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Friday, August 03, 2012


Nakano Leads Wolfson Assault on Barb’s Dancer


MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (August 2, 2012) – When the Calder racing office closes the entry box for the $55,000 Barb’s Dancer on Thursday afternoon, at least half the field for the August 4 filly and mare sprint-stake is expected to come from the barn of trainer Marty Wolfson, with no name more prominent on that list than Nakano, the third-place finisher in the Grade 1 Princess Rooney Handicap on July 7.

Owned by Thoroughbred Futures Racing, Nakano shipped to Wolfson in April after spending the early part of her career traveling about the Midwest and to New Orleans where she managed just a maiden win at Fair Grounds in February 2011.


Once under the guidance of Wolfson, the daughter of First Samurai prospered, winning her first local start with ease before returning to run second in the $55,000 Cool Air and third in the Princess Rooney where she was beaten just over three lengths by the defending Eclipse Award champion female sprinter Musical Romance.

Wolfson is also expected to be represented in the Barb’s Dancer by Princess Rooney also-rans Indulgence, who finished sixth in this year’s Princess Rooney but was third in the 2011 edition; Leopard Rock, eighth in the Princess Rooney but third in the Cool Air prior to that; and Spectacular Sky, who followed her 11th-place finish in the Princess Rooney with a 9 ¼-length allowance win.

Also likely to pass the entry box for the Barb’s Dancer is Wild Bout Tiffany, winner of the $75,000 U Can Do It Handicap; Flying Trip, beaten a neck when second in the U Can Do It but a respectable fourth in the Princess Rooney; and Omi’s Vindication, who hasn’t started since a late-May stake at Monmouth Park.


WESTBOUND TRAIN ROLLS INTO FRIDAY FEATURE

Since moving to the barn of trainer Dave Fawkes in late May following an eighth-place finish in the $55,000 Champali Stakes, the 3-year-old gelding Westbound Train has developed at a rapid rate and was never more impressive than when a 4 ½-length winner in his last, a starter allowance on July 19 where he was never challenged while leading throughout.

Off that impressive score, the son of Western Pride will move up to meet allowance rivals in Friday’s feature race at Calder, a 6 ½-furlong dash that has drawn a field of eight, including a coupled entry from the barn of trainer Stanley Gold in the 5-year-old Sharkbait Ooh Haha and 4-year-old Alley Oop Oop.

Installed as the 2-1 morning-line favorite for the race, Westbound Train is likely to be challenged in the Friday feature by not only the Gold-trained duo, but a pair of 3-year-olds in Isutalkintome and Whining.

Trained by Saffie Joseph, Isutalkintome has been off the board just once in his six lifetime starts and was last seen finishing third in a late-April allowance where he was never getting close to a runaway winner but was beaten less than a length for second by a colt that runs in the $55,000 Giant Ryan on Saturday.

Whining, a Shaffique Khan trainee, finished second to the promising Miami Cat, who incidentally is Saratoga-bound, in a mid-April maiden race and exits a powerful five-length maiden-breaking triumph on July 7.


RODRIGUEZ TAKEN TO HOSPITAL FOLLOWING THIRD-RACE INCIDENT

Jockey Joe Rodriguez was taken to nearby Memorial Hospital following a fall at the start of Thursday’s third race at Calder when his mount Schatt the Bandit wheeled and stumbled coming out of the gate.

According to Calder clerk of scales Luis Martinez, Rodriguez was complaining of a small pain in his lower back, and was taken to the hospital for observation.

The stewards declared Schatt the Bandit a non-starter.


FULL BROTHER TO AWESOME FEATHER TO DEBUT AT SARATOGA;

FULL SISTER TO JACKSON BEND WORKS LOCALLY

The Jacks or Better Farm, Inc. homebred High Five Again, a 2-year-old full brother to 2010 Florida Stallion Stakes heroine, Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Filly winner, and Eclipse Award champion Awesome Feather, will make his debut in Friday’s fifth race at Saratoga, a 5 ½-furlong maiden special weight race on dirt.

The Nick Zito trainee drew post seven in the eight-horse field and will be ridden by Ramon Dominguez.

While the brother of Awesome Feather is one day away from making his career debut in upstate New York, the full sister to the Jacks or Better Farm-owned 2009 Stallion Stakes hero Jackson Bend, a juvenile filly named Sequoyah Hills, is one day removed from her third official workout, a half-mile move in :50.40 at Calder on Wednesday.

Trained by Stanley Gold, who between the years of 2009 and 2011 captured 11 of the 18 Florida Stallion Stakes events contested at Calder, Sequoyah Hills first hit the local workout tab with a three-furlong move in :37.80 on July 21, following that drill with another three-furlong work in :37.60 on July 27.


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