Saturday, July 12, 2008
Calder Stakes Recap: Princess Rooney Handicap
Mistical Plan Posts Upset in Princess Rooney, Earns Trip to Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint
MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (July 12, 2008) – J. Paul Reddam’s 4-year-old California bred filly Mistical Plan upset the even-money favorite Dream Rush to win the $400,000 Princess Rooney Handicap (G1) at Calder Race Course on Saturday, Summit of Speed day. Miraculous Miss rallied late in the stretch to finish second, while Dream Rush settled for third place.
Ridden by jockey Corey Nakatani for trainer Doug O’Neill, Mistical Plan ran in tandem with Dream Rush for much of the six-furlong race until shaking loose from her rival at the quarter pole and then pouring it on down the stretch. Mistical Plan drew off to win by five and three-quarter lengths to get the distance in 1:10.76. Miraculous Miss was just a quarter length in front of Dream Rush at the wire.
In the Princess Rooney, Mistical Plan paid $18.20, $9.40 and $4.20. Miraculous Miss returned $4.80 and $2.80 and Dream Rush paid $2.10 for the show.
Winning trainer quotes:
Doug O’Neill (via cell phone from California) — “Mr. Reddam and I have always been real high on this filly, but I think she exceeded our expectations today. She has displayed enough talent, winning the Fair Grounds Oaks as a 3-year-old, and has shown excellence in routes and sprints. I think the game plan will be to stay with the sprints now.
“This race is placed perfectly on the calendar. It gives you a chance to get your feet wet against the best in the country.
“We’re excited about her. We’ll keep her in the east for one more race before heading back west. I’ll talk to Mr. Reddam, but I know we’re considering the Ballerina (Grade 1 going seven furlongs at Saratoga on Aug. 24.)”
Note: O’Neill sent out Mark Gorman, Nick Mestrandrea, Jim Perry and Mark Verge’s Maryfield to a fourth place finish in the 2007 Princess Rooney Handicap. Maryfield went on to win the Ballerina and the inaugural Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint at Monmouth Park.
Winning jockey’s quotes:
Corey Nakatani – “We were looking to break sharp, which she did, and then get some position. It worked out perfectly and we got the trip we wanted to get. I’ve had success with her going both short and long and I think sprinting is going to wind up being her best game.”
Read more articles in the Calder - Live category.