardo Nunez fourth at 36 and Ariel Smith fifth with 32.
Kirk Ziadie continues to hold a clear lead as he defends his 2007 Calder training title with 23 winners, eight more than Marty Wolfson with 15 victories. Dan Hurtak and Eddie Plesa, Jr. are tied for third with 14 apiece. Wolfson’s total comes from just 37 starters for a 40 percent win rate.
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